Cocaine represents one of Louisiana’s most heavily trafficked illegal drugs. Having fought this problem for years, Louisiana law provides for serious penalties if convicted of possessing, selling or trafficking in cocaine. 

Keep in mind that federal law also prohibits cocaine cultivation and manufacture, as well as possession, sale, distribution and trafficking. Should you find yourself facing charges of allegedly trafficking cocaine across state lines, you likely will face federal prosecution rather than state prosecution. 

Possession penalties 

Per the Louisiana State Code, penalties for a cocaine possession conviction range as follows: 

  • Less than 28 grams: 5-year prison sentence, with or without hard labor, plus a $5,000 fine 
  • 28-200 grams: hard labor prison sentence of 10-60 years and $50,000-$150,000 fine 
  • 200-400 grams: hard labor prison sentence of 20-60 years and $100,000-$350,000 fine 
  • More than 400 grams: hard labor prison sentence of 30-60 years and $350,000-$600,000 fine 

Sale penalties 

If Louisiana prosecutors convict you of selling cocaine in any amount, you face a hard labor prison sentence of 5-30 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000. Conviction of selling to a minor results in life imprisonment. Conviction of selling to a minor at least three years younger than you results in double penalties. 

Trafficking penalties 

If Louisiana prosecutors convict you of producing or manufacturing cocaine base, you face a hard labor prison sentence of 40-99 years and a maximum $500,000 fine. Unlike other drug-related prison sentences, trafficking sentences carry no possibility of suspension or parole. 

Reduced or alternative sentencing 

Some Louisiana jurisdictions allow you to enter into a plea bargain when faced with a lower-level cocaine charge. In exchange, however, you will need to help prosecutors build a case against higher-level cocaine producers and dealers. 

If your jurisdiction has a specialized drug court, you may face prosecution there instead of in “regular” court. If so, and this is your first or second cocaine conviction, the judge could sentence you to treatment instead of prison.