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What happens when I am arrested on drug charges?

Facing drug charges in Louisiana can be frightening. You may not have known that your friend had drugs on him when he got in your car. You may not have realized that he stashed it under the seat either. It is a crime to carry non-prescribed drugs on you, have them in your car or in your home. Such drugs as marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin and other drugs qualify for this designation of illegal drugs. Did you know it is also illegal to have paraphernalia on you?

If you have a lot of illegal drugs on you, the authorities may believe you intended to sell it and this brings a higher charge. If you are caught with 14 grams or less of marijuana and this is your first offense, you may spend a few as 15 days in jail and pay a $300 fine. The interesting thing about this particular charge is that it isn't a felony or a misdemeanor. If you have more than 14 grams and less than 2.5 pounds of marijuana, you may spend six months in jail if this is your first offense and pay a $500 fine. Again, it isn't classified as a misdemeanor or a felony arrest.

The prosecution has to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew that the drug in question was a controlled substance, such as those listed in the first paragraph. They must prove that you knowingly had possession of this illegal drug. Constructive possession is defined as having access to an illegal drug. For instance, if you have the keys to a van full of illegal drugs, you may well be charged.

Drug possession is no laughing matter. Calling in an attorney early on in the process can save you time and money. There are many avenues that an experienced attorney can go down that may get your charges minimized or dropped.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug possession overview," accessed Dec. 15, 2015

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