How Do You Choose the Right Drug Crime Lawyer for Your Louisiana Case?

Drug crimes have severe penalties in Louisiana, and the penalties include lengthy jail terms, heavy fines, and a permanent bad criminal record upon conviction. A conviction will have a detrimental effect on your life. Expected consequences include losing custody of any children, having problems obtaining new work, losing your job, and having trouble finding a new home.

Drug crimes are either classified as misdemeanors or felonies, and the charges you receive will determine the severity of your punishment. Convictions may also serve as a link between federal and state law in Louisiana. As usual, felonies carry far harsher penalties than misdemeanors, potentially for years in prison.

If you face drug crime charges, seeking criminal defense representation from an experienced attorney is in your best interest. Our Louisiana drug crimes defense attorney, David E. Stanley, APLC, has court experience and will vigorously defend you as he strives for the best possible result in your case. Remember that a suspect remains innocent until proven guilty and that an arrest does not imply guilt. You must understand that selecting the right criminal defense attorney can significantly impact your future, including whether you receive a prison sentence, probation, drug rehab, or walk free. To assist you and inform you about the allegations against you, our drug crimes defense attorney in Baton Rouge, LA, protects your best interests by helping and educating you on the drug crime charges you face so you can be an active participant in your defense.

Are You Looking for a Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
In Baton Rouge, LA?
Contact David E. Stanley, APLC

How to Choose the Right Drug Charge Lawyer for Your Louisiana Case

If you’ve received drug charges in Louisiana, you will want to find the right lawyer to take your case. If not, you might have to spend years in prison. Here are the tips for finding the right drug crime lawyer in Baton Rouge, LA. With these tips, you can find a lawyer qualified to take your drug crime case.

1. Start Searching with Word of Mouth

Inquire with friends and relatives about their experiences working with their attorneys. They could even recommend a reputable legal practice even if they do not practice criminal defense. Then, if you know a friend or relative of yours who had a positive experience with them previously, you can investigate their law firm. Ask your attorney to recommend a lawyer if they practice in a different area. Remember to request a drug charge defense attorney. After all, you want to find someone exceptionally qualified to win your case.

2. Check Online

Go online after you’ve begun compiling a list of potential drug crime defense lawyers. Look for online reviews first. If there are a lot of bad reviews, move on. Ask the criminal defense attorney if you can chat with any of their prior clients if you feel like they’re a good fit but can’t locate any reviews online.

Ensure to check with the local bar association while you’re online. Do they belong to a group? Verify that their standing is favorable as well. Next, confirm their specialization. Seeking a drug crimes defense attorney with prior experience in cases similar to yours is recommended. Please find out how long they have been a drug crimes defense lawyer. Selecting an attorney with specialized legal skills will bring you peace of mind.

Their area of expertise will also demonstrate that they are knowledgeable about the most recent regulations and guidelines. They may need the required experience to win your case if they focus on something other than drug charges. Next, find out if they belong to any other legal associations. Other Baton Rouge attorneys probably respect them if they hold any leadership positions.

3. Study the Success Rate

Ensure a drug crimes defense attorney wins cases related to their area of expertise before hiring them. Inquire about their past performance. Have they won many instances involving drug crimes? Have they moved on to another expertise, or were their victories recent? Once more, confirming their background is pertinent to the laws as their stand is critical. Would they instead give in? Sometimes, a criminal defense attorney who settles cases quickly is more worried about their reputation than assisting you. Gaining insight into the successes and failures of a criminal attorney will help you get an improved opinion of their talents.

4. Hire a Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Who Knows the Local Justice System

Four hundred fifty-six thousand people, or one-fifth of the total jail population, are detained on drug-related charges. Every case, however, is unique according to the local legal system. Choosing a drug crimes defense attorney knowledgeable about Louisiana’s possession laws is essential. Their connections and local expertise can support your case. Find out if they have any prior courtroom experience. Ensure you have a prepared lawyer in case the matter goes to trial. If you are still waiting, you might have a lawyer who is reluctant to appear in court.

5. Interview Them

Meet with each prospective drug crimes defense attorney in person after you’ve compiled a list of them. Make sure to prepare a list of inquiries in advance. Keep in mind that you are employing them. Treat this meeting like you would an interview for a job. You can ask the attorney about their:

  • Experience
  • Success rate
  • Delivery time
  • Pricing
  • References
  • Availability

For instance, you should confirm that the drug crimes lawyer has enough time for your case. Do they have a lot on their plate right now? Will they ultimately pawn you off to another lawyer if that’s the case? Before signing anything, make sure you have read the contract thoroughly. Certain lawyers charge a fixed fee. Before you sign anything, please find out how much they anticipate your case will cost and how payments will be made. Go over your notes from this interview. With whom did you feel most at ease? Who took the time to hear your story and thoroughly assess your case? Following your instincts when selecting a lawyer for your case is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is a Drug Charge?

