You must ensure that you are adequately equipped to take on a criminal charge, especially one like possession of a firearm with drugs in Louisiana. You need to have all the needful information and help, a guide like this is the step in the right direction to getting the right outcome in your case. We are going to discuss what it means to possess a firearm with drugs under La RS 14:95 E, its elements, penalties, possible defenses, and who to contact when you are faced with this.
Meaning of Possession of Firearm with Drugs in Louisiana
This crime is regulated by Illegal Carrying of Weapons under La RS 14:95 E. It provides the definition and penalties for this crime. Possession of Firearm with Drugs means:
- It is illegality to have within your control any weapon or firearm that is dangerous or can be used as a firearm would be used. While having within your immediate control a firearm, attempting to commit or committing a crime violently you also have in your control a dangerous substance that is controlled by law, this constitution the offense of possession of a firearm with drugs.
- Also, when you are unlawfully selling or distributing a controlled drug substance you are carrying a weapon or firearm, you could be guilty of this charge.
There must always be the possession of these items together for the charge to succeed. It becomes a different crime if one is possessed and the other is not.
Elements of Possession of Firearm with Drugs
These are the things that must be proven before the prosecutor’s case can succeed and you would be convicted. These are:
- The defendant was in possession of drugs or a controlled dangerous substance.
- While in possession of the drugs or controlled dangerous substance, the defendant is also in possession of a firearm or weapon that could be classified as a firearm.
- The defendant knew they were in possession of the firearm and drugs at the same time.
- The defendant did all of this intentionally, willingly, and knowingly.
- The acts of the defendant did not fall within any legal exceptions for the crime.
When these elements converge the prosecutor can prove their case and land a conviction, however, if you have a competent defense attorney Mr. Barkemeyer then you would stand a chance of defending yourself and staying out of prison.
Penalties for Possession of Firearm with Drugs in St. Tammany Parish District Court
Every crime has penalties and once you are convicted you would face one or more of these penalties:
- A fine of not more than 10,000 dollars, imprisonment for at least 5 years, and a maximum of ten years without or with hard labor. This penalty cannot be suspended, the defendant cannot get probation or parole.
- If you are convicted a second time the penalties exponentially increase, the term of imprisonment becomes at least 20 years and a maximum of 30 years, with hard labor. There are no chances of parole or probation.
- You get a criminal record for life and this can reduce the quality of your life.
- A ban throughout your from ever owning or carrying a firearm.
No matter your resolve penalties like these can be hell on earth but you can prevent these by getting the right defense attorney in your case.
Defenses for Possession of Firearm with Drugs
This crime is a serious one and the charge is usually steep, even though this is the case there are still defenses that can be used by an experienced defense attorney to mitigate or prevent the possibility of you being convicted and sentenced. The defenses used in a case greatly depends on the particular facts of that case. The defense can lean heavily on the inability of the prosecutor to prove possession of the firearm or the drugs or both, a seasoned defense attorney would know the right combination of defenses to use in a case depending on the facts of that case.
Some possible defenses are:
- Lack of knowledge: if a person charged possession of a firearm with drugs did not know they were in possession of these things at the same time a conviction is highly implausible to secure. This is a viable defense that would go to the heart of the charge.
- The drugs or purported controlled dangerous substance that was found was not a substance controlled by the laws of the state: this defense would make the case of the prosecutor fail.
- Lack of Firearm: if there was no firearm in possession of the defendant and what the prosecutor would classify as a firearm did not fall under the classification of the law for firearms then the defendant would not be convicted, this might lead to a charge of simple possession of drugs or controlled dangerous substance.
- Fruit of the poisonous tree: this is a defense that leads to the exclusion of all evidence in a criminal trial that was acquired by the prosecutor through illegality such as an illegal search. The evidence becomes inadmissible and the defendant could go free if there is not enough evidence to sustain the charge. Your defense attorney can use this defense if the police search you or your house illegally.
- Exception: there are some situations that are exempted by law therefor if you fall within these categories you might have a viable defense. An example of such a circumstance is if the drug you possess is marijuana and it is 14 grams or less.
No matter the combination of defenses you use, you need a vibrant defense attorney like Carl Barkemeyer to handle your case.
Contact Barkemeyer Law Firm for your Possession of Firearm with Drugs Charge
If you or anyone you know is facing a charge of possession of a firearm with drugs in St. Tammany Parish, it is important to get an experienced criminal attorney that can help defend you to avoid the potential horrendous penalties of being convicted for possession of a firearm with drugs.
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Covington, LA 70433