Fort Worth Drug Crime Lawyer | Drug Charge Defense Attorney TX
If you are facing drug charges in Fort Worth, you should know that you are not alone. Drug charges are scary, but with the help of an aggressive, experienced defense attorney for drug charges you could potentially get your case dismissed in certain situations. Our office is currently accepting appointments, and all consultations are free. Below is a guide to help you understand the different types of drug charges in Texas and what the possible fines and penalties are for a conviction. Get in touch with our firm to schedule a free consultation with a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer. If you’re in need of bond in Tarrant County, we offer a bail bond service available by phone 24 hours for your convenience.
Drug Charges? A Former Prosecutor Breaks Down Your Legal Defenses! (2021)
In Texas, drugs are categorized into six groups based on their addictive properties and medicinal value. Penalties vary for the type and amount of drug you are found to possess. Additionally, you can be charged with possession for the drug itself or possession of the compounds used to manufacture a drug.
An experienced Fort Worth drug crimes attorney can explain to you the fines and incarceration time involved for the class and amount of drugs you allegedly possessed. The greater the amount, the higher the likelihood that you will be charged with an intent to distribute – or even trafficking.
Consider these examples. If you are charged with possession of four grams of a Group 1 substance, your sentence will be 2-20 years, a fine of $10,000, or both. Ten times that amount (400 grams) of the same substance would result in 10 to 99 years in prison, a fine of $100,000, or both.
Since the penalties are serious, and vary widely in scope, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to build a strong case against possession charges.
Do I Need a Defense Lawyer for a Drug Crime in Fort Worth?
If you were charged with any of the drug crimes below, we highly recommend that you retail legal counsel (aka, hire a lawyer).
Click on Each Drug Crime to Learn More
- Drug Possession
- Drug Trafficking
- Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Drug Manufacturing
Types of Drug Charges & Crimes in Texas
A drug crime conviction carries some of the heaviest fines and penalties in Texas. Being charged with a drug dealing crime, like Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell or Delivery of a Controlled Substance is a serious matter.
Under Texas law, drug crimes are defined as an offense that involves the possession, sale, use, manufacturing or growing of any controlled substance/illegal narcotic. If you have been charged or arrested for conspiring to sell, possess, or manufacture drugs you need an experienced drug crimes lawyer.
Some examples of the various types of drug charges in Texas include but are not limited to:
- Possession of Marijuana
- Felony Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of a Dangerous Drug (methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and other drugs)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance (prescription drugs and other drugs)
- Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, etc.)
- Possession with Intent to Deliver (involves the distribution of drugs)
- Possession with Intent to Sell
- Drug Trafficking
- Drug Smuggling
- Drug Sales
- Drug Manufacturing or Cultivation (including the growing/cultivation of marijuana)
- Prescription Fraud
Drug Crimes Laws in the State of Texas
Texas is one of many states known for its zealous enforcement of strict drug laws. So, it comes as no surprise that the same would hold true even during extraordinary circumstances like the coronavirus lockdown.
Possession in the state of Texas is broken down into four different categories: schedule groups 1,2,3, and 4. Marijuana is separated from these and falls into its own classification. Some examples of substances at each scheduled group include:
- Anabolic Steroids
- Cough Suppressants with Codeine
- Anit-diarrheal Treatments
Each of these schedule levels is in line with the United States federal government’s regulations on controlled substances. All states must comply with these regulations. However, some states may set themselves apart by adding substances to the list that are not yet in the federal guidelines. For example, some states classify bath salts and spice as controlled substances.
The penalty for each of these substances depends on the schedule the drugs are classified as. Schedule 1 drugs carry the most severe penalties, while schedule 5 drugs carry the least severe. Other factors that can impact the severity of a charge include the possession of large amounts of a substance or the possession of drug paraphernalia.
Can I Be Charged With A Crime For Possessing Drug Paraphernalia?
Any equipment used to conceal, prepare, manufacture, inhale, or inject illegal drugs is prohibited under Texas law. Some common types of equipment includes papers, syringes, bongs, and certain pipes. If you purchased paraphernalia from an illegal source, or if you employ a legitimate object for drug use, you may face charges of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Drug Manufacturing Charges in Texas. Drug Manufacturing crimes include everything from marijuana cultivation to methamphetamine labs and other means by which to manufacture or produce illegal drugs. Growing marijuana, compounding drugs, or making any combination of drugs illegally to sell or distribute are all considered manufacturing drugs under Texas law.
Informants & Law Enforcement Investigations. The primary method law enforcement employs to investigate drug manufacturing is by using informants to provide law enforcement with sufficient information to obtain a search and/or arrest warrant and raid residences or buildings suspected of being involved in drug manufacturing. As such, many citizens that are merely visiting someone or are at the wrong place at the wrong time are caught in the crossfire and subsequently charged with drug manufacturing or conspiracy to manufacture drugs.
