If you’ve been arrested and charged with a drug crime in Louisiana, you have good reason to be concerned. It is important that you speak with an experienced and dedicated Baton Rouge drug crimes defense attorney if charged with a drug crime in Louisiana. Drug crimes are serious offenses in this state, and being arrested for possession, sale, or trafficking of drugs can result in harsh prison sentences, large fines, and mandatory drug rehab programs. In addition, you’ll face the lifelong stigma of having a criminal record, the loss of your reputation in the community, and often the inability to obtain employment, housing, or financial aid to pursue an education. If you have prior offenses, you should also be aware of the potential for mandatory enhanced sentencing under Louisiana’s “habitual offender” law. Certain drug can also have immigration consequences.
If you or a member of your family has been arrested for a drug crime, you should immediately contact an experienced drug defense attorney to protect your constitutional rights and prevent crippling limitations on your options for the future.
It is important to find an experienced drug defense lawyer immediately when you’ve been arrested for a drug crime. The sooner your Baton Rouge defense lawyer gets to work, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.
Very often, police make major mistakes when making a drug arrest and collecting evidence. Some examples include the following:
The drug defense attorneys at the Louisiana Criminal Law Offices in Baton Rouge practice in both state and federal courts. Our lawyers are skilled at analyzing drug cases to identify errors or misconduct by police, which can be used to support a motion to suppress the evidence and other convincing proof that may result in charges being dismissed.
As a result of our many years of experience successfully defending clients facing all levels of drug charges, from possession to federal drug crimes, the attorneys at Louisiana Criminal Law Offices are able to protect your constitutional rights, present evidence in your favor, and raise the reasonable doubt that could lead to an acquittal. If we come on board early enough, we can sometimes even prevent charges from being filed.
To “possess” an illegal drug, you must:
- have physical control over it, and
- have the knowledge or intention of having it.
“Willful blindness” is no defense to possession – refusing to check the contents of a bag you were paid to carry over a border, for example, is no defense if you had good reason to believe the bag contained an illegal drug.
Some of the most common defenses are:
- The search that discovered the drug was illegal
- The drugs belonged to someone else (your roommate, for example, if they were found in your apartment)
- The crime lab analysis reveals that the substance you were caught with was not actually an illegal drug
- The drugs are missing (the police misplaced them)
If the Louisiana government and the federal government get into a conflict over who should prosecute you, the federal government wins and Louisiana must refrain from prosecuting you, at least until your case is resolved in the federal court. This could carry consequences for you in terms of the severity of your sentence. It is possible to be prosecuted in both jurisdictions for same offense.
The biggest mistakes you can make in a criminal prosecution against you include:
- Attempting to represent yourself
- Speaking too freely to the police
- Waiting too long to retain a defense attorney.
A complete list of mistakes, however, is too long to include here.
Entrapment is a defense that will win you a complete acquittal if it is successful, even if the evidence against you is overwhelming. You may have an entrapment defense, for example, if the police pressured you into committing the crime and supplied the drugs themselves (by posing as a dealer and offering to sell you drug, for example).