People who cross the bridge into Lake Charles from Texas are sometimes shocked to find that Louisiana has some very strict drug laws. Texas is known for its strict penalties for cases involving heroin. However, the penalties in Louisiana are usually a lot harsher.
It is imperative that anyone who has anything to do with heroin understand the serious consequences they are facing if they are convicted of any charge related to heroin.
Louisiana’s penalties for heroin charges
Being convicted of possession of heroin means that you are headed to prison with hard labor. This charges carries a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of 10 years. The law states that this sentence can’t be suspended, so you aren’t going to be able to get off of the imprisonment. The judge can’t give you probation if you are convicted.
Life in prison with hard labor is the penalty for selling heroin in this state. Just like possession charges, the judge can’t suspend the imprisonment or order that you serve probation instead. There aren’t official laws pertaining to trafficking heroin, so these cases are tried under the sale of heroin laws. Even though these seem like the harshest penalties, it is possible for them to be doubled in some cases, such as selling to a minor or to someone who is three years your junior.
Reasons for the harsh penalties
Heroin has a negative impact on the community. This is a public health crisis that can lead to an increase in the thefts and other crimes. This is one of the reasons why Louisiana has taken such as hard stance against this specific drug.
On top of the increase in crime, heroin usage comes with an increase in sexually transmitted diseases and other communicable diseases. It impacts families and can force the court to remove children from the care of a parent who is a heroin addict.
It also puts a strain on the economy in the area. Many times, drug addicts are unemployed and don’t have a way to pay for medical care they might need when they overdose or become ill. Some need other financial assistance that might be provided through government programs.
The severity of penalties you face for these charges should spur you into action. If you are facing heroin charges, you need to determine how you are going to face them. Ideally, you will start working on this immediately because you don’t want to head to a trial unprepared for the proceedings.