Wrongly Accused of a Drug Crime. Common scenarios in which citizens have been wrongly accused of manufacturing drugs or conspiracy to manufacture drugs include: living in a home with a friend or relative or someone else manufacturing drugs, renting out a room to someone who is manufacturing drugs, or temporarily residing or visiting someone who is manufacturing drugs.
Drug Manufacturing. Drug Manufacturing is a serious felony crime that, depending upon the charge and the circumstances of your case, carries with it the prospect of 6 months in a state jail facility to 99 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. If you have been charged with this type of offense, you need an aggressive and experienced drug charges defense lawyer who will fight for you.
Punishment for Drug Charges.
Since so many drugs and different classes exist, penalties widely vary for charges. The penalties fall in the following categories:
Manufacture or delivery of controlled substances. Depending on type and amount of drug, ranges from state jail felony (180 days to two years in jail, up to $10,000 fine) to first degree felony (5-99 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine).
Possession of controlled substances. Depending on type and amount of drug, ranges from Class B misdemeanor (up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 fine) to first degree felony (5-99 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine).
Delivery of marijuana. Depending amount of drug, ranges from Class B misdemeanor (up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 fine) to first degree felony (10-99 years in prison and up to $100,000 fine).
Delivery of marijuana or controlled substance to a minor. A conviction for delivering a drug to a minor 17 years old or younger will result in a second degree felony (2-20 years in prison, up to $10,000 fine).
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance. For a first offense, it will be a Class B misdemeanor a minimum of 72 hours in confinement. If an open container was in the vehicle, it will be a Class B misdemeanor with a minimum of six days in confinement. For a second offense, it will result in a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum of 30 days in confinement. For a third offense, it will be a third degree felony (2-10 years in prison, up to $10,000 fine).
Penalties for Drug Possession in Texas
A person arrested for possession of a controlled substance in the state of Texas can face a wide range of charges. Penalties for possession range between a Class B misdemeanor to a First Degree felony.
What a person is charged with can vary based on a few different factors. Some of these factors include:
- Quantity of a drug
- How the drug is concealed
- Past convictions
- Possession of paraphernalia (especially those connected to distribution, such as scales, packaging material, and cultivation material)
There are four different penalty groups that the crime of possession of a controlled substance can fall into. Each penalty group deals with different substances and different minimum and maximum amounts. All penalty groups carry the possibility of incarceration, steep fines, and a lifelong criminal record. Possession of any controlled substance is a serious matter here in Texas.
Should You Be Concerned About Drug Conspiracy Charges in Texas?
Texas law has a statute criminalizing conspiracy to commit an unlawful act, such as manufacturing or distributing drugs. In order to prove a conspiracy charge, the prosecutor must prove that two or more people agreed to commit a criminal offense, and at least one of them made one overt act in an attempt to commit the offense. Drug conspiracy means that two people can be together and one of them says to the other, “Let’s go find 20 kilos of cocaine and then sell it.” The other one says, “Okay. Let’s do it.” Later, one of them asks a third person for directions to a place to buy cocaine that can later be sold. The drug conspiracy is now complete. Two people had an agreement to sell cocaine and one made an overt act in pursuance of the agreement. If convicted of conspiracy to sell cocaine, the penalty can be the same as if they actually sold cocaine.
This means that you can be convicted, jailed, and sentenced the same for just planning to sell cocaine just as severely as if you had actually made the sale.
Don’t take a plea deal, you need a lawyer for drug charges like conspiracy who know how to defend these audacious cases.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Drug Conspiracy Charges If I Didn’t Commit a Crime?
Texas prosecutors often add conspiracy charges to the offenses of manufacturing or intent to distribute a controlled substance, because it is easier to get a conviction for the conspiracy offense than for the actual commission of the offense. Also, conspiracy to commit the offense and the commission of the offense are two separate crimes, so the defendant has two charges to defend against and, if convicted, will have two felony convictions. In Texas, the penalties for drug conspiracy charges are commonly the same as for the actual crime, so it is imperative to retain a drug conspiracy lawyer who can successfully fight all drug charges.
Under Texas Penal Code, section 71.02, the only elements of a drug conspiracy charge are:
- One person enters into an agreement with one or more persons that at least one of them will manufacture or distribute a controlled substance; and
- At least one of them commits an overt act in pursuance of the agreement.
Penalties for Repeat and Habitual Felony Drug Charge Convictions
Under Texas law, penalties for repeat drug charge offenders are substantially enhanced, even if a great deal of time has passed between drug offenses. In order to have the penalty increased, the state must provide documentary proof that the defendant has been previously convicted of specific drug offenses. The proof must consist of documents showing the judgment and sentence of each prior offense and the amount of jail or prison time the defendant actually served.
