What are the consequences for drug distribution?

Louisiana law regarding the distribution or possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I controlled dangerous, analogue or counterfeit substance is clear. People who are convicted of such charges face harsh penalties that may include fines and imprisonment.

The penalties for a conviction for distribution of or possession with intent to distribute marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, or tetrahydrocannabinols or its chemical derivatives include a fine of up to $50,000 and five to 30 years imprisonment at hard labor. A conviction for these drug charges involving Schedule I narcotics results in a fine of up to $50,000, five to 30 years imprisonment or both. A minimum of five years imprisonment must be served without the potential for probation or a suspended sentence.

For distribution or possession with intent to distribute conviction that involves other Schedule I drugs, individuals are fined up to $50,000. In addition, they are sentenced to five to 30 years imprisonment at hard labor, and a minimum of five years has to be served without the possibility of a suspended sentence, probation or parole. Furthermore, individuals who are sentenced to life imprisonment for distribution or possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I substance are eligible to be considered for parole after serving a minimum 15 years in custody.

Those facing such charges may be able to get them reduced or even dropped with the proper strategy employed by a criminal defense attorney . For example, the attorney might argue that the client did not intend to distribute any drugs that authorities allegedly recovered to get the charges reduced to possession. The attorney could also gather and present evidence to show that authorities did not follow proper guidelines when conducting the search.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, "RS 40:966", November 18, 2014

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