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When do marijuana charges become felonies in Louisiana?

Minor marijuana crimes, such as possession of 14 grams or less, come with equally minor legal ramifications. In Louisiana, a first offense conviction for that type of possession carries a maximum $300 fine and a maximum of 15 days in jail. The state also has medical marijuana laws, so it is possible to use the drug legally under the right circumstances.

When do the charges get more serious? When could you be facing a felony?

That happens, for possession cases, when you get into larger amounts of marijuana that could indicate an intent to distribute. For example:

  • It is a felony to possess between 60 and 2,000 pounds of marijuana. This could lead to $100,000 in fines and five to 30 years behind bars.
  • It is a felony to possess between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds of marijuana. Conviction could lead to $400,000 in fines and 10 to 40 years behind bars.
  • It is a felony to possess over 10,000 pounds of marijuana. This could carry up to $1,000,000 in fines and 25 to 40 years behind bars.

In all of those cases, the shorter limit for jail time is a mandatory minimum sentence. You must serve at least 25 years if convicted with more than 10,000 pounds, for instance.

With marijuana laws changing across the country and such stiff penalties for those who get convicted on felony charges, it is very important to understand all of the legal defense options you have. Remember that a conviction can have a drastic impact on your future. You must know what rights you have and what steps to take.

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