A drug charge is a criminal charge brought against an individual who has been found in possession of illicit substances. It is possible to file drug charges against people or companies who produce, distribute, and sell drugs.

What Happens if Charged with a Drug Offense?

If charged with a drug offense, you will be placed under arrest and held until the scheduled court appearance. During your initial court appearance, known as an arraignment, you can enter a guilty or not guilty plea if accused of drug possession or distribution. You may not be granted bail if the court determines you pose a public safety or flight risk. If not, they will order you to post bail—a specific sum of money you must deposit with the court—to be released from custody. That money is forfeited, and an arrest warrant is issued if you don’t appear in court.

The prosecution and your lawyers, over the upcoming weeks and months, will negotiate the accusations against you. Most cases end in a plea agreement or are dismissed. Still, if the prosecution and defense cannot reach a consensus, the matter will go to trial and be decided by a jury, with the proceedings being presided over by a judge. You will enter a guilty or not guilty plea based on the outcome. If you are found guilty, the judge will impose the appropriate sentence on you.

What Types of Penalties or Punishments Can I Receive If Convicted of a Drug Charge?

If charged with a drug crime, you will receive the following penalties or punishments:

  • Fines

A fine is a sum of money levied by the legal system. The severity of the crime charge will determine how much of a fine is imposed. For instance, if you are found guilty of simple possession on your first violation, the punishment might be between $100 and $500. On the other hand, if you are found guilty of drug sales, the fine may be as high as $20,000. Instead of receiving cash as payment for a drug offense, community service hours can be used to offset any fines.

  • Community Service

Rather than a monetary fine, this kind of punishment entails completing unpaid labor for the good of society. Should you be found guilty of a drug charge and given community service hours as a sentence rather than fines, you might have to put in anywhere from 100 to 300 hours of work. Building community amenities like parks and schools or maintaining public spaces are typical community service projects.

  • Jail Time

The kind of drug violation committed and any prior offenses committed by the person facing charges will determine how long the accused spends behind bars. Depending on the seriousness of the crime and the number of prior charges the accused individual has committed, a person charged with a drug violation may spend one day to 25 years in prison.

  • Probation

A probation order is a directive from the court system to a convicted individual, warning them that if they don’t follow specific guidelines for a specified period, they risk jail time, fines, and other penalties imposed by the court system before they are found guilty and sentenced for their offense  Probation terms often range from one year to three years, based on the seriousness of the crime and the number of violations you had committed before to being found guilty of the present charge  It’s also crucial that you adhere to your probation because failing to do so could land you in jail or significant difficulties.

What Is Drug Court?

Drug court is an alternative sentencing program in which defendants facing lesser charges can participate instead of more conventional sentencing options like fines or jail time in certain nations. Drug Court gives people accused of minor offenses a chance to avoid going to jail while participating in treatment programs meant to help them overcome their addiction problems and criminal behavior patterns. This way, after they fulfill the program’s requirements and serve their prescribed probationary period, they won’t commit crimes again.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession?

Those caught in possession of cocaine may be subject to:

  • Under 2 grams: up to $5,000 in fines and two years in jail
  • 2 to 28 grams: up to five years in prison and $5,000 in penalties

If heroin is discovered in their possession, they risk:

  • Less than two grams: two to four years in jail
  • 2 to 28 grams: two to ten years in jail and a $5,000 fine for possession of the drugs.

The severity of the punishment increases with weight, and possession with intent to distribute (PWIT) is presumably what the state will charge you with.

Baton Rouge, LA Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

If charged with a drug crime, contact an experienced Baton Rouge, LA drug crimes defense attorney immediately for legal representation. A drug charge has severe consequences because it can result in several years of jail time and higher fines. The kind of drugs you are charged with possessing will determine the severity of the punishment, so you must speak with a drug crimes defense attorney to better assist you through this process. David E. Stanley, APLC, can evaluate your case to determine your best legal defense against your drug crime charge. Contact us for legal representation immediately!

To Schedule a No-Obligation Consultation,
Call David E. Stanley, APLC, at 225-926-0200

David E. Stanley, APLC
1055 Laurel Street, Suite 2
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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