In Louisiana, the laws about cocaine use and possession are strict. Cocaine is one of the most dangerous street drugs because of the other drugs dealers can cut it with. For example, fentanyl is being used to cut cocaine, and less than a dime size of fentanyl is lethal. So, it is one of the main reasons for the strict laws.
Different types of cocaine charges
Suppose you are found to be in possession of cocaine, the charges can vary based on the amount found. For under 28 grams, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Your prison sentence might also include hard labor. However, if more than 400 grams of cocaine is uncovered, it’s possible to face anywhere from 30 to 60 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 to $600,000.
If you are charged with selling cocaine and had intent, you could face five to 30 years in prison for a conviction. Hard labor is also part of the sentence for this crime. You may also be responsible for a fine of up to $50,000. However, the charges may be stricter if the individual is over 25 years old and was found selling the drug to a minor. In that situation, the charges can be doubled.
Trafficking of cocaine is considered a profoundly serious offense in Louisiana. A conviction carries 40 to 99 years in prison with hard labor and a fine of up to $500,000. However, even with these charges, it is possible for a person to be let out on parole with good behavior.
Louisiana has a three-strike policy for drug charges. This means that if a person has a third offense for drugs, they are charged with a felony. This could lead to many difficulties, such as securing housing, loans and a job due to the felony on your record.
One of the most common defenses to cocaine charges is to argue that the defendant was aware of the drugs but did not actually possess them. Another is to argue that the defendant did not knowingly or intentionally possess the drugs.
Drug charges can also come at the federal level, which could mean even harsher penalties.