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Marijuana charges in Louisiana can alter your whole life

Cultural attitudes toward marijuana have shifted drastically in the last two decades. With most states working on or already enforcing medical marijuana laws and many states legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, many don't take marijuana possession very seriously. Given that Louisiana is home to the original party city, New Orleans, it can surprise some to discover that law enforcement still takes marijuana possession seriously in the state. If you've been charged with marijuana possession, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself!

Marijuana penalties can change your life

For those caught in possession of even a small amount of marijuana, their life can change in an instant. In Louisiana, first time offenders are treated with some leniency. With the right representation, you could be facing only probation. Barring a future charge, the record of your marijuana possession arrest could be cleansed from your record. For that to happen, it must be your first charge, and it must be removed within two years of your conviction or entry of your plea.

Otherwise, possession offenses for up to fourteen grams (half an ounce) carry fifteen days in jail and a $300 fine. Those found in possession of more than fourteen grams but less than 2.5 pounds could face six months in jail and $500 in fines for a first offense. Penalties for hash or other forms of marijuana concentrates are the same as penalties for natural state marijuana.

Those who re-offend will face steeper punishments. Second time offenders in possession of less than 2.5 pounds face a fine of $1,000 or up to six months of incarceration. For those with a third charge they face a fine up to $2,500 and as much as two years in prison. Fourth time offenders will receive a fine of up to $5,000, as well as many as eight years of incarceration for marijuana possession charges. It's important to note that all of these varying forms of possession come with a mandatory suspension of your driver's license for at least 30 days, but possibly as much as a full year.

How an attorney can help you with marijuana possession charges

Did you know that first time offenders could receive probation instead of incarceration? Did you know that some judges may suspend your charges if you complete substance abuse programs? An experienced criminal defense attorney knows which judges and prosecutors will work with those accused of marijuana offenses. While legal reforms are being worked on, Louisiana has a long way to go. Don't risk losing your freedom, your access to student aid, or your financial stability over a possession charge. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible!

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Lake Charles, LA 70629

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