Being charged with drug possession is a serious matter in Texas. Criminal courts take drug possession charges very seriously, which is why you may have a hard time building a defense. Fortunately, you can speak with an attorney to find out how you can fight drug possession charges in your particular situation.
Depending on the details of your criminal offense, your drug possession charge can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Being convicted of drug possession can result in imprisonment, fines, and other consequences that may have a negative impact on various aspects of your life.
Since each drug possession case is unique, it is vital to consult with a knowledgeable lawyer to determine the best defense strategy in your case. A McLennan criminal defense attorney will help you reduce or dismiss your drug possession charges to fight for your freedom and future.
You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney to Fight Drug Possession Charges
Being arrested for drug possession – or any other drug crime, for that matter – is a stressful and life-changing event in anyone’s life. Not all controlled substances are considered illegal drugs. If you were prescribed a controlled substance, you cannot be charged with drug possession if you can demonstrate proof of prescription.
Facing drug possession charges is a tricky matter. A drug crime conviction can negatively affect your ability to find employment, your housing opportunities, and other aspects of your life.
For this reason, it is imperative to discuss your situation with a criminal defense attorney to choose the best defense strategy to fight drug possession charges in your case. Penalties for drug possession depend on the type and quantity of the controlled substance as well as the offender’s prior criminal convictions.
8 Common Defenses to Drug Possession Charges
Let’s review some of the most common defenses to drug possession charges in Texas:
Illegal search or seizure. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable and illegal searches and seizures. It means police officers cannot go through your stuff without a warrant or legal justification. Law enforcement needs to establish probable cause or have a warrant to search your person, home, or motor vehicle. If a police officer found illegal drugs in your possession when he/she did not have probable cause or a warrant to search you, the drugs cannot be used as admissible evidence in your case. As a result, the prosecutor may not have sufficient evidence to prove your guilt for a conviction.
Lack of intent/knowledge. Under Texas law, a person commits the criminal offense of drug possession if it can be proven that they intentionally or knowingly had a controlled substance in their possession. It means that the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in the care, control, or management of the illegal drug to find you guilty. This defense is rarely available in drug possession cases. However, when it is raised by a knowledgeable attorney, it can provide a reasonable justification to drop the charges.
The drugs were someone else’s. In order to find you guilty of drug possession, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the care and control of the illegal drug in question. However, for example, if drugs were found in your car but are not actually yours, you cannot be convicted of drug possession. If the prosecutor cannot prove that the drugs belonged to you, the charges against you may be dismissed.
Lack of evidence. The prosecution must be able to prove that you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of drug possession. However, if there is not enough evidence to prove your guilt, you may avoid a conviction. Your criminal defense attorney will look at the prosecutor’s case against you to identify the strong and weak points. If the case does not have sufficient evidence to prove that you intentionally or knowingly possess a controlled substance, you cannot be found guilty.
The substance was not controlled. The prosecutor must be able to prove that the substance in your possession was control to justify a drug possession conviction. Texas law recognizes several penalty groups. If the substance that was found on your person or in your car/house is not one of the substances from the penalty groups, you cannot be convicted of drug possession in Texas.
You have a valid prescription. Many Texans have valid prescriptions for some of the controlled substances from penalty groups. If you have a medical condition that requires you to use a controlled substance and you have a valid prescription that was obtained legally, you cannot face a conviction for drug possession.
Entrapment. Many drug possession charges are the result of sting operations conducted by undercover police officers. If your lawyer can prove that you were provoked to commit an offense of drug possession or any other drug crime, you raise the “entrapment” defense to avoid a conviction.
Violations of Miranda rights. Police officers are legally required to read you your Miranda rights when you are arrested. If a police officer failed to read your Miranda rights or did not follow other procedures when arresting or interrogating you, your lawyer might be able to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case.
The right type of defense depends on the circumstances of your case. These are not the only defenses to drug possession charges in Texas. If you were arrested for drug possession in McLennan County or other parts of Texas, do not hesitate to contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your legal options. Do not try to fight drug possession charges on your own because you are at risk of losing your freedom.
At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our skilled defense lawyers are prepared to review your particular situation to choose the most appropriate defense strategy for your drug possession charge. Schedule a free case evaluation with our attorneys by calling (254) 220-4225.