Drug and alcohol-related charges have the potential to create significant long-term consequences for many individuals. Students and other residents of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area facing drug or drunk driving charges must fully understand their rights under the law so they can create a workable strategy to minimize the damages.
Drunk Driving Charges
Any routine traffic stop can be enough to unnerve even the most seasoned driver. However, the consequences of a traffic stop when drugs or alcohol are involved become much more serious. Drivers often become either too defensive or too complacent during a traffic stop. Both conditions are caused by a lack of education or full understanding about their rights during a stop.
Unlawful vehicle searches can result in heavy fines, probation, and even jail time. Drug charges are often the result of inconclusive search and seizure procedures during traffic stops. If a police officer has reason to believe that a driver is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer has the right to conduct a field sobriety test. However, that does not automatically give the officer the right to search a vehicle without establishing true probable cause.
Drug charges are another major concern, especially for young people starting their university or professional career. Possession of illegal drugs or related paraphernalia can result in serious penalties. An arrest often means a subsequent criminal record, which can make it very difficult to sustain gainful employment.
With a proper legal defense team, drivers and other individuals facing drug charges such as trafficking, distribution, and possession have a stronger chance to minimize the negative impact. There are alternatives to jail or prison time, and judges may even show leniency when an individual is struggling with addiction. Sometimes, but certainly not always, a court-ordered counseling or rehabilitation program is part of the restitution process.
The first step toward a more successful outcome in these cases might be a consultation with an experienced legal team. Drug charges have varying degrees of punishment and consequences. These should not be taken lightly, and should not be undertaken alone.