Law enforcement agencies are particularly vigilant about enforcing drug laws in Texas. This is largely due to the state’s border with Mexico and the high rates of drug trafficking. In fact, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, more than 100,000 people face drug charges each year in this state.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, as well as the charges you face, a conviction may come with mandatory time in prison and a steep fine. However, the right defense strategy may help you mitigate these penalties, and it may even be possible to convince the courts to dismiss the case.
A criminal lawyer in Dallas can explain your options. Call the Law Offices of Robert Gregg at (214) 891-7536 to schedule a consultation.
Several defenses exist for those who face drug-related charges; however, claiming ignorance of Texas’ drug laws will not work in your favor. Depending on your circumstances, though, one of these four defenses may apply to your case:
If someone forces another either to take drugs or possess them, then the latter could use coercion as a defense. Coercion is particularly effective if you can prove that the other person threatened you with serious bodily harm, such as putting a gun to your head and telling you to sell drugs.
- No Control
In order to win a conviction, the prosecuting authority must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in control of the drugs or illegal paraphernalia when arrested. This is often challenging to refute, especially if police found drugs on your person or property. However, if your date asks you to hold her bag while she runs to the toilet and police catch you with it, then you can claim no control.
- Police Procedure
When structuring your defense, your criminal attorney will scrutinize the police procedures that led to your arrest. Law enforcement must follow protocol when arresting a suspect. If the police lacked reasonable suspicion of your involvement in a drug crime, or if they violated a warrant, then you should question police procedure in court.
In some cases, incapacitation is a viable defense for drug charges. The basis of this argument is that you did not voluntarily participate in any drug taking, selling or manufacturing. Additionally, incapacitation can work as a defense if you were not mentally stable at the time of committing the crime. This is a complicated defense to use yet highly effective if it applies.
Charges of drug trafficking or distribution are felony offenses in Texas. If convicted of a drug felony, the minimum sentence is 180 days in prison and a $10,000 fine. However, a conviction for a more serious drug crime can see you paying a $250,000 fine and spending 15 to 99 years behind bars.
If you are facing drug-related charges in Texas, then contact the Law Offices of Robert Gregg at (214) 891-7536 or legal guidance.