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How Many Arrests for Drug Crimes in Louisiana?

Louisiana is one of the states in the US witnessing drug crime epidemic. Over time, the rate of drug crimes in Louisiana has slightly reduced due to the extremely harsh drug law in this part of the world. According to the FBI, the statistics of drug abusers have dropped compared to what it was some years back. Drug crime has been in a leading category in the chart of criminal acts in Louisiana. Drug crimes so closely followed by weapon charges.

A large percentage of people in jails and prisons are charged for drug crimes. Generally, we could say that drug crimes are the most common crimes in Louisiana for which people are convicted in jails and prisons. Information from the FBI shows that there are about 400 arrests per 100,000 people in the population. In every 10 arrests made, at least one is for a drug crime, which is something around 1.25 million arrests in a year.

Drug crimes related to marijuana possession and sales is the most common drug crime in Louisiana. Most marijuana consumed in Louisiana is smuggled in across the Southwest Border. Law enforcement authorities in rural areas have also found some local independent growers and primary distributors while law enforcement authorities in Baton Rouge and other cities in Louisiana arrest street gangs who are the primary distributors of marijuana in the city.

Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in the state and a lot of people, especially the young are been charged for this daily. A survey carried out in 1999 shows that over 40% of the population tried marijuana in their lifetime (46% happened to be males and 35% are females). In the same survey, it was found that 10% of the people had tried marijuana before getting to age 13 (13% of males and 7% of females were found in this).

In Louisiana, the marijuana abuse rate is found to be slightly lower compared to other states. Marijuana as the most readily available drug in Louisiana sells by pounds between $500 and $1,000. A large ton of marijuana is reported to be regularly transported throughout Baton Rouge with the largest of the shipment to the east and north of Louisiana. The USCS reports an increasing rate in the number of seizures and the number of marijuana seized along the Southwest border from Mexico to Louisiana.

Drug crimes in Louisiana involve other drugs including Adderall, cocaine and crack, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, Xanax, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, etc.

Types of drug crime you can be arrested and charged for in Louisiana

Possession of Drugs

This is the most common drug crime in which anyone can be arrested and charged for in Louisiana. Possession of drug offense involves being in custody of controlled substances or drugs generally found to be illegal due to the effects they exert on the user. Before a person is charged for possession of drugs, the prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant intentionally possesses a controlled substance, have a quantity that can pass for personal use or intent to sell, and absence of a valid prescription.

Charges for drug possession could be for simple possession or possession with an intent to distribute. The difference between the two charges is the amount of the substance the defendant possesses at the point of arrest. Smaller amounts are usually charged as a misdemeanor while a larger amount can be charged as a felony.

Distribution and Trafficking

Drug charges related to distribution and trafficking involves the selling, delivering, or provision of illegal drugs and controlled substances. This charge applies to a person who tries to sell drugs to another person. A person who sells or traffic drugs can be rat out if he tries to sell to an undercover officer.

Some of the factors put into consideration for arrest for distribution include the location where the defendant was caught and the criminal history of the defendant. A sentence generally ranges from 3 years, fine or life in prison.


An individual can be charged for playing a part in the cultivation and manufacture of controlled substances. Cultivation crime involves growing, processing or producing compounds or elements to make illegal controlled substances. These elements may include marijuana plants, cannabis seeds, etc. Any person involved in the production or manufacturing of control substances through chemical processes can be arrested and charged for committing drug crimes in Louisiana. Cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine are substances that can be made in the laboratory through chemical processes.

Drug Paraphernalia

An individual found with drug paraphernalia such as pipes, hypodermic needles, cut straw, bones, baggies, grinders, scales, etc, can be charged for the distribution of drugs. Possession of drug paraphernalia more proves that such a person may be a distributor of drugs. Residue on these objects can also be some factors used in determining whether an object is used to process drugs.

