Fort Worth Defense Lawyer for Cocaine Charges: Possession, Distribution, & Trafficking
Possessing cocaine is not a glamorous thing to do no matter what you may see on television or in the movies. If you get caught with any amount of cocaine in Texas, there is a high probability that you will be charged with possession of cocaine, and possibly serve jail time; hefty fines may also be imposed. Your best hope of minimizing your penalty is to retain the services of an experienced defense attorney for serious drug charges like cocaine possession or trafficking.
Under both Texas state and federal law, cocaine is a narcotic and a Schedule II controlled substance. It has some medical value, but has a strong potential for abuse and dependency. Possession of coca leaves is punished the same as possession of cocaine in powder form.
Penalties for Possession of Cocaine in Texas
Possession of even a small amount of cocaine can land you in prison. The length of a prison sentence depends on the amount of the drug possessed.
State Jail Felony:
- Possession of less than one gram, which is about the size of one sugar cube.
- 180 days to two years in a state jail.
- A fine up to $10,000.
- If you have a previous felony conviction, or a weapon was used during the time of your possession, even less than one gram will be charged as a third degree felony.
3rd Degree Felony:
- Possession of one to four grams.
- Between two and 10 years in a Texas state prison.
- A fine of up to $10,000.
2nd Degree Felony:
- Possession of between four grams and 200 grams.
- Two to 10 years in state prison.
- Fines up to $10,000.
- If you have a prior felony conviction other than a state felony conviction, possession of this amount of cocaine will be charged as a first degree felony.
1st Degree Felony:
- Possession of more than 400 grams.
- Five to 99 years in state prison.
- Fines up to $10,000.
- If you have any previous felonies, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in state prison, which means no matter how many mitigating factors there may be or how sympathetic the court may be to your case, if you are convicted, the court is forced to impose the minimum mandatory sentence.
- Penalties are increased if the court finds you possessed cocaine with the intent to distribute it. They are increased even more if there was an attempt to sell was in a school zone.
Proving Cocaine Possession
In order for you to be convicted of possession of cocaine, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you knowingly possessed the cocaine, which means you had to know the substance you possessed was cocaine. You may also be convicted if you had constructive possession of the drugs.
Constructive possession means you did not have the drugs on your body or in your hands, but they were within your control. One example of constructive possession of cocaine is someone traveling and checking a suitcase containing cocaine. The owner of the suitcase is considered to have constructive possession of the cocaine found in the suitcase. Another example is someone renting a storage unit where drugs are found. The person renting the unit is considered to have control over it, and therefore has constructive possession of the drugs within the unit.
Defenses to Cocaine Possession Charges
There is no need to throw in the towel and believe you have no defense. Your constitutional rights may have been violated:
- Your Fourth Amendment right to be free of warrantless searches and seizures.
- Your Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against yourself.
If you go to trial, you have:
- A Fifth Amendment right to due process of law.
- A Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial and to confront witnesses against you.
Consequences a Cocaine Trafficking Conviction in Texas
If you are convicted of trafficking cocaine in Texas, you could face some of the highest prison sentences and fines. It is imperative that you hire an experienced cocaine trafficking defense attorney. The fines, penalties, and prison time for drug trafficking in Texas are harsher than those for most violent crimes!
Contact an Experienced Cocaine Possession & Trafficking Defense Attorney
If you are convicted of possession of cocaine, the penalties are harsh. You need the services of an experienced cocaine possession lawyer to help you fight the charges. Contact us at The Hampton Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation if you are facing cocaine charges. Jeff Hampton is a former Tarrant County prosecutor who knows what to expect from opposing counsel and will fight to protect all of your rights. He will use his years of experience to obtain for you the best possible outcome.