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Will Going to Rehab Lessen My Sentence?

Posted By: On Behalf of J. Kevin Stockstill, Attorney at Law // On:

Whether you've been charged with a drug-related crime, rehab might be worth your consideration prior to court proceedings. Voluntarily admitting yourself to rehab after drug charges can show the judge your willingness to overcome a possible addiction, which has the potential to lessen your sentence.

What You Need To Know

Though Louisiana is among the harshest of states on drug charges (posession in particular), there is something to be said about the fact that Louisiana law actually rightly views addiction as a disease that the addicted-offender has no control over. Because of this stance, Louisiana has enacted and joined programs to appropriately and effectively support residents suffering with addiction. Why does this matter? A state dedicated to the rehabilitation and recovery of addicts is more likely to view voluntary admittance to rehab positively and potentially as your effort to preemptively cooperate with their efforts.

Drug Posession Penalties

Louisiana classifies drugs into five schedules, with schedule I being the most dangerous and schedule IV being the least dangerous substances. Marijuana posession is treated differently, though the penalties carry no lesser weight.

Inpatient rehabilitation is your best bet, but, if court-proceedings don't allow the necessary time, outpatient rehab can benefit you as well. Not only will both options show an offender's willingness to get clean, but both options will best prepare the offender for any court-ordered treatment as well. Given the potential for lesser sentencing and the preparation benefits, there is no harm in going to rehab prior to court proceedings.

Schedule Drugs

  • Schedule I     Up to 30 years in prison and/or fine up to $600,000.
    • Opiates and opium derivatives, including heroin.
  • Schedule II     Up to 30 years in prison and/or fine up to $600,000.
    • Opiates and opium derivatives not included in schedule I, including cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • Schedule III     Up to 5 years in prison and/or fine up to $5,000.
    • Anabolic steroids, stimulants, narcotics, and depressants.
  • Schedule IV     Up to 5 yeras in prison and/or fine up to $5,000.
    • Other narcotics, stimulants, depressants not listed in schedule III, including alprazolam.
  • Schedule V     Up to 5 yeras in prison and/or fine up to $5,000
    • Other narcotics, stimulants, and depressants not listed in schedule IV

Marijuana

  • 10,000 lbs or more - Felony     Up to 40 years in prison and/or fine up to $1 million.
  • 2,000 to 10,000 lbs - Felony     Up to 40 years in prison and/or fine up to $400,000.
  • 60 to 2,000 lbs - Felony     Up to 30 years in prison and/or fine up to $100,000.
  • 2.5 to 60 lbs - Not classified     Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine up to $30,000.
  • 14 g to 2.5 lbs (first offense) - Not classified     Up to 6 months in prison and/or fine up to $500.
  • Less than 14 g (first offense) - Not classified     Up to 15 days in jail and/or fine up to $300.

Louisiana Drug Courts

If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you can apply for Drug Court. Drug Court is responsible for lesser drug-related offenders and provides them with a supervision and treatment program. Offenders are given frequent drug tests, judicial and probation supervision, drug treatment counseling, educational opportunities, and the use of sanctions and incentives. Offenders with more serious drug charges (sale of drugs, possession for sale of drugs, etc.) and those charged or convicted with a violent crime are excluded from drug courts. For more information on Louisiana Drug Courts, visit LASC.

Louisiana Harm Reduction Laws

Louisiana may be among the harshest with drug charges, but we are among the friendliest with harm reduction laws. These laws reduce the risks associated with drug addiction and assist in improving the lives of Louisiana residents.

  • 911 Good Samaritan Law

  • Many people hesitate to call 911 for their own overdose or as a witness of someone else's overdose in fear that they will be charged or arrested for drug abuse. This law, however, grants legal immunity if 911 is called in regards to an overdose.

  • Naloxone Availability Law

  • Naloxone is an antidote used to reverse heroin overdoses. Louisiana, in 2016, made Naxolone widely available as an over-the-counter medication, which allows anyone to buy and administer it in an effort to save more lives from heroin-related overdoses.

Next Steps

If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an experienced lawyer like Kevin Stockstill to advise you and create a solid defense for your court proceedings. Contact us today to arrange counsel and representation.

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