The Common Mistakes People Make When Arrested for A Drug Charge Crime

When someone is arrested for a drug charge crime in Louisiana, we have noticed a mistake that they make. This mistake has led a lot of them to be imprisoned, even when they are innocent. The mistake is the fact that they decide to talk to the authorities or the officers that arrested them without their drug attorney in Baton Rouge present. You see them saying incriminating words that end up putting nails in their coffin. They may think that they are trying to prove their innocence but they are making it easy for the prosecutor and the police to build up a case. At the end when they realize what has been done, they call an attorney to salvage the case, which may be too late. To save yourself from this, it is advisable that you contact an attorney immediately you are arrested.

Another mistake is using an attorney from outside the states. It is important to note that an attorney in Louisiana may do well in a drug case in another state. Use only attorneys that know the law and practice of the state.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Louisiana

Drug crime in Louisiana has gotten much attention over time. The state law prohibits the possession, manufacture, and distribution of drugs including marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine in Baton Rouge and the entire cities and towns in Louisiana. 

Drug crime is either charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and this depends on factors and circumstances attached. A first offender arrested for possession of drugs may be charged for a misdemeanor while a person who has a criminal history is charged for a felony offense. Payment of fines may also be attached for both misdemeanor and felony offense in Louisiana.

The most important thing to do when charged for a criminal offense is to hire the service of a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge to represent you if you have to face trial.

Louisiana Drug Arrest Statistics

Similar to the rest of the country, drug possession arrests in Louisiana skyrocketed in the mid-2000s. The drug possession rate has since fallen slightly, according to the FBI, hovering around 400 arrests per 100,000 people. According to the FBI, more than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year. In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.  If you have a drug charge and need a drug crime defense attorney in Louisiana, contact us.  We handle drug charges anywhere in Louisiana.

Marijuana Arrests in Louisiana

The way marijuana possession is treated in Louisiana is undergoing some change. Every jurisdiction and municipality seem to treat the prosecution a little differently.  Nevertheless, marijuana is still illegal to possess without a valid recommendation from a physician. In fact, the form of marijuana that can be smoked cannot even be recommended by a physician.  Police officers will still give out tickets or misdemeanor summons for simple possession of marijuana in Louisiana.

Possession with intent to distribute marijuana or possession of marijuana in a very large amount is a felony and the police must arrest the defendant if probable cause exists.  Police still make many arrests of individuals who are transporting large amounts of marijuana in or through Louisiana.  If you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession, contact our criminal defense attorneys at (225) 964-6720 for help.

Heroin Arrests in Louisiana

Heroin and other opioids have created quite a problem in Louisiana in recent years.  The influx of heroin in Louisiana has led to many deaths and arrests.  Our law firm has represented many clients charged with possession of heroin as well as possession with intent to distribute heroin and heroin distribution.  Distribution of heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin is taken very seriously by Louisiana prosecutors.  These charges carry hefty sentences and must be taken very seriously.  We are lawyers for heroin charges in Louisiana that know how to defend these charges and get the best results for our clients.

Prescription Pills Arrests in Louisiana

Commonly seen are the arrest for the possession of pills in Louisiana.  The pills we see sold on the street a lot are benzodiazepams and opioids.  The pills are commonly sold along with other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.  When an arrest is made, the officer will first examine the pill to predetermine what the pill could be.  Many officers carry a pill book that describes the color and markings of the pill so he can identify the pill.  The officer will then know what charge to book the defendant under according to the proper schedule.  The police officer will then confiscate the pills and send to a lab for testing to determine the actual illegal drug in the pill.  The possession of pills without a prescription in Louisiana is a felony offense.  The type of pill determines the sentencing range.  We know how to help our clients with pill possession charges even if they think they have a bad case.  

Lawyer for Drug Possession in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

If you have a drug possession arrest in Louisiana and need a criminal defense lawyer, contact us.  We are lawyers for drug charges anywhere in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Port Allen, Livingston, Denham Springs, Ascension, Gonzales, Tangipahoa, Amite, Hammond, Covington, Slidell, St. Tammany, and more.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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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.

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