Drug possession is a serious crime in Texas, with severe penalties ranging from incarceration to fines and a permanent criminal record. However, in some cases, an individual may be wrongly accused of drug possession when the drugs have been planted on them. This can happen in various situations, such as misunderstandings, false accusations, or deliberate attempts to frame someone.
If you are facing drug possession charges in Texas and believe that the drugs have been planted on you, it is essential to understand your rights and options. This blog will provide an overview of drug possession laws in Texas, examine the consequences of a drug possession conviction, and discuss strategies for defending yourself against planted evidence.
Understanding Texas Drug Possession Laws
In Texas, drug possession is defined as the intentional or knowing control of a controlled substance. This means that an individual can be charged with drug possession even if they do not own the drugs but have them in their possession. Controlled substances include drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs that have been obtained illegally.
Texas law distinguishes between two types of drug possession: actual and constructive. Actual possession refers to when the drugs are found on the person’s body or in their immediate control, such as in their pocket or purse. Constructive possession, on the other hand, refers to when the drugs are found in a place under the individual’s control, such as in their car or home.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Texas
The penalties for drug possession in Texas depend on the type and amount of drugs involved. For example, possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana is considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of more significant amounts of marijuana or other controlled substances, such as cocaine or heroin, can result in more severe charges and harsher penalties.
Consequences of a Drug Possession Conviction
The consequences can be severe and long-lasting if you are convicted of drug possession in Texas. Some of the most common consequences of a drug possession conviction include:
- Imprisonment: Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may face time in a state or federal prison. For example, possession of a controlled substance can result in a sentence of up to two years in state jail, while possession with intent to distribute can result in a sentence of up to 99 years in state prison.
- Fines: You may also be ordered to pay substantial fines as part of your sentence, which can put a significant financial strain on you and your family.
- Probation: If you are sentenced to probation, you must comply with a set of conditions, such as meeting regularly with a probation officer, undergoing drug testing, and completing community service.
- Loss of rights: A drug possession conviction can result in the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote, the right to own firearms, and the right to hold certain jobs.
- Stigma: A drug possession conviction can negatively impact your reputation and future prospects, as many employers and other organizations may view you as a “criminal.”
- Difficulty finding employment: With a drug conviction on your record, you may have difficulty finding a job, particularly in fields that require a high level of trust, such as education, healthcare, or government.
Ineligibility for government benefits: In some cases, a drug possession conviction may also make you ineligible for government benefits, such as public housing, student loans, and food stamps.
In light of these severe consequences, it is essential to take steps to defend against drug possession charges as early and as effectively as possible.
Defending Against Planted Evidence
If you believe that the drugs were planted on you, it is important to take steps to defend yourself against these false allegations. To successfully defend against drug possession charges in Texas, you must build a strong defense that challenges the prosecution’s evidence and undermines their case against you.
One way to do this is to gather evidence that supports your innocence. This may include witness statements, security camera footage, or other physical evidence showing that the drugs were not in your possession or control. You should also consider retaining the services of an expert witness who can help you to analyze the physical evidence and determine whether it has been tampered with or manipulated.
Another important aspect of defending against drug possession charges is challenging the legitimacy of the police search that led to the discovery of the drugs. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, so if the police did not have a valid reason for searching or violated your rights during the search, the evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court.
Additionally, it is important to investigate the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the drugs. Who had access to the location where the drugs were found? Did anyone else have the motive to plant the drugs? Did the police follow proper procedure during the search? An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you to identify and investigate these critical questions, which may help to build a more robust defense in your case.
It is also essential to remember that the prosecution has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means they must present sufficient evidence to show that you knowingly possessed the drugs, that you had control over the drugs, and that you intended to use or distribute them. If they cannot meet this burden, the charges against you may be dismissed or found not guilty.
Contact Andrew Williams Law
If you or a loved one is facing drug possession charges in Texas and believe that the drugs have been planted, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Andrew Williams Law is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been wrongly accused and can provide the aggressive representation needed to fight these charges.
Don’t wait to contact Andrew Williams Law today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options for defending against drug possession charges. With their experience, knowledge, and commitment to their clients, you can trust that your case is in good hands.