A felony is any crime that could result in a sentence exceeding one-year imprisonment under the Louisiana criminal code. The accused can have a trial before a judge or jury. The potential sentence determines the number of jurors that will decide guilt or innocence. Six jurors will be heard if the crime is punishable with or without hard labor. Twelve jurors will be present if the crime is mandatory punishable by “hard labor”. To render a legal verdict, the jury must be unanimous. Felonies include crimes of violence and crimes that could cause significant financial damage or property harm. Louisiana law classifies most drug offenses, except for possession of marijuana-first offense or possession of drug paraphernalia as felonies.
A felony conviction can have devastating effects on your life, even without mentioning the stigma associated with being a “convicted felon”. A felony conviction can result in the offender losing the right to vote and his eligibility for election. Additionally, the offender may lose their professional license and be unable to own firearms. It is certain that the offender will have difficulty obtaining and keeping employment.
You may be able to avoid a felony conviction if you are proactive in your defense and negotiate well. An attorney can help you get a suspended sentence, which will allow you to be placed on probation instead of being sent to jail if a conviction for a felony is not possible. After you have completed your probation, a knowledgeable lawyer might be able to help you get back to the point you were before your case.
A lot of felony cases in which the defendant is convicted for a first offense may allow him or her to enter what is commonly referred to as an “Article893 Plea.” The court will defer the imposition of a sentence and place the defendant on probation. If the defendant completes his probation successfully, the court may set aside the conviction to dismiss the case. The defendant may have the whole matter (i.e., the arrest and subsequent prosecution) removed from his or her records by having the prosecution dismissed.
Louisiana’s criminal justice system can be very complicated. The stakes in felony cases are particularly high. Effective representation is essential at every stage of a felony case. Ernest J Bauer is a criminal defense lawyer in Covington who has extensive experience in the law system. Ernest J Bauer will use his experience to minimize the impact of a felony accusation on you and guide you through the legal and emotional maze.
My name is Ernest Bauer, and I am a Louisiana attorney serving the needs of clients in Covington and throughout the surrounding region. For nearly twenty years, I have helped those with criminal defense needs find efficient resolutions to their legal matters.
I practice only in the areas of criminal defense, ensuring that my clients receive advice from a lawyer who is well-versed in the subject matter of their cases. When you hire me to represent you, I promise to give you straight answers, put in an honest effort to do my best for your situation, and be at your side throughout the entire process. You will always know exactly how your case is progressing. To learn more about me and my background, Click here – Ernest J. Bauer Jr.
Contact me online or Call 504-610-5645 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case with an experienced Louisiana attorney.
Louisiana law classifies most violations of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Law as felonies, except for possession of marijuana-first offense or possession of drug paraphernalia. A conviction for narcotics-related offenses can lead to serious consequences. Many first-time offenders can avoid a drug conviction by working with an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are many diversion programs that are offered by District Attorneys across Louisiana. An attorney can help you to exonerate a drug conviction even if it is impossible to avoid. These provisions can be used if your case is properly handled at the time, you plead or are sentenced.
Penalty for distribution or possession with intent to distribute Narcotic drugs Listed in Schedule II; Possession Cocaine or other Schedule II Narcotic drugs – R.S. 40:967
(1) To distribute or manufacture, dispense a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or controlled substance.
(2) To distribute or create, possess with intent, a counterfeit controlled hazardous substance classified in Schedule 2.
B. Violations to Subsection A. Anyone who violates this Section in relation to:
(1) A substance that is classified in Schedule II has a maximum of:
(a) A weighted aggregate of fewer than twenty-eight grams shall result in imprisonment for no less than one year or more than ten years. In addition, a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars may be imposed.
(b) Any aggregate weight greater than twenty-eight shall be subject to hard labor imprisonment for no less than one year or longer than twenty years and may be fined not exceeding fifty thousand dollars.
(2)(a). Production or manufacture of methamphetamines or amphetamines shall result in imprisonment at hard labor of no less than ten or more years. At least ten of these years must be served without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. In addition, a sentence of not more than five hundred thousand dollars may be imposed.
(b) This Subparagraph shall also be known as the “Child Endangerment Law”. The minimum mandatory sentence is fifteen years if the state can prove beyond the elements of the crime set forth in Section A that a child under twelve years old was present in the dwelling, mobile home, or another inhabited dwelling when the offense occurred.
(3) Production or manufacture of cocaine, cocaine base, or a mixture of substances containing cocaine or their analogs, as specified in Schedule II(A),(4) of R.S. 40:964 or Oxycodone, as described in Schedule II (A(1)(p)) of R.S. 40:964 or oxycodone as prescribed in Schedule II (A)(1)(p) of R.S. 40:964 or methadone as provided in Schedule II(B)(15) of R.S. shall be sentenced to hard labor imprisonment for not less than ten or more years. At least ten of these years shall be served with no benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence and may not be subject to a fine exceeding five hundred thousand dollars.
Fentanyl, or any mixture or substance containing detectable amounts of fentanyl, its analogs, or fentanyl, will be sentenced to hard labor for no less than five years or more than forty years. A fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars may be added.
C. Possession. Possession is illegal. 40:978, while acting within the scope of his professional practice or as authorized by this Part. This Subsection shall not be violated by any person about:
(1) A total weight of fewer than two grams shall result in imprisonment for not more than two years. In addition to this, a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars may be imposed.
(2) A combined weight of 2 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, shall result in not less than 1 year in imprisonment or 5 years. In addition, a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars may be imposed.
(3) Phencyclidine weighing less than twenty-eight shall be subject to hard labor imprisonment for no less than one year or more than twenty years or a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or both.
Fentanyl, containing a detectable level of fentanyl, its analogs or fentanyl, or mixtures or substances containing a detectable quantity of fentanyl, or its analogs upon conviction for:
(a) A total weight of fewer than two grams shall be imprisoned for no less than two years or more than four years, with or without hard work.
(b) Any aggregate weight greater than 2 grams but less than 28 grams shall be imprisoned for no less than 2 years or 10 years. A fine not exceeding five thousand dollars may be added.
D. D. 40:978, if the controlled substance’s total weight is greater than twenty-eight, while the person is engaged in professional practice, it will be considered a violation under Subsection A.
E. E. A court can order division of probation and parole by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections in order to conduct a presentence inquiry. The court may also order that the defendant obtain a substance abuse evaluation to determine if he or she has a substance use disorder.
(2) The court will receive the evaluation or report and, if it believes the defendant suffers from a substance abuse problem, may order a hearing to determine if the defendant is guilty.
(3) If the court finds that the defendant suffers from a substance abuse disorder after a contradictory hearing, it may require that the defendant participates in a drug treatment program.
(a) The local jurisdiction has a program that is qualified and approved by Louisiana to work with people with substance abuse disorders.
(b) The approved treatment is not expensive enough to cause significant financial hardship for the defendant or his dependents. This determination will use the same definition of “substantial Financial Harm” as in R.S. 15:175.