Defenses to Drug Possession
In many cases, drugs charges are filed as the result of improper searches and illegal seizures. If you have been charged with drug possession, you need a lawyer who knows how to spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, I am well-versed in proper police procedure. If your constitutional rights were violated, the court will often reduce the charges against you or even dismiss your case entirely.
Texas Drug Crime Law Is Complex
Unless you have a pharmacology degree, you will probably have a tough time deciphering Texas’s drug crime laws. Found under Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the provisions that govern drug possession are a complex maze of rules and regulations.
Related crimes include possession with intent to distribute, drug manufacturing, prescription drug crimes, and drug trafficking. Because drug possession is a serious crime that can result in life-changing penalties, it is absolutely imperative to work with a Texas criminal defense lawyer who understands the law in this area.
Drug Possession Basics
Drug possession offenders are prosecuted based on three basic criteria: the type of drug, the amount of drug, and any aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances include any behaviors or activities that exacerbate the possession, such as an intent to sell or taking drugs into a school zone.
Texas law also groups drugs into “penalty groups” that determine the severity of the charge. These penalty groups sort drugs based on their level of danger, potential for abuse, and medical usefulness. For example, penalty group 1, which includes the most dangerous drugs, imposes the strictest criminal sentences.
Possession of Marijuana
Because it is the most common illegal controlled substance, marijuana has its own special classification under Texas drug law. The penalties vary widely depending on the amount of marijuana the accused had on his person at the time of arrest and how he intended to use the drug.
A charge involving less than two ounces is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. By contrast, a conviction for selling more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a first degree felony that can result in a life sentence.