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Special sentencing rules regarding distributing drugs to students

Different Louisiana drug crimes, such as drug distribution, have their own particular sentencing ranges that the law sets for them. Generally, when a person is convicted of a drug crime, the court is limited to sentencing them within the set range for that crime. However, for some types of offenses, a court may be able to issue a sentence above the typical range if certain special circumstances are present.

Whether or not the allegations in a criminal case contain allegations of any special circumstances that could trigger an upped sentencing range in the event of a conviction can be very impactful in a case and a very important thing for the suspect in the case to be aware of. Skilled drug defense lawyers can answer questions individuals accused of drug offenses have about whether the allegations in their case raise any special issues, such as the possibility of harsher sentencing.

When it comes to the crime of drug distribution here in Louisiana, one of the special circumstances that can trigger upped sentencing is if the person the drugs were distributed to was a student.

Under state law, when a person is found to have illegally distributed a drug listed on one of the state’s drug schedules to a student of a Louisiana school, courts have the option of going beyond the typical maximum sentence for the underlying distribution offense when it comes to both fines and prison sentences. Specifically, they are authorized to issue a fine up to twice as high as the typical maximum and a prison sentence up to one and a half times the length of the typical maximum.

This max fine and prison sentence multiplier can be applied regardless of which of the drug schedules (I through V) the drug that was distributed was in.

Another thing to note is that this multiplier option does not just apply to drug distribution to elementary and secondary school students. It also applies to drug distribution to students who go to vocational-technical training, postsecondary or special schools/institutions. Additionally, it covers both private and public school students.

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Law Office of John E. Fitz-Gerald, L.L.C.
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Lake Charles, LA 70629

Phone: 337-494-1200
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