So you got popped for selling crack cocaine in Louisiana. You’re in serious trouble and are facing jail time, fines, and a life of being looked down on as a felon. Your life is in the hands of your attorney now and you’re wondering what to expect from the coming court proceedings.
Does this sound like you? If so, don’t worry because you aren’t alone. Louisiana is extremely hard on cocaine violations and they’re even stricter when it comes to crack cocaine, meaning even mere possession of this drug can get someone picked up.
But you’ve come to the right place because today we’re walking you through everything to expect after getting smacked with possession of crack violation. And seeing as we’re located in Baton Rouge, we’ve had a lot of experience.
Ready to learn what you should expect before, during, and after sentencing for possession of crack cocaine? Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Sentencing Guidelines for Crack Cocaine Crimes in Louisiana
Cocaine and crack cocaine are both categorized as Schedule II drugs under the Controlled Substances Act in the US. That’s because these drugs are known to produce deleterious effects on your health. But crack cocaine is considered even more dangerous than pure cocaine, meaning you’ll pay a higher penalty for crack-related charges.
If you’re charged with a crack cocaine-related crime, it’ll likely be one of the following:
While distribution, also known as trafficking, in Louisiana can earn you a life sentence in prison, possession and sale are more minor crimes. But don’t get us wrong — they’re still pretty serious.
Sale of crack cocaine is often associated with a $50k fine and up to 30 years. Selling to minors can double or even triple that charge, though. It’s common to see crack cocaine sale to minors slapped with a life sentence in prison, too.
Possession, while the least severe of these categories, can still get you up to 60 years in prison. This depends on how much crack cocaine you’re found with.
If you’re found with 28 grams of crack cocaine or fewer, the law usually sentences 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. But when you’re found in possession of 400 grams or more, the penalties substantially increase. In this case, you may see a half a million dollar fine plus 30 to 60 years in prison.
Possession of Crack: What to Expect Before, During, and After Sentencing
In recent years, Louisiana has seen a surge in progressive laws about drugs. This is especially true regarding cannabis, which is now considered decriminalized. However, that has not diminished the charge for most other possession charges like possession of crack cocaine.
Still, there are some laws to protect your rights during a possession sentencing:
Legality refers to the fact that there must be evidence that you committed a crime. In this case, that means the prosecutor must have evidence that you did, in fact, possess crack cocaine.
Knowledge limitations protect individuals who aren’t aware that they’re committing a crime. For example, if you weren’t aware you possessed crack cocaine that led to your arrest, your attorney may be able to argue that you had no knowledge of possession of an illegal drug.
Control is another protective measure to assure the alleged criminal had control over the substance they were found with. This includes requirements for evidence that the defendant controlled both the location and presence of crack cocaine before the arrest.
Now, let’s dive into what you should expect before, during, and after sentencing for possession of crack cocaine charge in Louisiana.
After the Arrest, Before Sentencing
After you’re arrested for possession of crack cocaine, you’ll be taken to the police station and questioned. Interviewers will question you to gather evidence about the possession crime. And this is often where alleged criminals make mistakes, incriminating themselves without even realizing it.
That’s why having a criminal defense attorney at your side before sentencing is so vital. Your attorney will advise you about which questions you should answer — and which questions you shouldn’t. They’ll also supervise the questioning to assure that everything goes according to law and none of your legal rights are violated.
The exact process that happens during sentencing will depend on the details of your case in particular. Without a good criminal defense attorney, you may find yourself accused of something that goes much too far beyond the scope of your alleged crime. Or you may be innocent in the eyes of the law and still be sentenced for your crimes.
When you hire a skilled defense attorney, though, the sentencing process will be much different. Your attorney will scour the details of your case to determine the best defense strategy. And with your attorney’s assistance, you may be able to avoid a guilty sentence as well as the fines and jail time that comes with it.
If you’re found innocent of possession of crack cocaine, you won’t have to worry about a thing. In fact, your attorney may be able to win you money for the time, expenses, and stress wasted on the proceedings.
But if you’re found guilty, don’t lose your mind just yet because your criminal defense attorney may still be able to help.
A good defense attorney may also be able to reduce the charges or even settle the case. The former means your fines and jail time may be considerably reduced. And the latter may mean you don’t have to spend any time in prison at all in exchange for a considerably larger settlement cost.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Baton Rouge, LA
Have you been arrested for possession of crack? Then it’s time to call Attorney Carl, your criminal defense attorney for crimes in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help with your case.