If you are arrested or charged with possession, distribution, or manufacture of an illegal drug you need to find a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with drug offenses and knows how a particular county feels about drug offenses (some counties are more conservative than others). The lawyers at Gunter, Bennett and Anthes handle the smallest of drug charges such as possession of marijuana to serious felony drug cases like possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Based in Austin, we are familiar with each prosecutor’s office in the Central Texas area.
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Marijuana is a common drug offense and the level of the offense varies depending on how much marijuana a person has in their possession. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia usually involves some apparatus associated with marijuana use (though it can be associated with other drugs as well). Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Possession is a Class B Misdemeanor when the amount possessed is less than two ounces. Possession of two to four ounces of marijuana raises the offense level to a Class A Misdemeanor. The punishment ranges increase from there. Also, the level of offense increases if someone is within 1000 feet of a school or other drug-free zone.
If you have received a ticket in Travis County for Possession of Marijuana, the offense is no less serious and still a Class B Misdemeanor. You must report to Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5 by the date on your ticket. The judge will see you, sign a personal bond, and have you report to the bonding desk in the courthouse. At the bonding desk your fingerprints and picture will be taken. You will also be given a court date. This process can take half a day and will be very boring. Make sure you bring something to read.
Possession of Controlled Substances
There are many drug crimes other than possession of marijuana that go under the umbrella of possession of controlled substance offenses and can carry severe penalties. For example, an arrest for possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or ecstasy requires the assistance of a drug lawyer who is familiar with the drug laws in Texas. The Texas Health and Safety Code classifies drugs according to penalty groups. The punishment range for each penalty group is also set out by the Texas Health and Safety Code.
Protecting Rights and Mounting a Strong Defense
When facing drug crime charges, it is crucial to have a skilled drug crime defense attorney who can employ effective defense strategies to challenge the prosecution’s case. These strategies aim to raise doubts about the evidence presented and safeguard the defendant’s rights. One such strategy is scrutinizing the actions of law enforcement officials involved in the arrest to determine if there was an illegal search. If an illegal search occurred, it can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. Additionally, defense attorneys may explore the possibility of a medical marijuana exception if applicable, which could provide a valid defense in certain cases. By meticulously examining the circumstances surrounding the drug possession charges and employing strategic defense tactics, a knowledgeable defense attorney can help build the best legal defense and advocate for the defendant’s rights throughout the legal process.
Safeguarding Rights: Unlawful Searches and the Importance of Legal Defense in Drug Possession Cases
In drug possession cases, understanding the significance of valid search warrants and the rights violated in unlawful searches is crucial. When individuals are arrested for drug crimes involving controlled substances, it is essential to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can provide the best legal defense. One key aspect of a drug-related arrest is the legality of the search conducted by police officers. A lawful search requires a valid search warrant, which ensures that the search is conducted within the boundaries of the law. However, in cases of unlawful searches, the rights of the accused are violated. It is important to recognize that the prosecution’s case heavily relies on the evidence obtained during the search, such as the seized substance or the results of crime lab analysis. Challenging the legality of the search, the expertise of the crime lab analyst, and the admissibility of the evidence can be pivotal in establishing a strong legal defense. A skilled attorney will thoroughly assess the particulars of the case, including the specific drug involved and the applicable marijuana laws. They will scrutinize the prosecution’s case, looking for insufficient evidence and potential violations of the accused’s rights during the legal traffic stop or interaction with police officers. With the right legal representation, individuals facing drug possession charges can navigate the complexities of the legal system and work towards the best possible outcome for their case.
While every case is different, here are some examples of penalties you could face for drug possession charges in Austin.
