Searches and seizures can happen for various reasons. It could stem from a traffic stop, occur following an arrest and even happen when a search warrant is issued on a residence based on probable cause. During a search, various items could be uncovered, one of them being drugs. Being in possession of an illegal substance could result in drug charges. However, one being in possession of drugs does not mean he or she will be convicted of drug possession. There are defense options available, making it imperative to understand the elements of this crime, penalties that could result and what defense strategies a defendant could use.
In Louisiana and other states, the penalties for drug possession vary greatly. For example, simple possession could range from a fine of $100 or less and a few days in jail to thousands of dollars in fines and several years in prison. A simple possession charge is typically the lightest penalty one could face, but this is dependent on the drug in question.
If evidence shows that possession of a drug was to serve another purpose, such as to distribute, this could carry significantly harsher penalties. And if there is evidence to tie the accused to drug trafficking, manufacturing, cultivation or involvement in a drug ring, this could result in multiple drug charges, all carrying harsh penalties.
When faced with a drug charge, it is important to understand if there are any mandatory sentencing guidelines. It is also important to consider drug court as an option. If attending drug treatment is an option, this could help the accused have the charges dismissed if successfully completed.
A drug crime is a serious offense. For the most part, no matter the type of drug charge, an individual is likely facing harsh penalties. Because of this, it is vital to fully understand the situation and explore what defense strategies are available. It is not an easy predicament to be in, but defendants are afforded the right to assert a defense, protecting their rights by challenging claims and evidence against them.