Enhanced penalties for repeat offenders may result in a life sentence in prison, even if the offense would carry only a penalty as a state felony if it had been the first offense. The actual sentence imposed depends on the specific drug involved in the offense currently being prosecuted, and the amount of the drug the prosecution proves the defendant possessed.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance of any kind, whether this is your first offense or you have had previous drug offense convictions, you are facing a potential life sentence. It is of the utmost importance that you have an experienced drug charges attorney in your corner, fighting the charges on your behalf. Call the drug crime defense lawyer at The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC to schedule a free consultation so that you can begin the fight for your freedom.
Strategies to Battle Texas Drug Possession Charges
If you are facing drug possession charges in Texas, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight your charges.
Texas Drug Possession Defenses
- Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to use one or more of the following common defenses to reduce your chances of conviction for drug possession in Texas.
Lack of probable cause or search warrant
- Lack of probable cause or illegal search is one of the most common defenses for drug crime charges. In fact, even if you are not currently facing a drug charge, we advise familiarizing yourself with these laws, as knowing your rights can sometimes help you avoid an arrest altogether.
- In order to conduct a search of your person or vehicle, police must have a warrant or probable cause to do so. For example, if you are pulled over in a routine traffic stop, the police cannot search your car unless you appear to be intoxicated, or there is another reason to conduct a search, for example the smell of marijuana smoke. If you are on foot, evidence of criminal activity must be apparent for police to conduct a search of your person.
- In order to search your home, workplace or other domicile, police must convince a neutral magistrate that there is probable cause to believe that criminal activity is occurring, and obtain a search warrant. If the police come to your residence and ask to come inside, ask to see the search warrant first, as they must legally have a warrant in order to enter your home and conduct a search.
- If law enforcement asks to search your person, vehicle, or home without a warrant or probable cause – known as a consent search – you have the right to say no, which you can and should exercise by calmly and politely declining.
- If you are already facing charges, carefully describe the circumstances of your arrest to your attorney, who can help to determine if the arrest and/or search was conducted legally.
- If you didn’t know that the drugs were in your possession, you may be able to use this defense. For example, if you borrowed someone else’s coat, bag, or vehicle and the police found the drugs in those items, you may be able to use this defense if you can prove that you didn’t know the drugs were present.
Possession or ownership of substances
- In some cases, your attorney may be able to establish reasonable doubt that you were in intentional possession of the substances you were allegedly intending to distribute. The prosecution must prove that you had control and intent over where the drug was placed.
- For example, if someone else stashed the drugs in your vehicle or on your person without your knowledge, or if you borrowed a vehicle that contained drugs without your knowledge, then it may be reasonable to argue that you were not intentionally in possession of the contraband.
- As required by the Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.002(38), the prosecution must prove that you exercised care, custody and control over the contraband, and that you knew what particular substance you were in possession of.
Not Drug in Question
- A lab analysis will be able to prove whether the material is hemp or marijuana, or whether the material is cocaine or powdered sugar. You cannot be tried for a crime if the material isn’t the actual drug in question. For this defense, the lab technician will need to testify in court.
- The prosecution is responsible for keeping track of the drugs seized at the time of arrest. If the prosecution presents drugs as evidence other than the actual drugs seized at the arrest, they cannot be used against you in a criminal case. A skilled attorney will know whether the evidence being presented matches the drugs from the crime scene.
Drugs Were Planted
- This is an uncommon defense because the testimony of an arresting officer is normally airtight in a court of law. However, an aggressive attorney can ask the judge to release a complaint file on the arresting officer to determine whether the drugs may have been planted. If this can be effectively argued, your case can be dismissed.
- If you were operating under threat of harm to yourself or to a loved one, you can use the defense of duress to fight your charges.
- If your charge involved undercover law enforcement officers or informants, your attorney may be able to make a case for entrapment.
- There are two components of a good entrapment defense, known as inducement and predisposition. If police used coercion or persuasion to induce you to commit a crime, this is known as an inducement. Note that simply asking you to commit the crime or lying about certain facts does not necessarily constitute inducement.
- The prosecution must also prove that the defendant had a predisposition to commit the crime, or in other words was willing and able to do so. For example, if you had never engaged in or discussed drug trafficking before, prosecution may not be able to establish predisposition.
- However, if you have a prior history of drug trafficking or other drug-related charges, an entrapment defense may backfire, as prosecution can cite prior convictions as evidence of predisposition. If the court holds that this is a fair and relevant response, the jury is made aware of your criminal history. This can not only compromise the entrapment defense, but can also present additional damaging evidence to the jury, which might not otherwise be admissible.
The 24-Hour Drug Criminal Defense Attorney Near You
If you’re in need of bond in Tarrant County, we offer a bail bond service available by phone 24 hours for your convenience. Don’t hesitate, call The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC’s 24 hour Bail Bond Hotline at (817) 877-5200 to reach someone with our firm to assist you in securing your friend or loved one’s immediate release from jail!