Although drug possession charges are relatively common, they can be potentially devastating for those in the Dallas area. The effects of a possession charge or conviction on your record can wreak havoc on your personal relationships, and severely curtail your future professional options. You can also face jail charges and be charged thousands of dollars in fines. For these reasons, it is a good idea to retain legal representation as soon as possible if you are facing or think you will soon be facing drug possession charges. The earlier you have an effective and skilled Dallas drug defense attorney representing your interests, the higher the likelihood for a good outcome.
When Can You Be Charged With a Texas Drug Possession?
If the police find drugs in your pockets or anywhere else on your body, they can charge you with possession. You can also be charged with “constructive possession” if the drugs are found under your care custody or control, like your automobile. The State must still prove that your intentionally or knowingly possessed drugs, regardless as to where they are found. Many, including the police, are under the false impression that if drugs are found either in your car or house, that you are automatically guilty. This is false. The police must prove that you intentionally or knowingly possessed the drugs. John M. Cook frequently wins cases where drugs were found in such a manner but there was no evidence that his client intentionally or knowingly possessed the drugs.
Illegal Drugs in Texas
The Texas Controlled Substances Act divides controlled substances into five different penalty groups, and has a special marijuana category. Some of the substances in the groups are legal if you have a prescription, but the Act establishes punishment for the illegal possession of prescription drugs.
Penalty Group 1 is the most common, and includes cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, ketamine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone (Group 1A contains LSD). Penalty Group 2 includes Ecstasy (also referred to as Molly or MDMA), mescaline, PCP, hashish, wax, and concentrates (but not marijuana). Penalty Group 3 includes Ritalin, Valium, and Xanax. Penalty Group 4 includes compounds which contain Motofen, Dionine, Buprenorphine, or Pryovalerone.
Drug Possession Penalties in Texas
Whether you are charged with felony possession or misdemeanor possession depends on the penalty group and the weight or amount of the drug. Charges are serious though, with smaller amounts resulting in state jail felonies, which carry sentences of 180 to two years in state jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000 for amounts of under a gram, and the largest amounts resulting in enhanced first degree felonies, with jail terms of 10 to 99 years and fines of up to $100,000.
Additional Texas Criminal Penalties
In addition to criminal penalties for drug possession, Your driver's license will also be suspended by the state of Texas for six months following a conviction of any violation of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Texas’ Code of Criminal Procedure also allows for the police to seize any property that has been used, is being used, or is intended to be used in the commission of a drug felony. Property subject to seizure includes your car, your home, and any other belongings where you are accused of hiding or carrying drugs. This is a civil asset forfeiture, meaning no criminal conviction is even necessary for the State to invoke this.
Northern Texas Lawyer, John M. Cook Will Vigorously Defend You
Fortunately, experienced and skillful criminal defense attorneys like John M. Cook are sometimes able to have possession charges against his clients dismissed or reduced in severity, or to get his client placement into a diversion program. If he can show that there was no probable cause to search you, or that there was no search warrant, and that you did not consent, he will challenge the legality of the search and seek suppression of the evidence. John M. Cook has a proven track record of obtaining winning results for satisfied clients, and he and his staff will work diligently on your behalf to fight your drug possession charge. If you are in the Dallas or Northern Texas area and need an experienced criminal defense attorney, call 214-521-6679 today, or email Mr. Cook for a free initial consultation.