Drug possession defense lawyer in Metairie, Kenner, and Gretna.
Criminal Attorneys & DWI Lawyers in Covington, New Orleans, and Shreveport Louisiana
According to the penal code LA R.S. 40:966, it is unlawful for anyone to possess a controlled substance or drug, unless they have obtained a valid prescription authorized by the law. Drugs are also known as controlled substances, and they include cocaine, heroin, Meth, steroids, marijuana, etc. These drugs are substances that have a high potential for abuse and addiction. They can alter the mind of the user and may be lethal when taken in high doses.
The law in Jefferson Parish is strict with drug possession cases. The penalties are serious and the consequences may affect your life and future. With a drug possession case in Gretna and other cities of Jefferson Parish, you can go from hanging out with friends to sitting in jail in a matter of hours. Also, the troubles of having a criminal record are not easy to live it.
It is important for anyone charged with drug possession crime to know that the place of a criminal defense lawyer in your drug possession case is very important. You may be able to avert grievous consequences or get the best possible outcome by reaching out to the drug possession lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm.
Laws Guiding Drug Possession in Gretna, Kenner, and Metairie
The state law guiding these cities state that whoever is caught with illegal substances is charged for misdemeanor or felony; charges that may go on to put a mark on your criminal record. Also, there is a three-strike rule where you become a felony upon third offense.
However, certain important things must be proven to convict a person of drug possession in Jefferson Parish. These are called “Burden of Proof”;
Legality: it is on the part of the prosecutor to prove with evidence that the defendant was in possession of drugs or controlled substances under the law. A conviction can only take place if the drug found on the defendant is deemed illegal under the law.
Knowledge: the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knew about the drug or controlled substance found in their possession. This element is to prevent an innocent person from being punished.
Control: the prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant was in control of the substance, I.e., the drug is found just within the proximity of the defendant. For instance, if the drug was found in the pocket or wallet of the defendant.
How is Drug Possession Punished?
Penalties for drug possession crime is specific to drug schedules. Drugs or controlled substances are placed in five schedules based on the degree of potential abuse and addiction. Jefferson Parish adopts the federal classification of drugs in the order of most dangerous to the least;
Schedule I Controlled Substances- drugs in this schedule have no medical use and have a high potential for abuse and addiction. They can only be illegally possessed as they cannot be prescribed. Schedule I drugs include Cannabis, Ecstasy, Strong opiates, LSD, peyote, psilocybin, Codeine, and Synthetic cannabinoids.
Schedule II Controlled Substances- these drugs have a high potential for physiological and physical addiction, but have some accepted medical use. This means that you can only possess these drugs if you have a valid prescription; possession is illegal without a valid prescription. These drugs include Amphetamines, Cocaine, PCP, Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, and Morphine.
Schedule III Controlled Substances- they have less potential for abuse and addiction when compared to drugs in Schedule I or II. They have some accepted medical use and can only be possessed with a valid prescription. They include Benzenediamine, Ketamine, Buprenorphine, Anabolic steroids, and Depressants like Amobarbitals and Secobarbitals.
Schedule IV Controlled Substances- drugs here have more medical use and low potential for abuse. They include Alprazolam, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Carisoprodol, Triazolam, and Temazepam.
Schedule V Controlled Substances- drugs in this schedule have even low potential for abuse and higher potential for medical use. They are Barbitals, Fluradoline, Fenfluramine, Ezogabine, and Pentazocine.
What Penalties Will I Possibly Suffer For A Drug Possession Crime?
Possession of schedule I drugs (except marijuana) is punished by 1 to 10 years in prison, not more than $5,000 fines, or both. Penalties increase upon subsequent violations. For first and second marijuana possession, the defendant shall be punished for up to 6 months and pay a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Whoever is found with Schedule II drugs is sentenced to 1 to 5 years imprisonment, made to pay fines up to $5,000, or both. Possession of phencyclidine (PCP) can cause the penalties to increase to 20 years imprisonment.
Whoever is found with Schedule III drugs shall be imprisoned for 1 to 5 years, fined up to $5,000, or both.
Whoever is found to possess Schedule IV drugs is imprisoned for 1 to 5 years, fined $5,000, or both. Possession of Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) can attract up to 10 years in prison.
