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Defending Against Drug Possession Charges in Texas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Midland Texas Drug Crimes Defense LawyerBeing charged with a drug crime is a serious matter in any state, but penalties if convicted in Texas are especially harsh. Even a conviction for drug possession can result in a jail sentence, depending on the circumstances of the case. However, a prosecutor’s case is only as strong as the evidence he or she is able to present to a jury and if that evidence is weak or tainted, a defense attorney may be able to convince the court that it is inadmissible.

Drug Possession in Texas

Under Texas law, there are four classes of drugs. Marijuana has a separate class of its own. Each class has its own set of penalties that the court can impose if a person is found guilty of drug possession.

Depending on the type and amount of the drug a person is accused of possessing, the charges can range from a Class B or Class C misdemeanor (with conviction carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000), third-degree felony, up to a first-degree felony. The harshest penalty a person convicted of drug possession can receive is 99 years to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

Other factors that may determine the penalty a conviction will carry include:

  • Past convictions

  • Possession of any drug paraphernalia

  • Possession of large sums of money

  • How the drug(s) was being concealed or stored

Suppressing Evidence

There are a variety of reasons why a judge will agree to suppress evidence in a drug possession case:

  • The evidence was seized without a warrant

  • There was a warrant but there was no probable cause to believe the grounds on which that warrant was granted

  • There was a warrant, but it was illegally executed

  • The evidence was obtained as a result of law enforcement violating the defendant’s Miranda rights

  • There was an error in the evidence’s chain of custody that could have/did affect handling, transferring, or storage.

If any of the above are present, the judge will likely grant the defense attorney’s motion to suppress. In some cases, without the now inadmissible evidence, the prosecutor cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the charges are dismissed.

There are some exceptions, however, as to why the judge would still allow the evidence to be admitted:

  • Although there was no warrant, the defendant gave consent for law enforcement to the search that resulted in finding the evidence.

  • Another source can provide the evidence that would be suppressed if the defense motion was granted.

  • Police were acting in good faith and did not realize there was an issue with how the evidence had been obtained.

  • It was inevitable the evidence would have been found.

Contact a Midland Defense Lawyer for Legal Assistance

If you have been charged with drug possession, it is important to begin working on a defense against these charges right away in order to avoid the harshest outcome possible. Call Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. at 512-474-2222 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our dedicated Austin, TX drug crimes defense attorneys.

 

Source:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/hs/htm/hs.481.htm

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