What Factors Does The Judge Consider When Determining My Drug Sentence in Louisiana?


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The judge will consider all the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, including the sentencing range of the statute in which the defendant was convicted, any agreed sentence between the prosecutor and the defendant, the criminal record of the defendant, and whether a habitual offender bill was filed. Also, the facts of the case, whether or not victims were involved, the severity, whether the defendant likely to commit the crime again, any treatment completed by the defendant, any forfeitures of drug contraband, and whether or not the defendant admitted guilt. In federal court, whether the defendant helped the prosecutor is a main factor that will influence the sentence.

In Louisiana, the law frowns on drug-related offenses, and as a result of this, it is not looked upon lightly. When a judge presides over a drug case and has to give a sentence, there are factors that are taken into consideration first to determine the actual gravity of the charge and to determine just how harsh the punishment for the offense should be.

In any drug-related case in Louisiana, there are certain factors that come into play and these factors not only guide the prosecutor and the defense but also guide the judge on how best to preside over the case and give sentencing.

Factors that affect the sentencing of a drug charge in Louisiana


Facts and Circumstances

The first thing that a judge would consider when giving a drug sentence in Louisiana is the facts that are present in the case and the circumstances that surround the case. If a drug case is built on more factual evidence than circumstantial evidence, it gives credibility to the case, and it helps the judge to see clearing what exactly the case is about. However, if the facts that surround the case are few and the circumstantial evidence is in abundance, then the case lacks credibility. In cases like this, more facts in a case influence the degree of sentencing that a judge would give on a drug case. As a criminal defense attorney Baton Rouge, we would break down categorically the facts and the circumstances that surround the drug case and help you to understand it.


The Statute Sentencing Range

The state of Louisiana has laws that govern the sentencing of drug cases depending on the gravity of the case. For a judge to give an accurate sentence on a drug case, the judge would need to check with the statute sentencing range for the appropriate sentence that is given by law. Usually, this is not the main thing that determines the judge's ruling; there are other facts that influence the sentencing even under the statue sentencing range. For instance, a typical drug charge felony in Louisiana carries a sentence of about 5 – 10 years with a fine of about $100,000. In a situation where the defendant is a first time offender, that would be taken into consideration and even though the prison sentence would still be mandatory, the period of time would be reduced. So also with a repeated offender, if a multiple offense bill is filed, the sentence can be increased that which is higher than what is in the statute sentencing range. Basically, the statue sentencing range acts as a guideline to help a judge give a sentence.


Deals or Pleas

Despite consorting with the statute sentencing range of the state of Louisiana, the judge also has to take into consideration whether any form of deals or plea deals have been made with the prosecutor. In the case of a first time offender, a deal would most likely lead to a case dismissal and as a result of this, the judge would have no need to give out a sentence, however, in the case of a repeated offender, if a plea deal or any other form of deal is made, then the judge would have to know the details of the deal an take that into consideration. This would most likely give the defendant a reduced sentence. In a federal drug charge case, a judge would look at if the defendant has been cooperative with the prosecutor and take this into advisement in reducing the defendant’s sentence.


The Involvement of Victims and Defendants Behavior

When presiding over a drug-related case in Louisiana, a judge would take into consideration the behavior of the defendant as well as if the case involves any victims. A defendant's behavior can tell the judge if they are likely to repeat their offense if given a lenient punishment and if they are willing to make amends for their actions. The gravity of a sentence will be more if a victim is involved and if the defendant is not remorseful. This also relates to whether the defendant is willing to change or has gone through any acts of trying to change. The act of forfeiting drug contrabands as well as actively seeking treatment and even if the defendant admitted to guilt are all taken into behavioral consideration by the judge.


The Defendant’s Criminal Record

As with drug-related cases in Louisiana, the criminal record of the defendant is important. The lack of a criminal record can encourage the judge to reduce a statute sentencing range to the barest minimum as punishment, however, the presence of a criminal record especially a multiple conviction record would most likely lead to an increased sentence. In the case of a repeated offender, a criminal record can be used when filing the case by filing a habitual offender bill against the defendant. This would also lead to an increased sentence.

As a criminal defense attorney baton rouge, we would carefully explain the statute sentencing range that applies to the state of Louisiana as well as the conditions that can be considered for either a reduced or an increased sentence in a drug charge case. As a drug defense attorney baton rouge, we are knowledgeable and have experience with the Louisiana drug sentencing and as such, we can carefully and appropriately look into a drug charge case, examine carefully the facts and circumstances of the case as well as other factors of the case and prepare a suitable strategic plan to give the defendant the best possible outcome from the case.


A Great Mistake That Accused Makes That Can Turn The Case Against Him or Her

Do you know that many accused would have walked free, if they had decided to exercise their Miranda rights of keeping mute? The statistics are there to prove it. Sometimes, the Police may have nothing or little against the arrestee to build up a convincing case against him or her. What do they do when they are faced with this? They try to convince the arrestee that it would be better that they talk without their attorney present. A lot of arrestees believe this, not knowing that they are digging deeper graves for themselves, and sealing their imprisonment sentence.

When the police is trying to force an arrestee, it means that they have little or nothing to back their case. Don't give them the evidence that they want.


Criminal Attorney in Baton Rouge

If you or anyone you know is faced with a drug-related charge in Louisiana, do not hesitate or waste any time, contact our criminal attorney baton rouge today and allow us to take on your case immediately. With our wealth of experience and dedication, combined with the knowledge that we have of the Louisiana state law, we would give you’re the best possible outcome.

If you need a drug possession attorney for your drug charge in Louisiana, contact us at (225) 964-6720.  We handle drug possession charges anywhere in Louisiana.

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