Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor Drug Charge in New Orleans?
Having legal representation is important to defend a misdemeanor drug charge because many misdemeanors are punishable by a sentence of up to 6 months in jail. Misdemeanor drug convictions may negatively affect your criminal record. This can hurt your chances of obtaining school enrollment, apartments, and future employment.
Most importantly, some misdemeanor drug charges are enhanceable offenses, which means that the first conviction can be used to enhance the sentence of the second conviction. For instance, possession of marijuana third offense is a felony punishable up to 2 years in prison. Our New Orleans misdemeanor lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm will work to attempt to avoid the first conviction. Barkemeyer Law Firm is a misdemeanor drug defense law firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. We defend clients charged with all types of misdemeanor drug charges.
Can I just go to court and pay the marijuana ticket?
You can go to court on your assigned court date and plead guilty. You cannot just pay the fine like a traffic ticket. However, even when you pay the fine on a traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty to it. The judge may give you 15 days in jail and/or order you to pay a fine for possession of marijuana misdemeanor. The problem with doing it this way is that you become convicted of a drug charge. It may seem minor to you at the time since you are just paying a fine, if that is what the judge orders. However, it can creep up on you in the future in a bad way.
How can a misdemeanor drug charge harm me in the future?
Education. If you are currently enrolled in college or university, the school will not look the other way if you are convicted of a misdemeanor drug charge. The school may require a probation period or even expulsion. You must consider if you will be applying to a school one day. When you apply, you will be asked if you were convicted of a crime and if so, what charge. You may be required to explain the drug conviction. The admission committee may refuse your acceptance based on the conviction for misdemeanor marijuana in Louisiana.
Employment. Employment is treated similarly to education. An employer can fire an employee for a drug conviction. Future employers can consider a prior drug conviction in determining whether or not to hire an applicant. If you have a marijuana conviction and another qualified applicant doesn’t, which one do you think the employer will hire?
Housing. Landlords may also run criminal background checks to see if they want to rent their apartment to an applicant. Consider if you find a great place to live but your application gets denied because you had a misdemeanor charge on your record and the other applicant, who was chosen, hired a lawyer and got it cleaned up.
Misdemeanor Drug Defense Lawyer in New Orleans
One of the best places to have fun and enjoy your nightlife in Louisiana is New Orleans. But you have to watch the kind of drugs, you use at these parties, or anywhere else in New Orleans since most drugs are considered illegal in Louisiana. Believe it or not, there are a few illegal drugs in Louisiana, that if caught with you can send you behind bars. In some cases, you may incur heavy cash fines, probation, community service, or house arrest. Truth be told, none of these punishments looks good on your record; you should avoid a drug conviction in Louisiana, at all cost.
All things considered, there is only one path to tread when a misdemeanor drug charge is filed against you in New Orleans or Orleans. That is; to hire an aggressive criminal lawyer New Orleans, for your case. While a misdemeanor drug charge may seem like one of the least consequential crimes in Louisiana, it is, in fact, a serious offense. You shouldn’t take it lightly, as it warrants serious punishments. So what is a misdemeanor drug offense, and what are the potential punishments for a misdemeanor drug conviction?
Misdemeanor Drug – Examples
If you are arrested on the bases of a misdemeanor drug charge, it implies that the potential penalties for your alleged crime will not be as severe as a felony drug offense. With an aggressive lawyer backing you in court, you may even convince the Judge and jury to “throw out” the case. However, if you treat the misdemeanor drug charge with light-heartedness, there is a fair chance that you would end up with a jail sentence, cash fine, or both. Even though the jail sentence is short term, it has the potential to spoil your good name and record for life.
Marijuana possession is the only misdemeanor drug crime in New Orleans, Orleans, and across the whole of Louisiana. Because of the recent push for the nation-wide legitimization of marijuana, Louisiana inhabitants can avoid serious punishments, if they carry less than 14 grams’ worth of Marijuana on them. If at the time of your arrest, you are found with over 14 grams’ worth of marijuana in your possession, you may stand trial for “possession with the intent to distribute”. This invariably implies that your drug case is no longer a misdemeanor. Another instance where you would be charged for a misdemeanor drug offense in New Orleans is when you are caught with paraphernalia. An experienced criminal lawyer New Orleans can help you.
Misdemeanor Drug Charge with Previous Conviction
A misdemeanor drug charge is not as serious as a felony drug charge. However, the court will consider your past criminal records for the alleged crime, before a verdict will be passed on your case. The only noteworthy distinction between the felony charge and the misdemeanor charge is that you may end up with probation if you have been convicted for two or more felony charges in the past. With an experienced criminal lawyer New Orleans – Barkemeyer Law Firm – working on your case, you’ll point out to the court, that you have turned a new leaf since your previous convictions. For example, if you were convicted for a heroin charge in the past and you are now charged for having a few grams of paraphernalia or marijuana on you at the time of your arrest. The judge may treat your case with compassion; seeing that you have come a long way from your prior felony drug conviction. However, if the charges keep recurring, and you are brought before the court for possessing marijuana with the intent to sell, then you may end up with a jail term.
Every drug charge in Louisiana, whether misdemeanor or felony, deserves its own personalized strategy. For this reason, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney Orleans, for your defense in court.
What to do when you are arrested for a misdemeanor drug charge
It isn’t uncommon for people who are arrested on the bases of misdemeanor drug charge, to want to prove their innocence to the arresting officer. But that shouldn’t be the case. As a matter of fact, you should do avoid such inclinations, as you may incur direr punishments for divulging incriminating information to the arresting officer. It doesn’t matter what kind of drug offense you are arrested for, you shouldn’t provide any defense for your case, until a criminal lawyer New Orleans, is present. Keep in mind that what you say to the arresting officer is being recorded, and can be used against you in the court of law. While you are attempting to defend yourself from the alleged crime, you may say incriminating things without even knowing it. To avoid this kind of awkward situation, where your own words undermine your chances of walking out of the courtroom a free man or woman. Call our criminal defense attorney immediately if you or any of your loved ones is arrested for a misdemeanor drug charge in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Potential punishments for a misdemeanor drug charge in New Orleans
Unlike a felony drug charge that may incur up to 20-year prison sentence or more, potential punishments for misdemeanor drug conviction are not all that serious. You may end up with a jail term in the state penitentiary. But the jail term will not extend more than one year.
Contact a New Orleans Criminal Lawyer for help
However, the potential ramifications for a misdemeanor drug charge in Louisiana are not only limited to prison sentences and monetary fines. It may come back to haunt you in the future when you need to further your education, get a job, or housing in Louisiana and across the country. For this reason, you need to explore all your legal options before you go ahead and pay for the marijuana ticket or plead guilty to the misdemeanor drug crime.
The New Orleans criminal lawyer at the Barkemeyer can help you explore all the available options in your misdemeanor drug case, so as to secure a favorable outcome for you in court. In the event that you have prior convictions on your record, our criminal attorney will speak on your behalf to the judge, to secure the most favorable outcome for your case.
You must think about the future when you first receive a misdemeanor drug charge in New Orleans. The time to consider your options are before you start going to court. The cost of an attorney now is minor considering the cost of the long-term consequences. We are drug defense attorneys in New Orleans. We know how to protect your criminal record for years to come. If you care about your future, contact a New Orleans misdemeanor lawyer in Louisiana today.
More Information on Drug Charges in Louisiana:
|Creation of Meth Lab|
|Felony Drug Charges|
|Misdemeanor Drug Charges|
|Obtaining Pills by Fraud|
|Possession with Intent|
201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 2500
New Orleans, LA 70170