Possession under 1 gram
State jail felony
6 months to 2 years in jail
First-time offenders may get probation
Possession of 1 to 4 grams
Up to $10,000 fines
Between 2 and 10 years in jail
Possession of 4 to 200 grams
Fines up to $10,000
Between 2 and 10 years in jail
Possession of 200 to 400 grams
Fines up to $10,000
Between 5 and 99 years in jail
Possessing under 1 gram
Fines up to $10,000
Up to 2 years in prison
Possessing 1 to 3.99 grams
Up to 10 years in prison
Possessing 4 to 199 grams
2 to 20 years in prison
Possessing 200 to 399 grams
5 to 99 years in prison
Possession of more than 4 ounces
Up to 2 years in jail
Possession of 5 to 50 pounds
Up to $10,000 fines
Between 2 and 10 years in jail
Ramifications of a Drug Conviction
As if being convicted of a crime is not enough, it is important to know that a conviction for a drug offense may trigger other problems. A drug conviction often results in a driver’s license suspension and driver’s license surcharge in a manner similar to a DWI conviction. If you are a student, drug convictions (including Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) can interfere with student loans and grants. You may also have a problem with government assisted housing if you are convicted of a drug offense. There are numerous drug programs throughout the Central Texas Area that allow a person to receive drug counseling and will often result in your case being dismissed. Depending on each client’s particular situation this may be an option. If you are charged with a drug offense please call our office so that we may advise you further.
When facing criminal charges related to drug possession, obtaining experienced legal representation becomes of utmost importance. A skilled defense attorney can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the legal process, working tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome. They understand the potential consequences that come with drug possession charges, including more severe penalties such as jail time and fines. A knowledgeable attorney will carefully examine the specific circumstances of your case, including the type of drug involved and any medical necessity factors. They will assess the validity of search warrants and the legality of any search conducted, ensuring that your rights were not violated through an unlawful search. Additionally, a defense attorney will scrutinize the prosecution’s case, challenging the convincing evidence presented against you and utilizing common defenses that are applicable to drug possession cases. They may also leverage their understanding of crime lab analyses and work with crime lab analysts to question the accuracy and reliability of any tests conducted on the seized substance. With an experienced defense attorney by your side, you can have confidence in having the best legal defense available, increasing the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome in your drug possession case.
Have you been arrested and are facing jail time for possession of a controlled substance?
The lawyers at Gunter, Bennett and Anthes handle the smallest of drug charges such as possession of marijuana to serious felony drug cases like possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Call today for a consultation.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. In Texas, the Fourth Amendment applies to drug cases in the same way it applies to all other criminal cases. This means that in order to arrest an individual for drug offenses, the police must have probable cause to believe that the individual committed the crime. If the police obtained evidence without a warrant or without probable cause, that evidence may be inadmissible in court.
Additionally, if the police search a person’s home, car, or body, they must have either a warrant or a valid exception to the warrant requirement, such as consent or probable cause. If the police violate an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights, a defense attorney may be able to have any illegally obtained evidence suppressed, which could result in the charges being reduced or dismissed.
Probable cause in Texas refers to a reasonable belief or suspicion that a person has committed a crime, based on evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe the same. This standard is used by law enforcement officers in making arrests, conducting searches, and obtaining warrants. In order to establish probable cause, the police must present enough evidence to convince a neutral and detached magistrate that a crime has been committed and that the person suspected of the crime is likely responsible. This standard is a higher standard than mere suspicion, but lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard required for a conviction at trial.
Federal drug charges refer to drug-related offenses that are prosecuted under federal law, as opposed to state law. These types of offenses often involve trafficking drugs across state lines, large-scale drug production or distribution, or drug offenses committed on federal property. Federal drug charges are typically more severe than state charges and carry stiffer penalties, including longer prison sentences and higher fines. Additionally, the resources of the federal government, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), are often brought to bear in federal drug cases, making them more complex and challenging to defend against. It is important for individuals facing federal drug charges to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the federal court system and drug laws. The Attorneys at Gunter, Bennett and Anthes are ready to provide free consultations to see if they can defend you in your drug possession case.
In Texas, there is no specific definition of what constitutes “personal use” of drugs. However, the amount of drugs that an individual possesses can play a role in determining whether the drugs are intended for personal use or for sale or distribution. Generally, smaller amounts of drugs are more likely to be considered for personal use, while larger amounts may be seen as evidence of intent to distribute. Additionally, the presence of drug paraphernalia, such as scales or packaging materials, may be used as evidence of intent to distribute. However, this is determined on a case-by-case basis, and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were not for personal use.
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