Have you or your loved one received a summons for a drug possession charge? Are you unaware of what your charges mean or what penalties come with those charges? Being charged with drug possession can be scary, especially when you could face up to twenty years in jail.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a drug possession charge in East Baton Rouge, you need to read this article. This brief article will discuss the consequences of drug possession charges and who you can contact for help today!
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charge
A misdemeanor charge is usually granted when you are found in possession of drugs in a smaller quantity. Amounts that pass as personal use are a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors typically come with less severe penalties.
You can receive a felony possession charge if you are caught with a large number of illicit narcotics. Even if you did not intend to sell those drugs, in the eyes of the law, the officer could charge you with the intent to distribute or sell.
It is essential to keep in mind that regardless of if you receive a felony or misdemeanor, they can both show up on your record. This means if you apply for a job or a new home, your charges will show up.
Drug Charge Consequences
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may have to spend less than a year in jail. You also may have to serve probation and will have to pay a small fine. A felony drug charge may result in you having to spend between ten to twenty years in jail.
If you are on probation, you should act on your best behavior. You may be subject to random drug tests, and you are to steer clear of any drugs. If you violate your probation, you may be subject to spending some time in jail.
Different Drug Schedules
You may not know this, but different medications and illicit drugs are categorized into “schedules.” These drugs are measured based on how likely they are to be abused by the users.
Schedule I drugs are those that do not have any recognized medical use. They’re also drugs that have the highest ranking of abuse.
Examples of schedule I drugs are:
Other types of drugs, such as quaaludes and marijuana, are schedule I. These drugs are also seen as unsafe even under medical supervision.
Schedule II drugs, such as hydrocodone and cocaine, are also seen as drugs with a high incidence of abuse. The significant difference between schedule I and II are that these drugs are of medical use. Other schedule II drugs are oxycontin and morphine.
Schedule II drugs can be addictive, but they aren’t as addictive as I and II. These types of drugs are ketamine or low-strength pain medication that has small opioid amounts.
The drugs on the schedule IV list typically have a low potential for addiction or abuse. Schedule IV medication also has acceptable medical uses and is less likely to cause the user to become dependent.
Examples of schedule IV medication are:
As you may have noticed by now, the higher the schedule number, the lower the potential is for abuse. Schedule IV drugs also have a lower physical dependence.
Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for addiction and abuse. There is the potential for addiction, but it is much lower than Schedules I through IV. Examples of schedule V drugs are ephedrine drugs and mild codeine cough syrup.
What Is Hard Labor?
If you receive a jail sentence with hard labor, you will need to perform some physical work while in jail. The type of things you may be sentenced to do are performing farm work or cutting brush on the road.
You also may have to clean dishes or other areas of the jail. Hard labor is not considered cruel and unusual punishment. If you face a possession charge with hard labor, make sure you speak with a reputable lawyer to review your case for free.
When to Hire a Lawyer
If you or someone you know and love are facing a drug possession charge, you will need to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It would be best if you reached out to an attorney familiar with handling Louisiana drug possession cases.
There are several Baton Rouge attorneys out there for you to choose from, but it is vital to select an attorney who has experience handling criminal charges. It is also essential to reach out to legal counsel who is upfront about their fees, so hidden fees don’t blindside you.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
It may be tempting for you to go at it alone, especially if you are trying to save on costs, but that is not ideal. Unless you are entirely knowledgeable about Louisiana’s drug laws, you should seek help from a criminal defense law firm. Your attorney has the necessary skills to negotiate the outcome that you desire.
Other reasons why you should hire a criminal defense lawyer:
- They have experience with your case
- They understand how the court system works
- Criminal law can be complicated
- They can reduce your charges
You must reach out to an attorney as soon as possible so they can help you sooner. The sooner you hire an attorney, the better they can help you. If you wait too late to hire an attorney, they may not be able to help you as best as they can.
Should I Talk to Investigators?
You may want to open up and immediately explain why you had possession of those drugs, but that is not a good look for you. The court can use anything you say against you, so it is best to wait until you speak with your lawyer.
The prosecution will ask you specific questions to get you to incriminate yourself. Your Baton Rouge lawyer will be able to tell you which questions you can and should not answer. If you are ever found in this situation, make sure you immediately ask to speak with your attorney.
Best Lawyer for Possession Charges
Hiring an experienced lawyer familiar with court cases like yours is vital if you want to have your charges reduced. Your attorney will provide you with the necessary resources to make sure you receive the result you want.
Contact us now if you or someone you know needs help with their drug possession charge in Baton Rouge! Attorney Carl Barkemeyer will review your case and create the best defense strategy to get you the results you need.