Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Arrest
If you have been arrested for a drug charge in Louisiana, then you may be looking for some information to help you learn about the process ahead. This page is dedicated to informing you as much as possible regarding drug charges and defense in Louisiana. If you need the help of a criminal defense attorney for your drug charge in New Orleans or anywhere else in Louisiana, contact us at 985-888-0009.
When Do You Need a Drug Charge Lawyer?
It is not always easy to determine if you need the services of a New Orleans drug charge defense lawyer or New Orleans drug attorney. Drug lawyers provide a variety of services.
You need a drug charge lawyer if any of the following apply:
– If you have been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor drug charge.
– If you have been given a summons. for possession of marijuana.
– If you have been formally charged by the District Attorney
– If you have been arrested but given no court date, you need a drug lawyer because the court date could be coming after the DA bills the case.
– Anybody who is under investigation by state or federal law agencies for a drug charge should have the assistance of counsel.
– If you feel that you may be the target of a drug investigation.
Contact local New Orleans drug charge lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm to discuss your drug charge.
More Information on Drug Charges in Louisiana:
|Creation of Meth Lab|
|Felony Drug Charges|
|Misdemeanor Drug Charges|
|Obtaining Pills by Fraud|
|Possession with Intent|
Will I go to jail for drug possession?
The answer depends on the specific drug charge you are prosecuted for, the amount of drugs, and your criminal background. The drug statutes are listed below. Take a look to see if you can find your scheduled drug statute. For more information, give us a call.
What is a CDS?
CDS stands for controlled dangerous substance. There are five types of CDS in Louisiana. The schedule a drug is listed in is based on the potential for abuse of that specific drug. Some common schedule 1 drugs are heroin and marijuana. Common schedule 2 drugs are cocaine and crack. Xanax is a schedule 4 drug. Steroids are schedule 5 CDS in Louisiana.
What is the difference between Possession, Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs?
Illegal possession charges occur when a person knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled dangerous substance without a valid prescription. Possession can be actual or constructive. Actual possession is when the drugs are found actually on the defendant.
Constructive possession is when the drugs are not physically on him, yet, he still has control and ownership of the drugs. An example of this is when he is driving down the interstate with 12 pounds of marijuana in his trunk. Distribution of drugs is when the defendant gives drugs to another individual when he does not authority to prescribe. There is no requirement for the exchange of money to take place.
Possession with intent to distribute is a more serious charge than drug possession and it carries more serious sentences. Possession with intent to distribute drugs involves facts that indicate the defendant was in possession of the drugs so he could sell or distribute to others. In other words, he was involved in drug dealing. Prosecutors are tougher on drug dealers than they are on drug addicts and users. Some facts that a prosecutor may use to prove possession with intent to distribute may include the presence of scales, individually-packaged drugs, cash, guns, and baggies.
What is drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking is drug possession involving a very large amount of drugs that is being transported. Most drug trafficking arrests occur on the interstate or major highways. Trafficking can be prosecuted on the state or federal level and trafficking charges in federal court involve much harsher sentences than in state court in Louisiana.
Can the police conduct a warrantless search of my house?
If an officer has probable cause to believe drugs are in a home, he must obtain a search warrant before entering the home, with some exceptions. The exceptions include exigent circumstances, the officer is in hot pursuit, or consent is given.
Can the police search a car without a warrant?
If an officer has probable cause to believe drugs are in a vehicle and exigent circumstances exist, he can search without a warrant.
Can the passenger get charged for the same drugs as the driver?
A passenger can be charged with a drug crime, as a result of the legal concept of joint possession. Legally, two or more people can possess the same drugs. For instance, if a large amount of marijuana is found in the trunk of the vehicle when there is a driver and passenger, unless there is proof that it only belongs to one person, the prosecutor may charge both.
Drug Arrest/Court Process
These are the typical steps you will likely face after being arrested for a drug crime in Louisiana:
- Bail determined by judge
- Prosecutor obtains reports from the arresting agency
- Prosecutor files bill of information or obtains a grand jury indictment
- Arraignment date is scheduled for you to be informed of the charges filed against you
- Motions date is scheduled for any necessary motions to be heard
- Pretrial Conference date for the attorneys and judge to try to seek a resolution. This may come before a Motions date.
- Trial is commenced only if the case cannot be settled. The defendant is entitled to a judge trial and a jury trial in felony cases.
- Sentencing is conducted by the judge after a conviction occurs.
The court process can vary based on jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. An experienced drug defense attorney will know how to get through the system to get the best results for his client with a drug charge.
Common Louisiana Drug Crimes
Louisiana drug crimes include drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, obtaining CDS by fraud, and marijuana possession. It is unlawful to possess or distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, PCP, ecstasy, molly, heroin, ketamine, amphetamines, bath salts, ayahuasca, hashish, opium, MDMA (ecstasy), GHB, mescaline, steroids, methamphetamine, peyote, marijuana and prescription drugs without a prescription. The Barkemeyer Law Firm is highly experienced in successfully representing clients for all types of drug cases. Contact us if you need a New Orleans criminal defense attorney.
The Growth of Prescription Drug Abuse in Louisiana
Prescription drug abuse has become more prevalent in Louisiana recent years. Pharmaceutical companies create more drugs every year that have highly addictive features. These drugs can be legally prescribed by a licensed physician. Unfortunately, physicians are prescribing them too often as treatment for their diagnoses, therefore, creating drug-dependent patients. These patients then seek out ways to obtain more of the narcotics in illegal ways to support the habit. Below are some of the most common abused prescription drugs.
Drug Charges for commonly abused prescription opioids:
Oxycodone – OxyContin, OxyFast, Roxicodone
Fentanyl- Duragesic, Actiq, Fentora
Hydrocodone – Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco,
Hydromorphone – Dilaudid, Exalgo
Methadone – Dolophine, Methadose
Oxymorphone – Opana
Propoxyphene – Darvon
Meperidine – Demerol
Diphenoxylate – Lomotil
Drug Charges for commonly abused prescription Benzodiazepines:
Diazepam – Valium
Alprazolam – Xanax
Clonazepam – Klonipin
Lorazepam – Ativan
Barbiturate – Nembutal
Drug Crimes for commonly abused Stimulants:
Amphetamines – Adderall & Vyvanse
Dextroamphetamine – Dexedrine
Drug Crimes Lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana
Some of the Louisiana drug crimes include the following:
Drug possession and possession with intent to distribute or distribution
Heroin possession or distribution
Ecstasy Drug Possession
Meth Drug Manufacturing or Distribution,
Louisiana Methamphetamine Drug Possession
Drug trafficking, smuggling or importation
Unauthorized possession or sale of prescription drugs such as Xanax
Cultivation of marijuana
Conspiracy drug charges
Defenses to Drug Charges
Many drug possession charges begin as a result of being pulled over by the police for a traffic violation. Our New Orleans drug crime attorneys know how to sniff out possible ways the officers violated your constitutional rights during the stop, search, and seizure. We examine the legality of the officer’s actions in making the drug arrest.
Proof of Possession
In the event he did act properly, we may attempt other ways to protect our clients with drug charges such as fighting the drug possession on the facts. The prosecutor must prove the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed the drugs. This is very fact-specific. We hold the prosecutor to its burden of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the Louisiana prosecutor is able to prove drug possession or distribution, we pursue other ways to protect our clients such as drug treatment and rehabilitation.
201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 2500
New Orleans, LA 70170