Need an Austin Drug Possession Attorney?
Did you know drug possession is the most common drug charge in America?
If you have been charged with drug possession, including
marijuana possession, you need an attorney who can protect
your rights and your freedom. The police and prosecution are looking for anything
they can use to convict you of a crime, but an experienced
criminal defense attorney can build a case to successfully defend you.
We defend clients facing charges including:
Possession of controlled substances
Illegal possession of legal prescription drugs
Manufacturing or distribution of controlled substances
Drugs are a highly contested issue in today's society. Often, it just
depends on how the drugs are used that crosses the line between legal
and illegal. For example, marijuana is used to treat painful cancer symptoms.
Prescription pills help people recover from surgery. Amphetamines help
students with ADHD concentrate in class. When those substances enter non-prescribed
territory, though, that's when you can get into trouble with law enforcement.
The federal government is usually focused on drug trafficking, while states
are more concerned with convicting people for possession and sale of controlled
substances. Controlled substances refer to any substances that are 'controlled'
by the government in how they are used or sold.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is drug possession under Texas law?
In general drug possession laws is the crime of having illegal drugs on
you for use, sale, or distribution. Possession in particular means that
either a person has physical control of the drugs (holding them in their
hand), has the drugs on them (like in their pocket), or has power over
how the drugs were to be used. The act of selling or using illicit drugs
has entirely different charges and punishments.
What are the punishments for drug possession charges?
In Texas illegal drugs are referred to as 'controlled dangerous substances',
or CDS. In general, Texas divides CDS into six groups called 'penalty
groups'. Other states call them 'schedules'. The most dangerous
drugs are placed into penalty group 1 because they have the highest rate
of abuse and addiction and are recognized as having no medical value.
As the groups increase numerically (Group 1, 1-A, 2, 2-A, 3, and 4) their
addictive qualities and rates of abuse decrease. Their medical use also
increases the larger the group number. Â Which penalty group your
possessed drug is in determines your fine, jail time, and other penalties.
You can find the full list of substances and their penalty group in the
Texas Health & Safety Code Sec. 481.102. The type of drug, amount, circumstances, and even intent play a role
in deciding punishments.
Sentencing for drug possession crimes can vary from a small fine to
prison time, depending on the jurisdiction and severity of the crime.
What about drug paraphernalia?
Along the same lines, it is illegal to possess laboratory equipment that
is made to manufacture a controlled substance, such as distillation apparatuses,
a round bottom flask, or a heating mantel. It's also illegal to be
in possession of 'precursor' chemicals that can be used to make
drugs, like methylamine barbituric acid, ephedrine, and more. Those chemicals
are also qualified as CDS like mentioned before. As you can see, you don't
even have to possess any controlled substances in order to get charged
with drug possession. Simply having drug paraphernalia or certain chemicals
in your possession is enough to warrant a misdemeanor or
felony charge equal to actual drug possession.
If drugs are found in my locker or car, can I still get in trouble?
Yes. This is called 'constructive possession'. Constructive possession
occurs when the defendant doesn't have the drugs on them, but they
still have access to or control over the place where the drugs were found.
This is often used when drugs are found during a traffic stop.
What are some common drug possession defenses?
In order to convict you, the prosecution is going to work aggressively
to try to prove the following:
You knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance
without a valid prescription
in a quantity that is sufficient for use or sale
Keeping this in mind, the most common defense for drug possession charges
is that the police officer or law enforcement overstepped
search and seizure laws while they searched for and obtained evidence. The defendant must
be able to prove that their fourth amendment rights were violated, which
can make the evidence inadmissible in court.
Some states offer diversion for certain drug offenses. Usually it is allowed
only for first-time offenders and lets them keep a clean criminal record
by pleading guilty to the charge, completing drug abuse classes, and not
committing any other drug possession offenses. After a certain period
of time has passed (called the 'diversionary period'), the plea
of guilt is vacated and the charge is removed from your record. From this
point you can legally deny that you ever had a drug charge on your record.
We'll Fight for You
If you have a felony drug charge on your record, the rest of your life
can be affected. You can have trouble finding steady employment opportunities,
struggle to find a landlord who will put up a tenant who it a felon, and
more. You have a lot of trouble trying to vote, run for office, travel
outside of the country, or even getting federal assistance.
We have a track record of providing our clients with the most aggressive
criminal defense possible. We fight to dismiss or reduce their charges, and if the case
has to proceed to trial, we're not afraid to argue your case in court.
We genuinely care about our clients and do everything within our power
to protect their rights. We'll inspect every element of the prosecution's
case and find the weaknesses we can use to successfully defend you.
Call Us Today
Don't wait another minute to hire an attorney you can trust. As you
are reading this, the prosecution is working to build their case against
you, and you should have someone working just as hard for you. Contact
PLLC today to
set up a free legal defense consultation with one of our experienced