Manufacturing drugs is prohibited in the state of Louisiana unless the state or federal government provides a license to you. Drug manufacturing charges typically apply to individuals cultivating drugs like marijuana in their home – or sometimes making methamphetamines.
What Is the Definition of Drug Manufacturing in New Orleans?
The law defines manufacturing as an act where an individual participates in any process of creating an illicit drug. Fabrication might include mixing, cooking, growing, or producing an illegal substance. Also, offering to assist another manufacturer in the process can lead to a manufacturing charge – even if you did not physically make it.
The only acceptable manufacturing operation in the state is facilities with a Permit to Operate. You must have a facility that meets standards similar to all food manufacturing requirements. Furthermore, you must provide information about the sanitization, location, and specifications of your facility to the state’s Department of Health.
Medical cannabis is allowed for those carrying Louisiana Medical Marijuana cards. However, you can only access the marijuana through a registered supplier. No laws allow at-home cultivation in the state at this time.
Looking at the Elements Required of the Crime
To be convicted of manufacturing, a severe offense in the state, the prosecutor must prove the elements of your possession, intent to make, and intent to distribute.
Possession of marijuana seeds, for example, is not enough proof to say you had the intent to cultivate or distribute that drug.
On the other hand, if you have laboratory equipment, distribution materials, and high volumes of the illicit substance, it would be evidence to support your manufacturing operation.
What Are the Penalties for Manufacturing Drugs?
Drug manufacturing penalties are harsh, and lawmakers want to deter others from engaging in similar illegal acts. Therefore, you might find you will not only face jail time but have penalties that could impact you the rest of your life.
Drug manufacturing is a felony, and you may face federal charges as well if you took any of the items you manufactured across state lines.
Some penalties associated with a manufacturing conviction include:
- Prison Sentences: You will most definitely face prison sentences for manufacturing. The sentence depends on the category of a felony you are charged with – and whether you agree to a plea bargain with the prosecution. These sentences can be as high as ten years alone. If only charged with a misdemeanor, you may have probation or a jail sentence under 12 months.
- Fines: Jail or prison is only half the issue. You will also face serious penalties for manufacturing. Misdemeanor fines are lower and often stay under $2,000, but felony fines can be as high as $50,000.
- Probation or Parole: Even if you do not serve your entire sentence, the judge is likely to issue probation or parole. You are not free, even if you are out of jail. Instead, you must follow strict rules, and any violation of those rules could result in your being sent back to jail or prison for the duration of your sentence – with a possibility of a few years tacked on.
Increased Sentences Do Apply
In the cases of drug manufacturing, you may have enhanced charges. If the amounts you were caught manufacturing exceed state or federal limits, harsher penalties can be imposed.
Certain circumstances might also add to your prison sentence based on the state’s sentencing guidelines. For example, if you manufactured illegal substances close to a school or other common area where children are present, you may have an enhanced penalty. If you had children in the home, you could face enhanced manufacturing charges and also charges for child endangerment.
Furthermore, if you have small children, you may encounter custody issues as the court is less likely to place a child back in a home where drug manufacturing occurred.
The Long-Term Consequences
Many defendants look at the immediate consequences and ignore the ones that linger long after. If you have been convicted of manufacturing, even after serving your time, you will be suffering from the effects of a conviction.
Felony convictions follow you, affect your ability to get a job, and may disqualify you from receiving public aid. Housing applications might be denied with a past criminal record, too.
Are There Defense Strategies against Drug Manufacturing Charges?
Like all criminal charges, you do have defense options, but it is best to leave these to your attorney. An attorney will evaluate the evidence against you and create a strategy based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Some common defenses include:
- Legitimate Purpose for the Materials: You might have a valid reason for the materials in your home other than drug manufacturing. If you can prove that these materials were used for legal purposes, you may stop manufacturing charges from moving forward.
- Personal Use Only: Other times, defendants might be able to argue that, while they did manufacture, it was not with intent to distribute to others. You could show that the amounts you produced were for personal use. Naturally, the volume you are caught with determines the likelihood it was for personal use.
Protect Your Future – Consult with a Drug Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for manufacturing or intent to distribute, you need a criminal defense attorney. Shlosman Law Firm offers effective, aggressive criminal defense to those who have been arrested for drug crimes.
We know how the prosecution works, and we know they work to get the maximum sentence against defendants. Let us help you avoid a lifetime of paying for one crime.
Schedule a free case evaluation now at 504-826-9427, or request more information online.