What You Need to Know About CDS Laws in Louisiana
Louisiana separates Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) into classes called “schedules.” There are five schedules, notated I—V. Drugs in schedule I are considered the most dangerous and addictive, and incur the biggest penalties for possessing them. Each subsequent schedule decreases in hazardous qualities and therefore incurs less severe penalties than the last.
The only legal way to possess a CDS in Louisiana is with a valid prescription. If you have been arrested for possession of a CDS, you should visit the Louisiana Code statute (40 La. Stat. Ann. § 964). This lists every illegal drug in the state and the specific classes they belong to; this will give you a better idea of the severity of the penalties that are possible to be applied your specific drug and quantity thereof.
Schedule I Drugs:
Some common schedule I drugs include but are not limited to: Marijuana, heroin, LSD, and some opiates.
Possessing a schedule I narcotic incurs prison time from zero to ten years and fines from three hundred to fifty thousand dollars. These penalties vary according to the specific substance involved, the quantity of the substance, and the number of offenses.
It should be noted that a charge for possessing a drug with the intent to distribute brings upon a much stricter penalty; this is the case for all scheduled drugs.
Schedule II Drugs:
Some common schedule II drugs include but are not limited to: Cocaine, oxycodone, codeine, stimulants like Adderall, fentanyl, and crystal meth.
Possessing a schedule II drug can incur prison time with or without hard labor from five to forty years and a fine of up to five hundred thousand dollars.
Schedule III Drugs:
Some common schedule II drugs include but are not limited to: Barbituates, ketamine, and many steroids.
A violation of laws dealing with schedule III drugs calls for imprisonment with or without hard labor for one to five years and fines up to five thousand dollars.
Schedule IV—V Drugs:
These drugs are mostly prescription drugs consisting of stimulants, depressants, and narcotics that may be addictive and that have much more medical value than drugs in the schedule I list.
Possession of a schedule IV or V drug without a valid prescription calls for one to ten years of imprisonment without hard labor and a fine of up to five thousand dollars.
What to do if you’ve been arrested for possession of a CDS:
If this is your first offense for possession or intent to distribute a CDS, the penalties incurred may be less stringent than those for subsequent offenses. Any subsequent offense may certainly call for higher fines and longer prison time.
Remember that any drug prescribed or sold by a vendor without an approved, government-issued license is illegal to possess or distribute. Others’ prescription medicine is illegal to consume or possess, even if it a relative’s or close friend’s. All prescription medicine is designed for medical use, and any other use of the drug is considered illegal and will be prosecuted as such.
In order to ensure that you receive a fair trial and guarantee that your legal rights are respected and upheld accordingly, hire a distinguished, professional drug defense lawyer that will guide you through the legal process. A good criminal defense attorney will communicate with you effectively and attempt to attain for you the least-strict legal punishment possible, if any at all.
New Orleans defense attorney, Carl Barkemeyer, has a reputation of excellent communication skills, a very detailed knowledge of Louisiana law and all of its intricacies, and a sharp loyalty to clients. Call 504-321-4300 if you need help.