Is a drug charge a felony?

drug exchange

The Law & Drug Charges

The courts consider several factors before a drug charge felony charge is established. Drug charges have varying classifications and schedules, which we will explain in this piece as commonly asked questions are answered.

After an arrest, drug charge bail is determined by the drug charge classification, which will state if the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. We will start this article by answering one of the most popular questions: “What happens when you get a drug charge?”

Laws pertaining to drug charges can vary from state to state, so we will answer this question based on drug charges and drug laws in the state of Louisiana, one of the toughest states on drug possession.

Complicating the laws and drug charges in every state has gotten more complicated with the legalization of medical marijuana. Again, each state sets its own boundaries and laws, and in Louisiana, possession of medicinal marijuana must be obtained from proper sources. So, any illegally owned possession of any kind of marijuana will face the penalties as set by previous laws.

In Louisiana, even the smallest amount of illegal marijuana drug charges is punishable by two weeks incarceration and a fine up to $300 maximum. The courts can punish larger amounts of possession with up to 40 years of prison time. If you’re caught possessing larger amounts of drugs, penalties can go up to 40 years in prison! Louisiana also has “three strikes and you’re out” policy that a 3rd misdemeanor drug charge is a felony.

Can you get charged for buying drugs?

Buying drugs would you in the possession of simple possession, and the penalties, as we mentioned earlier for any type of drug charges, will vary from state to state. From there, it is the amount and drug type that will determine the penalty, as well if the accused has any prior offenses.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the penalties if found guilty of drug charges for possession could include any of the following:

  • Up to 3 years’ jail time.
  • Up to $25,000 fine.
  • Possible suspension of driver’s license.
  • Drug addiction treatment mandatory.

For example, if you were facing simple possession drug charges for a small amount of marijuana, you could be sentenced to thirty days of jail time and fined up to $500.  They give harsher penalties for possession of methamphetamine. Typically, drug charges for possession are less severe than those for drug possession charges or drug trafficking in every state.

How much time do you get for a drug charge?

There are many factors that will determine this, with the first being the drug, the amount, and the state. For example, in Texas, drug charges for possession or trafficking are severe. It is to the benefit of the person arrested to get an attorney who is experienced defending clients facing drug charges.

While marijuana legalization may have extensive public support in all states, but in Texas, they still consider it an illegal substance in most situations. If a person is charged with as intentionally or knowingly having “actual care, custody, control or management” of marijuana, it is considered to possession of marijuana and the amount of the substance will determine the punishment. Some examples of punishment for marijuana drug charges in Texas are:

Under two ounces of marijuana possession is a Class B misdemeanor with punishment up to 180 days’ confinement in county jail and/or up to a $2,000 fine, and two years’ probation. For marijuana possession, they can punish drug charges of two to four ounces with one-year jail time and a fine of $4,000.

In Texas, drug charges for possessing marijuana of over four ounces are a felony. They can punish drug charges for over 5 pounds possession with jail time of 180 days to two years and fined $10,000. They can punish marijuana drug charges for up to 50 pounds with two to ten years’ jail time and a fine of $10,000.

Penalties for drug charges for possession of other drugs such as cocaine or meth face are much stiffer in Texas as they are in most states.

How long can a drug case stay open?

Some say the wheels of justice move slowly, and nothing could be truer than the legal process for drug charges. There are several steps involved for a legal team to prove their client is innocent and or the state to argue their guilt.

Regarding felony drug charges, there are a lot of questions about the whole process and possible results. The most common concern and the question are how long before that drug charge will show up on a background check.

Usually, there is a three-year statute of limitations for a felony drug case. If the drug charges are a misdemeanor, the typical time is one year. The limitation time begins the date the accused committed the drug charges crime.  

arrested after a drug charge

How do you fight a drug charge? 

Felony drug charges have long-lasting consequences, and the conviction of such charges can be devastating. Fortunately, there are ways that an attorney with drug charge experience can fight the drug charges, sometimes even have the drug charge expunged. 

In some jurisdictions, there may be a diversion program that permits anyone with drug charges for small amounts to pay court cost, fines, and perhaps have rehabilitation. Once those requirements are met, the drug charges are dropped.

If the accused and their attorney believe there are merits that are worth fighting the drug charges, then they must challenge the evidence presented against them in court. This can be done by proving the office did not have probable cause, or the discovery of the drugs was not made with a valid search warrant.  

Lack of constructive possession being established would be another reason they drop drug charges. Another avenue an experienced drug defense attorney will use is the proof the substance found wasn’t an actual illegal drug.

Of all the laws and possible punishment that we’ve described and mentioned can vary from state to state.  It is in the best interest of the person facing drug charges to hire an attorney that is experienced in drug charges. Several factors can determine situations, and the attorney is the best avenue for advice. Call 985-446-9007 today for drug charge bail for you or your loved ones in Lafourche Parish, LA.