Criminal Attorneys & DWI Lawyers in Covington, New Orleans, and Shreveport Louisiana
Possession With Intent To Distribute Drugs in Baton Rouge
What Is Considered Possession, Sale, Distribution and Intent to Distribute Unlawful Drugs?
Drug possession, sale, distribution, and intent to distribute are all drug crimes punishable under the Louisiana law. These crimes constitute a drug crime punishable under the Louisiana state law as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Drug crime in Louisiana is generally taken as a crime that warrants punishment. When charged with any of the offenses that make up drug crimes, it is important that you seek the legal assistance of a defense attorney to put you through and help you understand what your case is about.
What is considered as Possession of drugs?
Possession charges occur when a person knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled dangerous substance. Possession can be actual or constructive. Actual possession is when the drugs are found on the person of the offender, such as in his pocket or cigarette pack.
Possession of drugs is having custody and control of drugs or substances generally known as illegal. A person can be charged for possession of a drug if they have illegal drugs on them or within their control. Possession of drug is the first element of all drug crimes. You can be charged for possession of drugs for having the illegal drug in your pocket, car or apartment. Once the substance is in your control, you can as well be considered as the owner.
However, for a drug possession charge to be valid, the individual must be aware that the drugs are present. If you had no idea that illegal drugs were in your apartment or car or in a wallet that was found on you but doesn’t belong to you, that can make a great line of defense. Also, if you have a controlled drug on you without a valid prescription, charges can be pressed against you.
The two major types of possession of drug charges are actual possession and constructive possession. An actual possession charge is when illegal drug is found on the offender. With constructive possession, the illegal drug might not be on the offender but in a place where they have control over, for example, a locker or vehicle- even if the drug wasn’t found on you, you can still be charged for possession.
What is considered as Intent to distribute?
Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute can also be referred to as the intent to sell. This makes the second element of a drug crime. This simply means that the offender does not only possess the drugs but also has an intent to sell to other people. This is a very big criminal offense in Louisiana and you can do better for yourself by getting a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge to defend your case.
Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute is usually proven by circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence to prove that a person possesses illegal drugs with the intent to sell is the quantity of the drug. If the quantity of drugs found in a person’s custody is way beyond what can pass for personal use, such a person can be charged with possession with the intent to distribute. Drug paraphernalia used for packaging, weighing, and distribution of a drug can also be another circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence can be gotten if the offender sells directly to a police officer or as evidence from the buyers.
It is not necessary that a person has sold anything before they can be charged with the intent to distribute. The fact that they have a large amount that is beyond personal use and they are planning to sell or distribute to others even if they are doing it for free. As long as it can be proven that your mental attention was directed towards selling illegal drugs.
What is considered as drug distribution?
Days distribution can also be called drug trafficking. It involves the manufacturing and distribution of controlled substances. Drug distribution or trafficking law in Louisiana is against the selling, transportation, and import of unlawful control dangerous substance. Anyone caught engaging in drug distribution and trafficking will be facing the harshness of the law. This crime attracts a harsher penalty, which is why you need the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Baton Rouge.
Drug distribution or trafficking crime also applies to the illegal distribution and circulation of prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and pain killers. Most of these drugs usually involve pharmaceutical opiates and hydrocodone products.
What are Drug crime penalties?
Drug crimes are taken seriously under Louisiana state law. These crimes are either punished as a misdemeanor or a felony. Simple possession of drugs may be charged as a misdemeanor, especially if it is the first offense. The severity can then increase depending on the schedule of the substance the defendant is caught with.
Possession of drugs with the intent to sell is usually treated as a felony especially if the drug is a Schedule I drug. If other aggravating factors are present, the offender tends to face harsher punishment.
Drug distribution/trafficking is a felony offense punishable by payment of fine or incarceration in jail or both. Penalty for drug distribution is based on the quantity of the drug and the Schedule of the drug. The penalty of illegal distribution of a drug in Schedule I will be harsher than the illegal distribution of drugs in Schedule IV or V. Also, the larger the number of drugs, the harsher the punishment.
Aggravating factors for drug crimes
An offender may face heightened sentence if any of these aggravating factors are present in their case:
- The schedule of drug been distributed
- Prior drug arrest history
- Distribution while armed
- Sale of drugs to a minor or on school grounds
- If children were involved
What You Shouldn’t Do When You Are Arrested
When you do some things, you may end up worsening the case.
Not talking 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.
Constructive Possession of Drugs in Louisiana
Constructive possession is when the drugs are not physically on him, yet, it can be proven that he was in possession of the drug. Circumstantial evidence will be used by the prosecutor to show that the defendant knowingly or intentionally possessed the drug although it was not on his person. For example, the defendant may be in constructive possession of drugs if they were found in his bag, in the trunk of his vehicle, in the glove compartment, or anywhere near him. The court will consider if the defendant had dominion of control of the substance.
Joint Possession of Drugs in Louisiana
It possibly for more than one person to be in joint drug possession of a controlled substance, as well. Joint drug possession cases may arise when drugs are found in a vehicle that multiple people occupy during an arrest. The officer may question all individuals as to who the drugs belong to. Sometimes, one individual will claim full ownership. That can result in the officer only arresting that individual. However, if the officer doesn’t believe him, he may arrest all individuals for joint possession. Your Louisiana drug defense attorney will know how to make arguments that may combat joint possession charges.
Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs in Baton Rouge
Possession with intent to distribute drugs is when the offender allegedly possesses a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute that substance. Circumstantial evidence will be used, quite often, to prove this charge. For instance, the presence of empty baggies, guns, scales, cash, and individually packaged drugs can be evidence of possession with intent to distribute.
Drug Distribution in Baton Rouge
Drug distribution is known as drug dealing, or the sale of narcotics. Many times, the buyer gets picked up for possession and decides to help the police to set up the distributor. However, there are other forms of distribution, such as a college student giving an Adderall Pill to his roommate. That is technically dispensing a narcotic without a valid prescription, which is distribution. The exchange of money is not necessary.
Try to Beat Your Baton Rouge Drug Charge
There can be overlap between drug distribution, possession with intent to distribute and drug possession charges. The specific facts must be analyzed by the criminal attorney to determine applicable defenses. Depending on your case, there may be good legal or factual defenses that you are unaware of that your drug charge lawyer can pick determine. Even if you think you have a bad case ant that your only option is to plead guilty to your drug charge, get us on board to help.
Lawyer for Drug Charge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you have a drug possession or drug distribution charge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contact us at (225) 964-6720. 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.
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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.