Louisiana drug charges might lead to jail time and numerous other personal consequences. The average defendant accused of a drug offense would prefer to move on from the charges as quickly as possible. They achieve this goal by entering a guilty plea in the hopes of avoiding a public trial and the worst sentence possible given the charges.
Having a criminal record that may follow you for the rest of your life is a serious concern for someone accused of violating Louisiana drug statutes. After a conviction or a guilty plea, there will permanently be a public record that identifies you as someone who violated state law. Any employer, landlord or educational institution may perform a background check and decide against extending an opportunity to you.
Drug offenses are some of the most stigmatized crimes, which means anyone who learns about your criminal record may judge you. Is there any way to avoid a criminal record that will haunt you for the rest of your life?
You can defend against the charges in court
Defending yourself from charges means either convincing the prosecutor to drop the charges or securing a verdict of not guilty.
Even if a prosecutor offers you a plea to a lesser charge, a background check will tell employers and educational institutions about the original charges you faced, and they will likely assume you were guilty of that offense because you plead guilty to a lesser charge.
The only way to avoid a criminal record when going through the criminal courts is to successfully defend yourself against the charges.
You can ask for drug court proceedings
Non-violent drug offenses lead to drug court proceedings. When your case goes through the drug courts instead of the criminal courts, the focus will be on helping you undergo treatments and achieve sobriety.
You will have to undergo intensive treatments, attend frequent meetings with court-appointed professionals and submit to regular drug screenings. Those who successfully complete all of the requirements set by the Louisiana adult drug treatment courts can avoid a criminal conviction and move on without a permanent criminal record.
Learning more about Louisiana criminal justice system can help you find an appropriate solution for your pending drug charges.