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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Moisant

Understanding Drug Offenses in Louisiana: A New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney Perspective

Updated: Oct 28, 2023


New Orleans Louisiana Drug arrest
Drug arrest

Disclaimer: The following article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney immediately.


Drug offenses are among the most commonly charged crimes in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, drug offenses make up a significant portion of arrests nationwide. The consequences can be severe, affecting your freedom, employment, and future opportunities. As a criminal defense lawyer with a background as a former DA prosecutor, I have unique insights into how drug offenses are handled in the Louisiana legal system. In this blog post, we'll delve into key aspects of drug offenses, referencing Louisiana law, and how to navigate them. A NOLA.com article further discusses the prevalence of drug-related crimes in New Orleans.

Types of Drug Offenses in Louisiana a New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney can help you with

Drug offenses can range from simple possession to more serious charges like distribution or manufacturing. Commonly encountered drugs in New Orleans include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription medications like opioids. According to Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 40, these offenses can be classified in various schedules, each carrying its own set of penalties. For local perspectives on drug offenses, you can refer to WWLTV's coverage on the issue.

What Happens After an Arrest for a Drug Offense in Louisiana?

Initial Detainment

After arrest, you'll be taken to a local detention facility for booking.

Initial Appearance

Within 72 hours, you'll appear before a judge who will inform you of the charges and may set bail, as outlined in Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 230.1.

Legal Representation

This is the time to consult a criminal defense lawyer experienced in drug offenses in Louisiana.

Penalties for Drug Offenses in Louisiana

According to a study by the ACLU, Louisiana has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. The penalties for drug offenses can vary widely depending on the type of drug, the amount, and your prior criminal history. Penalties may include:

  • Fines: Ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, as per Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 40, Chapter 4.

  • Imprisonment: From a few months to several years, depending on the severity of the offense.

  • Probation: Sometimes offered as an alternative to jail time, especially for first-time offenders.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
Challenging Evidence

Was the search and seizure lawful? Was the chain of custody for the drug samples maintained? These are questions that can be addressed under Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 703.

Negotiating Plea Deals, A New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

In some cases, a plea deal may result in reduced charges or lighter sentencing.

Trial Representation

If your case goes to trial, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can provide robust representation to aim for the best possible outcome.

The Advantage of a Former DA Prosecutor

As a former DA prosecutor, I understand both sides of the courtroom. This allows me to anticipate the prosecution's strategy and build a stronger defense for you. As a now New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney I am here to help you!

Conclusion

Facing drug charges in Louisiana is a serious matter. It's crucial to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the complexities of the Louisiana legal system. For a free consultation, don't hesitate to contact us. Samantha Moisant , a New Orleans criminal defense attorney is here to help.


If you or a loved one is facing drug charges in Louisiana, time is of the essence. A report by the Pew Research Center emphasizes the high rate of drug arrests, making it crucial to seek expert legal guidance to navigate this challenging situation. For local resources on drug addiction and treatment, you can visit the New Orleans Health Department's website.

By incorporating local and national links, this blog post aims to provide a comprehensive view of drug offenses in Louisiana, particularly New Orleans, and what steps to take if you find yourself facing such charges.



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