Possession of drugs in Schedule V is punished by 1 to 5 years imprisonment, fine of $5,000, or both.
What Happens When I Have More Than One Drug Possession Charges?
If you have subsequent drug possession cases or have been charged for drug possession more than once, you will face more serious penalties than a first offender. Upon second or subsequent offense, the defendant shall face twice the applicable prison term and fine.
What Happens When I’m Found With Drugs in A Drug-Free Zone?
Drug-free zones include schools, public parks, universities, day-care, colleges, recreational facilities, and public playgrounds. Possession of drugs in such areas is an aggravating factor that may increase your maximum penalties by one and a half times.
What Can I Do About A Drug Possession Charge?
Don’t listen to whoever says you shouldn’t worry about a small amount. You should worry and you should hire a lawyer. Jefferson Parish is one of the places with the strictest drug possession law, so when it happens to you here, you should hire a lawyer to represent and take up all discussion and procession of the case on your behalf.
Talk To a Drug Possession Lawyer
You deserve legal representation. You deserve to be defended by an experienced and skilled drug possession attorney. Contact our criminal defense attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm at to get the legal representation that you deserve.
Drug Possession Lawyer in New Orleans
If you need an experienced drug possession lawyer in New Orleans, Louisiana, contact the Barkemeyer Law Firm. We handle a variety of drug charge cases, such as possession, drug distribution, trafficking and more. Our criminal defense attorneys can help with any drug possession charges you may be facing. Contact us to set up a consultation and discuss your options if you are facing possession charges in New Orleans.
We Successfully Defend Clients Charged With Drug Possession In NOLA
Our New Orleans drug possession lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm represent clients with drug possession charges in New Orleans, Louisiana and all throughout Orleans Parish. Carl Barkemeyer has handled drug charges his entire career. Drug charges are unlike other types of crimes because they do not involve a victim. More importantly, they require the attorney to be knowledgeable about the laws regarding stop and search. Usually in a drug case trial, the primary witnesses against the defendant are the arresting police officers. Therefore, we must see if the officers conducted a proper stop and search when obtaining the narcotics.
Why Choose Us For Your Drug Possession Charges In New Orleans
Also, our drug defense lawyers understand addiction and substance abuse. We know how to help our clients find the appropriate treatment that may help them with their personal life and criminal case. Not every drug case is one that requires the attorney “fight” to the end. Since Mr. Barkemeyer has handled drug cases his entire career, he knows how to develop a proactive strategy that involves drug treatment to help his client’s case. An experienced drug defense attorney knows how to evaluate a drug case to determine the best strategy to help the client. This is what we do. Contact our New Orleans drug defense lawyer at (504) 226-2299.
Simple Possession of Drugs in New Orleans, Louisiana
Possession of drugs, also known as simple possession, varies based on the type of drugs. Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense on the first and second convictions. Possession of marijuana third and subsequent offenses are felonies. Possession of marijuana 2.5 pounds or more is a felony, regardless of the number of prior convictions. This charge becomes a possession with intent to distribute marijuana instead of simple possession because of the large amount of marijuana. Possession of Marijuana is an enhanceable offense, meaning that a conviction today can be used against you to enhance the punishment for a future charge.
Possession Of Cocaine And Methamphetamine In New Orleans
Possession of cocaine and meth (Schedule 2) are felony offenses even on the first conviction. They are punishable up to 2 years or five years, depending on the weight of the drug. If you possess 28 grams or more, the charge becomes a possession with intent to distribute, so it is no longer a simple possession. Possession with intent carries up to 10 years or 20 years depending on the weight.
Possession of Legend Drugs under la. R.S. 40§1060.13
Possession of Legend Drugs used to be a felony punishable up to five years in prison. This charge includes the possession of drugs that are not necessarily scheduled but that a prescription is required to obtain. For instance, one cannot possess heart medication which must be prescribed unless he/she has a valid prescription. However, recent changes to law have now made possession of legend drug without a prescription into a misdemeanor drug charge punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of not more than $500.
Drug Possession Lawyer in New Orleans
The possession of a drug, especially illegal drugs or prescription pills is a very serious offense, punishable by Federal and state laws. However, the penalty for each differs from state to state.
