How to Beat a Drug Charge in Louisiana
The way to beat a drug charge in Louisiana is to have a good defense. The legality of the police officer’s investigation is the first defense we consider. The defendant has constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure. If the officer violated those rights, we attempt to prove this at a suppression hearing before trial. If the judge believes the search and/or seizure was illegal, he may order the evidence to be suppressed from use at trial. Many times, this can make the prosecutor’s case fall apart, which can lead to a dismissal.
Evidence suppression is a very common defense to drug charges, assuming the defendant’s rights were violated at some point by law enforcement. If the police have conducted a completely legal investigation, then the issue becomes whether the state can prove the alleged facts at trial.
Regarding possession, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knowingly or intentionally possessed the drugs. The most common defense on the facts is that the drugs belonged to someone else. The defendant can assert that he did not even know of the existence of the drugs. For instance, the defendant is a driver of a vehicle. He picks up a friend who is carrying a kilo of heroin in is backpack that is thrown in the backseat. Subsequently, a traffic stop is conducted, police consent-search the vehicle and find the drugs. Both the driver and passenger are arrested. The driver will argue that the bag was not his, he had no dominion of control over the bag or its contents, and he was not aware of the contents of the bag.
Another common defense to possession of drugs is that the defendant knew they were there, but the drugs did not belong to him. Given the facts above, let’s assume the passenger got into the car with the backpack. The driver asked the passenger, “What’s in your bag?” The passenger told him that heroin was in the bag. The driver knew drugs were in his vehicle. However, the driver was not in possession of the drugs because they did not belong to him. In fact, if he took the drugs from the passenger, the passenger would be very upset. Therefore, the driver had no dominion of control.
Compare this scenario to when a lady passenger with a purse gets into a vehicle with a driver. The driver is not now in possession of the lady’s purse and the contents. If she tells him that lipstick is in the purse, that does not mean the lipstick now belongs to the driver. What if she tells him that cocaine is in the purse?
A defense to possession with intent to distribute is that the defendant possessed the drugs, but did not intend to distribute; it was his personal drugs. Important facts to consider here are the amount of drugs, whether scales, baggies, guns, and/or cash would be introduced at trial. If those items will not be offered, the defense may work.
It may be beneficial to the client to make the argument that although he possessed the drugs, it was not with intent to distribute. This argument would be made when it is not possible to beat the facts on possession. It is better for the defendant to get convicted of possession instead of possession with intent to distribute. The difference in the sentencing range is quite drastic. Many times, possession with intent to distribute carries mandatory jail time.
How to Handle and Deal with A Drug Charge in Louisiana
The most ideal way to handle or deal with a drug charge in Louisiana is to have an experienced and well-trained defense attorney represent you in court. Surprisingly, there are certain legally approved ways to handle drug charges in Louisiana but most people are not aware of these ways. The main reason to have your case handled by a well-trained and experienced criminal defense attorney is to ensure that you do not see the four walls of a prison cell. In addition to that, the negative effects that come with spending even a day behind bars will definitely affect your personal and professional life in a way that you never imagined. Not only do you have your case recorded on the federal and state criminal record, but your chances of getting that job you want also becomes slim. If you are applying for a loan to kick-start your business or any project, your chances of having your application approved are reduced to the barest minimum.
Legality of The Report
When you hire an experienced and well-trained defense attorney, the first way your case is handled is by investigating the legality of the report of the police officer in charge of the case. This report would have to be considered by the defense attorney as you still have constitutional rights which would have to be taken into consideration. The duty of the defense lawyer would be to find out if the police officer violated your constitutional rights in the process of the arrest. If the defense lawyer finds out that the rights have been violated by the police officer within the course of the arrest, a suppression hearing will take place before the main trial. In the event that the judge sees that the seizure and search case is illegal, it may be ordered that it is suppressed from being presented at court. Most of the times, when cases like this are brought up, the case of the prosecutor will fall apart and can, in turn, lead to a dismissal. This is one of the best and most efficient ways to deal with a drug case charge in Louisiana. To accomplish this, you will need to hire an experienced and well-trained defense attorney that is capable of conducting a thorough investigation to find out if the search and seizure process is illegal.
Not Aware of The Drugs
When it comes to the possession of drugs and other drug-related items, the prosecutor may argue that you were in possession of it intentionally. In this case, the best way to handle or deal with it is to show proof that the drug found in your possession is not yours and that it belongs to someone else. In addition to that, your defense lawyer may argue that you may not be aware that the drug is in your possession. To explain this better, we’ll use an example. Let’s say you are a driver and you pick up a friend that has in his possession about a kilo or more of heroin and have it placed in the back of the car seat. In situations like this, if a search is carried out by an officer and drug is found, you and your friend would be arrested and charged with a drug case. Your defense lawyer in a situation like this may argue that the drug found in your vehicle is not yours and that you were not aware that your friend had it in his possession. This is another way to conveniently and efficiently deal with a drug case in Louisiana.
Drugs Does Not Belong to You
Another fine way to deal with this case is to argue that the defendant (you) is aware that the drug was kept in your vehicle but it does not belong to you. To better argue for this case, your defense lawyer may use an example. Let’s say as a driver, your passenger is in possession of or other unlawful drugs, you simply cannot tell him or her to do away with it. While you are aware that the drug is in your vehicle, it is not yours and so cannot be charged with a drug case. The defense lawyer may argue that you cannot take the drug away from the passenger as it would be rude and disrespectful to do so. Since this is the case, you have no dominion over the passenger and so cannot be charged with a drug case.
Another case that may be brought up by the prosecutor is that the defendant had the intent to distribute or share the drug with others. Your defense lawyer would argue against that and to further prove that your intent was not to distribute, the amount of drug, cash, and other items in your possession will be taken into consideration. In tight situations, it is advised that you argue that while you were in possession of the drug, your intent was not to distribute rather for personal use. This is simply because it is far better to be convicted for possession of drugs than to be convicted for possession and intent to distribute.
Not Talking to The Police
This should be on top of your list immediately you are caught by the Police. When you talk to the officers, you may end up saying incriminating things. You may end up saying words that show that you are guilty. As much as you can, you want it seem like you didn’t know that the drugs existed. You want to act like you were framed. Try not to act like you are guilty. If you can, act like you are shocked. This will work in your advantage. If you must talk, deny existence of the drugs. Don’t say anything else about the drugs. The police officer may want you to say other things, in a bid to incriminate you. The officer may try to provoke you to say words that you will regret saying. No matter the psychological tricks they try to play on you, keep mute. It helps your chances.
Getting the Best Drug Defense Attorney in Louisiana
To ensure that you make use any of these ways to handle your drug case, there’s every reason for you to hire an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney to represent you in court. You will find it surprising to know that one of the best and most experienced defense attorneys in the country, Carl Barkemeyer has extended his service to those in Louisiana.
At the Barkemeyer Law Firm, we have a team of well-trained, experienced, and knowledgeable defense attorneys that are capable of making use of any of these ways to argue in your favor. When it comes to carrying out investigations, our team of attorneys are up to the task. Once you are charged with this case, it is best you contact us as fast as possible. While we do not guarantee you success, our team of well-trained and experienced defense attorneys will do their best to help you out.
If you need a drug possession attorney for your drug charge in Louisiana, contact us. We handle drug possession charges anywhere in Louisiana.