Facing drug charges in Texas can be frightening and rightly so. You may not know your rights, the exact charges against you, or the potential consequences. The best way to safeguard your future is to speak with a lawyer in Houston right away. It may be possible to convince the courts to acquit your case, reduce the charges against you, or garner a desirable plea deal. An experienced defense attorney can help you during this difficult time.
Possible Defenses for Drug Charges
If you’re facing drug charges, it is crucial to retain experienced attorneys that have your best interest at heart. You need a strong defense in these cases, especially if the prosecution has hard evidence against you for the possession of drugs. While defense options vary on a case-by-case basis, there are a few common defense theories that come into play:
- Unlawful search and seizure. Police officers must have probable cause to stop and perform a search. Police can use illicit drugs found in plain view, but drugs found during a search that violates the suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights may not be valid in court. A vehicle search during a routine traffic stop, for example, may not be admissible unless the officer had probable cause of a drug violation.
- Drugs belong to someone else. You may be able to claim that the drugs were not yours, or that you were unaware they were in your possession. A good defense attorney can pressure the prosecution to prove the drugs in question were yours, and not belonging to someone else in the vehicle.
- In some cases, undercover police officers and investigators may be guilty of entrapment or inducing the suspect to commit the crime in question to apprehend him or her. These cases can be difficult to prove, but they are not unheard of in Houston.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies four types of drugs, each with its own penalties. Note that marijuana is in its own class, separate from these four types. Possession of marijuana may be a Class B misdemeanor, with a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and/or fines of up to $10,000 for possessing two ounces or less of marijuana. However, penalties for marijuana possession can increase up to life in prison and fines of up to $50,000. Texas takes its drug laws seriously and will prosecute suspected criminals fiercely. You need the right lawyers to maximize your odds in trial.
What to Look for in a Drug Charge Defense Attorney
Choosing your defense attorney is one of the most important things you have to do after a drug charge is filed against you. First, find a local firm. Local lawyers will have an in-depth understanding of Houston’s specific drug laws and city ordinances for drug possession. Next, look for specific elements that point to a capable, trustworthy defense firm. These include:
- History of success
- Experience in the field
- Proper licensure and certification
- Personable, caring attorneys
- Client testimonials
- Recommendations from family or friends
- Members of professional organizations
- Judgment and advice that gives you confidence
- Attorneys you’re comfortable with
- Reasonable legal fees
- Strong ethics
Be wary of attorneys who guarantee you a specific result before your case even begins. No attorney can make this type of promise before diving into the details of a case. Doing so is a red flag of a flashy marketing scheme. Instead, select an attorney who is honest and upfront with you about the fate of your case. Only then can you make careful, informed decisions about your future. To work with lawyers you can trust, contact us today.