Defending Yourself Against Drug Possession Charges
If you face drug possession charges, a conviction could lead to considerable losses that upend your life in ways you may not have even considered. Further, the stress and disruption caused by the charge itself can be overwhelming. Bringing your most robust defense is critical.
Texas Drug Laws Are Strict
The laws related to controlled substances and narcotics in the State of Texas are as strict as they are complicated and confusing. Illegal drugs are classified into five different schedules. The level of classification is predicated on the drug’s potential for abuse, the degree to which it elicits dependence, and whether there are any legitimate medical uses associated. These schedules include:
Schedule I Drugs – Schedule I drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse and that have no currently accepted medical application. Heroin, LSD, and marijuana are examples.
Schedule II Drugs – Schedule II drugs may be as dangerous as those in Schedule I, but they also have legitimate medical use. Examples include Adderall, OxyContin, and methadone.
Schedule III Drugs – Schedule III drugs have a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Ketamine, anabolic steroids, and Tylenol with codeine are examples.
Schedule IV Drugs – Schedule IV drugs are defined as having a low risk of dependence or abuse. Xanax, Ativan, and Ambien are examples.
Schedule V Drugs – Schedule V drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs, but they sometimes contain limited quantities of specific narcotics. Certain prescription cough syrups are one example.
While many of these drugs are not illegal if you have the appropriate prescription, the police can be overzealous in their efforts, which can leave you facing charges for a medication your doctor prescribed.
Your Drug Possession Charge
If you’re facing a drug possession charge, the state has some serious hurdles to clear before it can obtain a conviction, including:
The state must establish that you knew what the substance in question was.
The state must establish that you knew you had the substance in question unlawfully in your possession.
The state must establish that the evidence obtained against you was obtained legally – and did not infringe upon your legal rights.
Ultimately, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that is a high bar.
You have every right to bring your strongest defense against the charges you face, and you are well-advised to do so. The nuts and bolts of your defense can hinge on any of the following:
You have a valid prescription for the medication in question.
The medication or substance in question does not belong to you.
You were not aware that you were in possession of the medication or substance in question.
The evidence against you was gathered in a manner that stepped on your constitutional rights.