Things You Should Know When You’re Facing Codeine Possession Charges
Louisiana law allows for several limited exceptions to the criminal prosecution of codeine possession. The most common is the unreasonable diversion of certain first-time offenders through drug court programs. But not everyone qualifies for this type of special consideration, so it’s helpful to know more about the charge itself and how best to go about defending against it. There are also some other lesser-known but proactive steps that you can take even before you’re charged with a crime to help your cause down the road if necessary.
Here are some essential things you should know about codeine possession charges in Louisiana:
What is a controlled dangerous substance?
A CDS is any drug listed in the Louisiana state statute. Codeine is one of several drugs identified explicitly by name within the code, but many others qualify as well; some examples include cocaine, marijuana, and oxycontin.
What are the penalties for possession charges?
Codeine possession carries maximum sentences of 10 years imprisonment upon conviction on indictment or six months to 5 years if convicted by judge or jury. But it can be even more severe than that, depending on factors. For example, probation might be a possibility if the codeine is for a person’s personal use and there’s no evidence of selling or distributing. But if the accused has a previous record of drug sales or distribution, they’ll likely face more significant prison time.
PRO TIP: To know more about codeine possession charges and penalties Louisiana, this post is helpful, too.
What types of defense strategies are available?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, there may be several possible criminal defenses that will help you beat your charge or at least get you a lighter sentence. For example, there have been successful challenges to the chain of custody where it can be shown that drugs seized from an accused didn’t belong to them. Also, illegally obtained search warrants are common issues brought up in these cases because police must follow strict requirements when obtaining one, including strict timelines for their execution which makes them easy to challenge.
What are some non-criminal steps that can be taken to help my case?
Even if you’re not charged with a crime, but you know for sure that law enforcement is investigating you, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This way, they can act on your behalf before any of your statements or decisions end up hurting your cause down the road. For example, It’s always best to hire legal representation before consenting to any searches by police where evidence could be seized. Also, withholding certain information until after consulting with counsel may work in your favor later when it comes time to defend against charges because then it will seem like less incriminating evidence was knowingly provided.
How can I find a defense attorney who best fits me and my case?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s just as important to carefully consider options during the hiring process as it is once charges have been filed against you. Some attorneys might specialize in drug offenses, but not necessarily criminal defense as a whole. Others might be very experienced with cases involving codeine possession, but they don’t work in your area, so they’re challenging to retain quickly if necessary.
PRO TIP: In this article, Drug Possession: How A Lawyer Can Help, you will learn more about drug possession charges and how it pays to find the help of a criminal defense attorney in your area.
In conclusion, although it’s important to know the basics of codeine possession charges in Louisiana, this site is by no means responsible for providing legal advice. Always consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before taking any steps that might affect your case negatively or not at all.