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Crack-cocaine is one of the most infamous and popular drugs in the world, including the United States of America. Its usage has been on the rise both in Louisiana and the nation as a whole. Unfortunately, the narcotic is very dangerous and it can lead to very unhealthy physical and mental side effects, and also becomes quite addictive. It is a pervasive drug that is commonly abused by both chronic drug addicts as well as recreational users that are looking for a new fix. The consequences for being charged with a crack offense are very severe and can cause a huge disruption in the life of the offender as well as their family. If you were recently charged with a crack-cocaine offense in Louisiana and more specifically Denham Springs, then read on to find out more info and see how Carl Barkemeyer, drug defense lawyer, can help you through the process.
Crack is a very specific type of cocaine, so first to understand crack you must understand where cocaine comes from and how it’s made. Cocaine is a is a very strong stimulant that is made from coca leaves (Erythroxylon coca), which is a type of plant indigenous to South America. The highly potent chemical “cocaine hydrochloride” is withdrawn from the plant and crystallized, which forms the infamous white powder that is so widely known as cocaine. Originally used as a pain-blocker (and even a consumable ingredient in early Coca-Cola® products), cocaine still has medical uses as a local anesthetic during surgeries. Today, cocaine is a schedule II narcotic, as determined by the federal law, which shows that it has medical uses but it is also highly addictive at the same time.
So then what is crack and how is it made from cocaine? A type of water-soluble cocaine base called freebase cocaine which is combined with baking soda and water during crystallization then is heated. This crystallization and heating procedure removes the hydrochloride and creates a smokable substance commonly known as crack. Crack-cocaine became very popular in the inner-cities of impoverished communities in the mid-1980s and has steadily rose in popularity over the years, including in Livingston Parish and Louisiana as a whole.
Because the charges of possessing crack-cocaine are so severe, the punishments that follow it can also be quite harsh, including extended prison time very high fees that must be paid. Crack is designated as a schedule II drug by the federal government and therefore can be very detrimental to your future and your family’s future, even if you are considered a first-time offender. If you are caught possessing 28 grams or less of crack, then you could be sentenced for up to 5 years of prison time and a fine of up to $5,000. If you are charged with selling crack or the intent to sell crack, you could incur up to 30 years in prison with hard labor and/or a fine of up to $50,000. The most serious offense involved with crack is being charged with trafficking crack, which could lead to life imprisonment, sometimes without the possibility of parole.
Before 2010, crack-related charges were actually more severe and handed out more often than charges for cocaine, even though they are quite similar and crack is a type of cocaine. However, the Fair Sentencing Act was passed in 2010 that helped to reduce the disparity in the charges for these two drugs and aimed to provide more recovery alternatives as opposed to the increased, strict legal punishments. Before the Act was passed, crack was punished at a weight ratio of 1:100 which meant even the smallest amounts of crack could lead to stringent punishments. After the act, the weight ratio was reduced to 1:18, so possessing larger amounts of crack were not charged as harshly as before. This means that crack-cocaine is still punished more severely than powdered cocaine, but not as much as it used to be.
The short answer is yes, there are alternatives to the strict punishments in Livingston Parish and Louisiana. In fact, treatment and recovery have been proven to be better alternatives than prison and punishment because they help prior addicts to defeat their addiction and become productive, successful parts of the society once again. However, these alternatives to punishment can be hard to come by and require legal help from a tough, experienced drug defense lawyer like Carl Barkemeyer. He has worked with many clients in the Denham Springs area of Louisiana and is ready to help you fight your crack charges and get on the road to recovery. Mr. Barkemeyer works alongside drug treatment counselors and treatment facilities to help our clients succeed personally and get the best result in their drug case so that they may return to their regular lives and families and continue their recovery instead of going to prison. If you have been sentenced with crack-cocaine charges, give us a call so we may assist you in finding alternatives to your prison sentence and help you build a more positive future in the long run.
Crack-cocaine is a very pervasive problem in the state of Louisiana and the nation as a whole. The sentencing for a crack charge in Denham Springs can be very tough, even for a first-time offender. It is imperative you find an experienced crack defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of criminal law in Livingston Parish and can help you reduce jail time if you are convicted of crack-related crimes. Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney is a professional, experienced, and respected lawyer who will help you fight the tough drug laws in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. If you’ve been charged with possession, selling, or manufacturing and trafficking of crack-cocaine, don’t hesitate to call a criminal attorney at (225) 964-6720.