Drug use and societies general perception of drug use are two volatile things. Laws based upon perception are being tested and are changing along with everything else. Drug addiction is a disease, and it is being recognized as such. However, even simple possession has steep penalties if a conviction occurs.
Here are the various cocaine offenses and the minimum and maximum penalties that could be handed down. Keep in mind that the severity of charges varies greatly with the nature of the crime, whether or not it is a first offense as well as technicalities. For possession, quantity makes a big difference and charges for the sale of cocaine have everything to do with the age of the buyer, particularly if the buyer turns out to be a minor.
- Minimum of 5 years imprisonment without hard labor and a fine of $5,000.
- Maximum of 60 years imprisonment with hard labor and a fine of $600,000.
- Minimum of 5 years imprisonment with hard labor or a $50,000 fine.
- Maximum of life imprisonment.
- Minimum of 40 years imprisonment with hard labor and no chance of parole or suspension.
- Maximum of 99 years imprisonment with hard labor and no chance of parole or suspension, as well as a fine of $500,000.
As is evident by the severity of even the minimum penalties, cocaine-related activities are not taken lightly in Louisiana. This may be in part due to the violence that so often goes hand-in-hand with the drug.
If you are facing charges for a cocaine-related crime, you may benefit from speaking with a criminal defense attorney familiar with the courts and prosecutors in Louisiana. He or she may be able to work with prosecutors to secure you a plea deal for a lesser charge in return for your help in the prosecution of higher-level offenders. You may also qualify for treatment in lieu of imprisonment.