Being accused of a drug crime could mean serious penalties. With regards to drug sales or drug trafficking allegations, this does not only mean facing charges based on the states laws but could also mean facing federal charges as well. Because the penalties associated with a drug charge could be tremendous, it is vital to take the time to explore criminal defense options.
Louisiana is tough on drugs, especially cocaine. Whether it is in powdered form or crack, this is one of the state’s most heavily trafficked illegal substance. Thus, the state passed laws to penalize those using and distributing the drug as a means to deter individuals from using this drug and crack down on sales and possession in the state.
What are the penalties for cocaine in the state of Louisiana? According to section 40.961, those in possession of 28 grams or less of cocaine could face 5 years in prison with or without hard labor and a $5,000 fine. Those found in possession of 28 to 200 grams could face 10 to 60 years in prison with hard labor and a fine ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. For possession of 200 to 400 grams of cocaine, the accused could endure 20 to 60 years in prison with hard labor and a fine ranging from $100,000 to $350,000. Finally, those accused of possessing over 400 grams of cocaine could face 30 to 60 years in prison with hard labor and a fine ranging from $250,000 to $600,000.
With regards to the sale of cocaine, this charge could result in 5 to 30 years in prison with hard labor and a fine up to $50,000. If a sale was to a minor by a person over the age of 25, this could result in life imprisonment. For trafficking charges or the production or manufacturing of cocaine base, one could face 40 to 99 years in prison with hard labor and is not eligible for parole or suspension. This also includes a fine of up to $500,000. In addition to facing state penalties, federal laws could also apply, which could be just as or even more serious.
Those facing drug charges should understand the charges against them and the potential consequences they could endure. Some drug crimes carry extremely harsh penalties, making it vital to explore mechanisms to initiate a criminal defense that could help reduce or avoid theses penalties.