The possession of drugs includes manufacturing and distributing drugs. They attract serious penalties, in the form of a jail term and a fine to be paid by the accused.
Many people are accused of being in possession of drugs yearly, and the rate is quite alarming. The worst of all is that they fully know that drug possession is a crime which the law holds as a serious offense, yet, they indulge in it. These drugs are mostly controlled substances which may be found in small amounts in their cars, wallets, purses, houses, or anywhere at all.
Drug Possession – A Serious Offense?
There are drugs which have been listed as controlled substances. These drugs may have benefits of treating certain illnesses and helping with some human functions. However, they are also dangerous in a way, as they have a high potential for abuse and addiction. It is in this regard that the federal and state laws have put them on a list of controlled substances. Anyone found in possession of such drugs can be said to have defaulted and is prone to face the law with a drug possession charge.
Those that have been given drug possession charges usually face trial, in which their actions will be deliberated on by the court, and punishment leashed out to them. It is usually done based on the amount you are found with, which is measured in grams. If it is a simple conviction, in which a person is found with a little or substantial amount of drug, the charges may be less. If a person, on the other hand, is found with a large supply of the drugs, probably he or she is distributing to other people or is a manufacturer, then such a person would be given serious charges based on the action. The penalty or punishment given is usually a jail term and fine, according to the severity of the crime. It ranges from a fine of fewer than 100 dollars and a few days in jail to thousands of dollars and so many years in jail.
Degrees Of Drug Possession
Simple Drug Possession: This is the minority and simplest form of drug possession. Here, the accused was probably found with little amounts of the drug
Drug Distribution and Manufacture: Here, the accused was found with large amounts of the drug, with the intent to distribute it to other people. In this way, the possession of such drugs has been encouraged by the person, which is a very serious offense and cannot be allowed to slide easily.
Penalties For Drug Possession In Louisiana
The penalties and punishment for people charged with drug possession differ from state to state. Some states consider some drugs as more harmful than the others, and all these contribute to the charges.
However, in Louisiana, the federal classification of drugs and schedules is being used. The laws acknowledge that not all drugs are illegal, as some can be used to treat certain illnesses. These drugs, however, need a legal medical prescription before a person can be allowed to use it, else such a person will be charged with drug possession.
The following is a list of the drug schedules in the order of its harmful effects to the human body:
Schedule I Controlled Substances
The drugs found in this category are not used for any medical purpose at all. They are harmful to the body and should not be found on anyone residing in Louisiana. They have a high potentiality to abuse and addiction also. They include:
Hallucinogens eg psilocybin
Schedule II Controlled Substances
The drugs in this category are not all harmful, they may be used to treat some illnesses, but needed legal backing to be in possession of. They include:
Schedule III Controlled Substances
The drugs in this category do not have high potentiality for abuse and addiction compared to the drugs in the first two sections. They are also used for medical purposes. The drugs in this category are:
These are just a few examples as there are so many drugs on the list of scheduled controlled substances.
After You've Been Arrested For Possession
After a person found in the possession of a drug has been arrested, it is decided if there should be a trial or not. If there is a need, the arraignment date is fixed. There may be a bail process, where the person can come from home to all of the court’s proceedings. In this case, the accused is not supposed to fail to show up on any court date.
How We Help With Your Drug Possession Charge In New Orleans
Drug possession charges are very serious offenses punishable by law. As such, the accused need to get a good drug possession lawyer in New Orleans.
If you ever have to face a drug possession case in Orleans Parish District Court or New Orleans Municipal Court, a drug defense lawyer from the Barkemeyer Law Firm might just be the right choice for you, as we have only well-experienced lawyers who try their best to ensure that all our clients are given a fair trial. We try as much as possible to defend you in every way possible, which may lead to the reduction of your charges and sentence or a total drop of your case.
We will help guide you all through the processes of your trial while giving you legal advice, and also letting you know the severity of your crime. You may also be advised to go for a drug test if it is needed. Above all, working with us will be a nice experience because we give our all.
Therefore, contact us today for your drug possession case in New Orleans, Louisiana.
More Info on Drug Possession in New Orleans
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This could easily be the moment in your life where, depending on what you do, could be the difference between living a fulfilling life and being stuck at the bottom of society for the rest of your days.
