The penalties of a drug possession conviction can change your life. Between prison time, fines and your criminal record, you can suffer multiple consequences. And Louisiana laws are strict when punishing drug possession.

So what penalties can you face if a court convicts you of a drug possession? That depends on how much a court charges you with possessing. The penalty also depends on what schedule Louisiana classifies the drug as. Schedule I drugs can have the following penalties:

  • Under two grams – Prison for up to two years, either with or without hard labor, and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Two to 28 grams – A minimum year in prison, with or without hard labor, and up to 10 years for a maximum sentence. You can also face a fine up to $5,000.
  • Less than 28 grams with intent to distribute – If a court thinks you intended to sell the drug, you can receive up to ten years with or without hard labor with a minimum of a year along with a fine up to $50,000.
  • More than 28 grams – The court considers possession of more than 28 grams intent to distribute. You can receive up to 20 years in jail with hard labor, with a minimum of a year. This also comes with a fine up to $50,000.

Defending against possession charges

Louisiana is strict on drug possession. With a conviction, you can lose valuable time with your family while serving a prison sentence. And you must pay the court stiff fines.

Not only will you have to deal with the penalties of the court, but you will also have a criminal drug conviction on your record. When you try to get a job or apply for housing, you will have to deal with employers or landlords who don’t accept people with drug convictions.

Make sure to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest to see if you can get charges reduced or dropped.