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Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

The penalties for federal drug trafficking charges

When it comes to drug crimes, there are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions. A drug charge type is dependent on the type of controlled substance the accused offender is in possession of and whether or not another act took place with the supposed controlled substance. For instance, being caught with a small amount of a low level controlled substance could result in just a possession charge because the underlying assumption is that it is for personal use. However, if a suspect is found to be in possession of a large quality of a high level narcotic in conjunction with a large amount of cash and even items such as a scale, this could result in suspected drug trafficking and distribution.

For federal drug trafficking charges, the penalties can be harsh and grave. Based on a penalties chart by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for schedule II narcotics, such as cocaine, cocaine base and fentanyl, a first time offender could face between five to 40 years in prison. This penalty is based on the accused possessing 500 to 4999 grams of cocaine, 28 to 279 grams of cocaine base or 40 to 399 grams of fentanyl.

Asserting a strategic defense against white collar crimes

Not all crimes involve drugs, weapons and violence. Some could occur in the workplace, making it difficult for some to view these crimes as serious. Nonetheless, white collar crimes can have severe repercussions. This is especially true if the supposed crime occurred in the work environment. Those accused of fraud or embezzlement occurring in the workplace are not only facing criminal penalties but also consequences that impact his or her personal and professional reputation. Thus, it is important to take these accusations seriously, determining the best course of action and what defense options are available to you.

Because most white collar crimes involve allegations of fraud, defendants are often focused on clearing their name and avoiding the penalties associated with this accusation. At Damico & Stockstill Attorneys at Law, our law firm is dedicated to helping individuals in the Baton Rouge area assert a defense. With over three decades of experience, our attorneys are focused on ensuring our clients understand their situation and what defense options are available to them.

What is drug trafficking?

Drug crimes can come in a wide variety of forms. For most Louisiana residents, when they hear drug crime, they likely think of drug dealing or drug possession charges. While these are both common types of drug charges, this does not mean they are minor criminal charges. In fact, these alleged crimes, depending on the surrounding facts and criminal background of the accused, could result in very severe consequences if a conviction ensues. Even more so, these charges could expand or extend to a larger drug charge known as drug trafficking, which could result in very harsh penalties.

What is drug trafficking? Drug trafficking is more than the transportation of illegal narcotics. It involves the selling, transportation and importation of controlled substances. Drug trafficking is a felony and is a much more serious crime than drug possession.

Understanding drug diversion programs

Being accused of a drug crime could mean facing harsh penalties. This is the hardest part of dealing with these allegations; facing the possible consequences if a conviction is reached. However, depending on the circumstances, defendants have options regarding defenses and ways to reduce the penalties even if a conviction results. Thus, it is important to be well informed on programs available to those accused of drug crimes.

In Louisiana, drug diversion programs are offered to nonviolent offenders. This program is designed to meet the needs of these offenders, helping them and attempting to deter them from future criminal behaviors. The program also serves as a way to minimize the loss caused to victims through the payment of restitution by the offender and protecting the community by keeping a close eye on these offenders.

Initiating a defense against a DUI charge

Being involved in a traffic stop can be described as many things; however, it is likely not a pleasant experience for Louisiana drivers. Motorist may not be fully aware why he or she was pulled over, but they do fear the possibility of facing a traffic violation. While this could simply mean a traffic ticket, it could also result in more serious charges that carry with them harsh penalties.

With regards to a drunk driving charge, law enforcement can stop a vehicle if they suspect a drives is driving under the influence. Additionally, during the stop, officers are able to collect evidence to give them reasonable suspicion to take the driver into custody and charge him or her with a DUI. Although it can seem intimidating to have evidence collected against you, it is important to understand that evidence does not always remain. Thus, initiating a defense is the best way to reduce or even dismiss charges.

Baton Rouge police chase with drug crime suspect causes fatality

No one likes being stopped by the police or accused of a crime. However, those suspected of a crime are required to stop and speak with law enforcement. This applies in situations where a motorist is being pulled over by a trooper or a pedestrian is being stopped and questioned by a police officer. If there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime has or is about to be committed, law enforcement have the right and power to stop an individual to question him or her. Even when this is an uncomfortable situation, the expectation is for individuals to stop. Unfortunately, this does not always occur, resulting in additional charges faced by a suspect.

This is what happened recently in Baton Rouge when authorities were in a police chase with a suspect. According to reports, a drug investigation was going on when authorities suspected a man of a drug crime. This resulted in the suspect fleeing from the scene, supposedly using his own vehicle as a weapon against two officers. A high speed pursuit ensued, which unfortunately resulted in a fatal crash.

Understanding identity theft

Some crimes are viewed as minor and victimless. However, when it comes to financial crimes, many can suffer from those committing them. Thus, harsh penalties follow those convicted of such crimes. With regards to identity theft, it is believed that more than just the owner of the identity suffers as criminals could use this information to pose threats to national security and private citizens.

Identity theft can come in various forms. And because this crime is not new, state and government organizations are aware of the constant changes and expansions this crime has taken on. Whether it is the theft of IDs, scams or through the Internet, identity theft could occur in person or online.

Criminal justice overhaul to relieve overcrowded prisons in Louisiana

Like many in Louisiana, you may have watched with interest as lawmakers tackled the crushing issues of overcrowding and dwindling resources in the state's prison system. In unprecedented legislative sessions, lawmakers worked and compromised on various aspects of criminal justice reform to overhaul the broken system.

By breaking the issues into smaller bills, legislators have managed to pass sweeping changes, some of which went into effect in August, and others that will take place on Nov. 1. Among those changes are sentencing requirements. If you are facing charges for drug offenses or other non-violent crimes, these reforms concerning mandatory sentencing may allow you to breathe a sigh of relief.

Helping you initiate a defense against fraud charges

Being accused of fraud is anything but a simple and minor situation. For many accused offenders, this allegation stems from his or her conduct in the work environment. Thus, a fraud charge could damage ones' reputation, tremendously impacting the employee's personal professional life. No matter the facts of the matter or evidence currently collected, those facing a white-collar crime, such as fraud, should understand the defense options available to them.

Whether it is a state or federal, misdemeanor or felony charge, a fraud charge could drastically and negatively impact the accused. At Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law, our experienced law firm understands the dynamics of these cases, guiding our clients in the Baton Rouge area successfully navigate their matter.

A vehicular crime charge can derail a student's life. A strong defense is crucial.

Traffic around LSU and other college towns is sometimes so cluttered it might take you an hour to go a mile or two. Other times, traffic may flow quickly, allowing you not only to reach your destination on time but to arrive a few minutes early. In either situation, the burden is on you to adhere to all traffic regulations, especially posted speed limit signs, signals and stop signs. After all, you wouldn't want to face reckless driving charges.

You obviously want to stay safe when you travel. The more cautious and alert you are behind the wheel, the less likely you are to become involved in a wreck. But everyone gets in a hurry sometimes. If you accidentally blow past a stop sign or try to maneuver around another slow-moving vehicle, not only might you never reach your destination; you could also be charged you with a crime, particularly if you get into an accident.

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