When you get arrested for drug possession, it’s a serious thing that requires serious, professional attention.
Whether you’ve gotten arrested for drug possession before or if this is your first offense, it’s important to understand the process and your options moving forward.
Charged With Drug Possession: Next Steps
Maybe you’ve never come here before, maybe it’s starting to feel routine for you. Regardless, getting arrested, hearing your rights get read to you, is no fun feeling.
The process that follows can be long and grueling, beginning with booking, and hopefully ending in your freedom.
Remember, even if your circumstances don’t look great, it is important to remember you have the presumption of innocence – something the prosecutor must overcome in order to convict you of anything.
In essence, this means that you must get proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Each element of the charge of drug possession must get proven.
What To Do From The Moment You’re Arrested
You have the right to remain silent: this is something the friendly police officer arresting you will inform you as he slaps cuffs around your wrists way too tight.
You would be well advised to stay cool, stay calm, and exercise that right. Why?
Because anything you say to any authorities from that moment forward can, and will, get used against you to bolster the prosecution’s case.
To that end, it is equally important to not have any violent outbursts or make any threats during the arrest. This can just result in secondary charges such as resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, or obstruction of justice.
It also helps to remain calm because, let’s face it, it isn’t like cops get known for their gentle demeanor.
Once you get to the police station, you get what is commonly known as “your one phone call”.
Now is the time to really consider who will come through for you when you’re in a bind.
If nobody you know picks up the phone that reliably, it’s always a great idea to know the contact information of a defense attorney for situations exactly like this.
It is after all of this that you will typically get arraigned, where bail will be set, you will get released on your own recognizance, or you will remain in custody until your case gets completed.
Possession Of What, Exactly?
There are two different kinds of possession: constructive and actual.
Actual possession involves the drugs getting found on you or your person physically. Constructive possession, however, gets charged when drugs get found not on you physically, but you’re thought to have known where they were and that you could have control over them if you desired.
It is important to remember that not all illegal drugs get treated equally under the law.
There are various classifications of drugs, which carry differing penalties depending on what it is, what form it’s in, and the quantity it’s in.
Schedule I Drugs
Schedule I drugs are the most restrictive, most illicit drugs according to the United States government.
They are considered to have absolutely no medical value.
These drugs include the likes of marijuana, heroin, LSD, and more.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II drugs differ from their Schedule I companions because unlike Schedule I, the government considers them to have some recognized medical purposes.
Drugs in Schedule II include medications such as oxycodone, cocaine, methamphetamine, and others.
Schedule III Drugs
Schedule III drugs are unlikely to get abused and therefore also carry the lower penalties for drug possession.
These kinds of drugs include ketamine, steroids, and Vicodin, to name a few.
Schedule IV Drugs
The second-lowest classification of drugs, Schedule IV includes mostly prescription medications considered not likely to get misused.
These include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan, among others.
Schedule V Drugs
The lowest level of drug classifications, these medicines are thought to have extremely low possibility of getting abused.
These include low level narcotics and other similar drugs such as antidiarrheals and cough medications with limited amounts of codeine.
Other Factors Involved In Drug Possession
Drug possession can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the drug involved, as described above, and on other factors, including:
- Whether the drug is found near a school grounds
- Whether the drug is found in the presence of a minor
- Whether this is your first time offending or have priors
Schedule I drugs are likely to face felony charges if you are charged with possession of such drugs.
Schedule II can be a felony too, depending on the amount in possession, and if they want to charge you with an intent to distribute as well.
Naturally, felony charges will result in a much steeper penalty than if you have a misdemeanor charge.
Defending Yourself Against Possession Charges
Whatever drug possession charge you have, it is a daunting road in front of you.
However, there are ways to successfully defend yourself against such charges.
While coming up with adequate defenses is best left to an attorney specializing in drug charges, sometimes you can show certain things such as lack of knowledge of the drugs being near you, or lack of knowledge of the drugs at all.
It is also important to consider any wrongful searches the police may have conducted. If your constitutional or civil rights were violated, this could be grounds for dismissal.
Get Help With Your Criminal Case
While drug possession is a serious charge, with the right help, it can be reduced or even beaten.
Contact the best lawyer in the Baton Rouge area today to discuss your criminal case.
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Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers
Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.