All Louisiana residents make mistakes from time to time. The important thing is how the person responds to and learns from the mistake, in order to try to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Being charged with a crime is just the first step in the criminal process in Louisiana. Charges are filed when the authorities have enough evidence to arrest someone for a specific crime. Criminal procedure dictates that the arrest of an individual be lawful in that it follows all the processes and procedures as required by the Constitution and criminal statute. Once a person is arrested for criminal activity, they are entitled to a fair criminal process.
Being charged with drug offense has much in common with being charged with other crimes. First and foremost, each criminal offense carries with it elements that have to be proven in order to be found guilty, and standardized punishments if convicted. Now depending on the nature and circumstances surrounding the alleged criminal activity and the charges that ensue, the criminal case can either be heard in state court or in federal court. Many drug cases are federally prosecuted especially where evidence of drug trafficking is involved if there is evidence of commerce across state lines. Needless to say, drug trafficking charges, like many other felony charges, are serious.
When a person is accused of using, possessing, selling or trafficking illegal drugs, the person can face criminal charges. A conviction on drug charges can change a person’s life. The penalties for drug charges in Louisiana are harsh. They can include large fines, long prison sentences, probation and more. They can affect a person’s ability to get a job, find stable housing or vote.
When police officers suspect that people have illegal drugs in their possession or have been using illegal drugs, they will often want to perform a search. This search may be of the person, the person's home or their car. However, police have limited powers when it comes to performing searches. In order to legally search, police must either obtain a search warrant from a judge or meet an exception to the warrant requirement.
People make mistakes. Some people even dabble or experiment with drugs or alcohol. Sometimes this experimentation can result in legal charges or repercussions. Do not pay the ultimate price for a small mistake.
Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, has a long list of people who have been accused of drug offenses. Some of them were acquitted of the charges, while others were convicted. Each drug offense carries unique penalties, depending on where the accused person was prosecuted-state or federal court. Still, drug charges should be taken seriously, as the repercussions are often severe. Fines, penalties and prison time are some of the most common results of a drug-related conviction.
Louisiana has seen its share of illegal drugs being manufactured, distributed and used. The most common are heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines. Although each drug is unique, all of them produce euphoric or ecstatic feelings in users, at least when first used. Because these drugs are also highly addictive, federal and state legislators have passed laws to punish people involved in their manufacture and distribution. Users are also vulnerable to drug charges. A previous blog post discussed heroin; this post discusses methamphetamines and their dangers.
Louisianans know that a wide variety of drugs are illegal, but still available on the streets. One of the most commonly imported, distributed and used drugs is heroin. This illegal substance is considered one of the most highly addictive drugs in the world and often leads users to commit crimes to support their addiction, which is typically difficult to break.
Prescription drugs are commonly abused in the country nowadays, including in Louisiana. To combat this problem, which often ends up killing abusers, laws governing the proper dispensing of prescription drugs such as painkillers have been enacted. Congress has passed a variety of laws that physicians and pharmacists must follow, and the Drug Enforcement Administration is charged with enforcing those laws by keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of people who do not have prescriptions for them. Health-care professionals who prescribe or dispense such controlled substances should make sure they understand and follow current laws to avoid getting charged with prescription drug offenses.