While many states have already passed laws that permit individuals to use marijuana for recreational purposes, many others are still leery of passing a law that would permit their residents to use it as well. Not only does that leave residents at risk of being fined and jailed when charged with possession of marijuana, but it also results in a significant number of people left with a “stain” on their record that will remain on it for several years to come. Now, although Louisiana does have some rather tough laws regarding possession of marijuana, the state of Louisiana recently passed HB 149 that took effect on June 29, 2018, which reduced some of the penalties a person would be faced with when caught with marijuana in their possession.
What is HB 149 and what changes has it brought?
HB 149 modified certain aspects of the law including the clause for when a person is caught with less than 14 grams of marijuana. The law now states that if an individual is caught with 14 grams or less of marijuana in their possession, they will be faced with a fine of no more than $300 and/or imprisoned for no more than 15 days. Prior to this bill being passed, an individual who was caught with the same amount of marijuana in their possession was subjected to paying a fine of no more than $500 and/or having to spend no more than six months in jail.
Now, if a person were to be caught with more than 14 grams of marijuana in their possession and it was their first offense, the law remains the same as they would still be subjected to paying a fine of no more than $500 and/or having to spend up to six months in jail.
You can read the entire HB 149 along with the modifications that have been made to it by clicking here.
Despite the changes that have been made to the current law regarding marijuana possession, it is still a punishable crime and the penalties do strengthen in severity if you have been convicted more than one time for the same crime or you are caught with larger amounts in your possession.
Do I need to hire a LA criminal defense lawyer if I was caught with marijuana in my possession in Baton Rouge?
Regardless of how much marijuana you had in your possession when you were caught, it is vital that you hire a Baton Rouge criminal defense lawyer to represent you in your case. The fact is, a criminal charge, no matter how minor you may think it may be, will still appear on your record and affect your ability to seek employment or keep the current job you have. And in the event the criminal charge is more severe, then it is definitely in your best interest to contact Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf so that we can help you fight your charges and potentially get them reduced.
Being charged with a crime can be scary, especially if it is your first offense which is why we recommend you contact us as soon as possible so that we can explain your charges, the penalties you are facing, and what we can do to protect your freedom and possibly get your charges thrown out.
If you need to speak with a criminal defense lawyer now, call us or text us at 225-343-2205.
You can also reach Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf at:
3960 Government Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70806