How Does a Prior Arrest or Conviction Impact My Drug Case in Louisiana?

 

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Carl Barkemeyer wrote the book on How to Defend Drug Charges in Louisiana.  Download your free copy to learn more about the criminal process and drug defenses in Louisiana.

 

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Prior convictions are very important. It is highly necessary that the client inform their attorney during their first conversation of exactly what he has been arrested and convicted of, in all states, even if the client thinks the conviction was expunged. The prosecutor will still be able to see it. If the client is honest with the attorney early on, regarding his criminal record, the attorney can give better, more realistic advice regarding any possible outcomes of the case.

Prior convictions are more important than prior arrests. However, even prior arrests will be analyzed by prosecutors and judges. Prior convictions are important, because many statutes provide for enhanced sentences if the prosecutor can prove that the defendant has been convicted on the same or similar charges before. If the defendant has prior felony convictions, the state can file a habitual offender bill of information, drastically increasing the sentencing range.

In the event the case goes to trial, prior convictions can greatly affect the outcome at trial. Prior convictions can be brought up by the prosecutor at trial if the defendant chooses to testify.  This can hurt the defendant’s credibility to the jury. Prior convictions can be brought up in trial even if the defendant does not testify if the convictions are relevant to prove an enhanceable offense.

For instance, if the defendant is charged with possession of marijuana third offense, which is a felony, the prosecutor can offer proof of the defendant’s prior two convictions of possession of marijuana to the judge or jury. This is not good for the defendant.

 

Importance of a Prior Conviction or Arrest

Unknown to most people, being convicted of a drug case prior to your current case may have serious implications for you. This is simply why it is advised that you treat it as important. It is of utmost importance that you inform your attorney once you are charged with a current drug case. The implications of having a prior drug case conviction or arrest are so great that it may double or even quadruple the fine you are to pay and the jail time you are to serve. This means that you get to spend more time than necessary if it is proven that prior to that time you have been convicted of a drug case.

Aside from the fact that you get to serve longer jail time, the fine you are to pay is doubled or quadrupled depending on the severity of your case. This will definitely take a toll on your personal and professional life and may further limit your chances of ever getting a moderate or suitable job. Things could go from bad to worse if you've been convicted of a drug case two or more times before the current one. This moves it from a misdemeanor to a felony and will attract severe penalties.

To get a fair hearing, it is important that you immediately hire the services of a well-trained and experienced drug case defense attorney to represent you in the courtroom. Hiring an attorney once you are charged with this case ensures that you appear in court as soon as possible, thus reducing your chances of spending more time behind bars.

 

What You Should Discuss with Your Attorney

When discussing with your attorney, the first conversation between you two should be about your prior drug case convictions or arrests in all states. Even if you think that the drug case may have been expunged, it is important that you carefully and truthfully discuss it with your drug attorney Baton Rouge. This is because the prosecutor of the case may still get access to the information and use it against you in the courtroom.

If you are honest with your attorney regarding your previous drug case convictions or arrests, it will help the attorney strategize or think of a better and more realistic outcome. It will also help the attorney get a better understanding of how best the case can be handled. While prior convictions are considered as more vital than prior arrests in the courtroom, prior arrests may still be analyzed by the prosecutor if it is found helpful.

 

Be Truthful

We have come across those that are far from being truthful. When you are facing a drug charge, the only person you should trust is your criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge. At that moment, he should be your confidant. You should run everything you do through him. Under no condition should you do anything without letting him know, if you don't want to incriminate yourself. Don't allow your loved ones to talk or say anything to the Police. They may not want to incriminate you, but their words or actions may incriminate you without you knowing. They may think that they are doing you good by trying to prove your innocence by their words, when in fact, they are doing the opposite. If the police want to talk to your loved ones, let your attorney be present. Don't think the Police is interested in making you feel innocent.

 

Implications of Prior Convictions

Prior convictions are currently important because there are a number of laws that make provision for enhanced sentences if it can be proven by the prosecutor that you have been convicted prior to that time. If it is discovered that you have prior convictions, a habitual offender bill may be filed, thus, increasing the range or duration of your sentence.

If the case goes to court, prior convictions will greatly affect the outcome of the case. If you choose to testify, prior convictions may be brought up by the prosecutor in the courtroom. Even if you choose not to testify, the case may still be brought up in the courtroom by the prosecutor if it is seen that it could be useful to prove or enhance an offense. If for instance, you have been charged with a drug case for the possession of marijuana, which is called a felony. In this situation, the prosecutor may offer proof that you already have a drug case conviction to the court or jury. If this happens, it increases your chances of spending more time in jail than supposed.

 

Getting the Best Drug Case Defense Attorney

As mentioned earlier, the implications of having a prior conviction or arrest may narrow your chances of being acquitted. This basically means that you may end up spending more time behind bars. To ensure that this does not happen to you and that you do not get to face the penalties that come with this case, there's every need for you to take action.

One of the main disadvantages of having a drug case is that it is recorded on the state criminal record which can be accessed by an employer, bank, etc. This means that your chances of getting that dream job become slim. If you have plans of applying and getting a loan, having a criminal record narrows your chances of getting that loan as well. The implications of being charged with a drug case is something that no one would want to experience. To prevent this from happening, there's every need for you to hire the services of a well-trained and experienced drug case defense attorney who is capable of turning your case around in your favor. To prevent further problems, it is important that you inform the attorney that you have a prior drug case conviction.

When you hire the services of a well-trained and experienced drug case defense attorney, it is important that you clearly inform him of any prior conviction or arrest you must have had in any state. This will help him better strategize and come up with an actionable plan that may increase your chances of not having to serve longer jail time.

Carl Barkemeyer is currently one of the leading and most experienced drug case defense attorneys capable of handling your case. With his years of experience in the industry as well as a profound knowledge of the various laws, Carl Barkemeyer is in a better position to help you out.

To enable us to get the job done, we have gathered a team of well-trained, experienced, and professional drug case defense attorneys that are not just ready to defend you in court but may have the right strategies to ensure that the possible outcome is in your favor. However, we do not guarantee 100% success, but we will do our best to ensure that the outcome favors you.

If you have a drug possession case and need a drug possession defense attorney in Louisiana, contact us at (225) 964-6720.  We handle drug possession cases anywhere in Louisiana.

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