Drug offenses in Texas carry some of the strictest penalties in the country. If law enforcement has arrested you for an alleged drug crime, such as possession, trafficking, or manufacturing a controlled substance, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious about how this incident will shape your future. Suddenly, your freedom becomes jeopardized, and you may worry that you will suffer severe consequences. However, before you picture the worst-case scenario, contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney to discuss your situation. You do not have to navigate this stressful experience alone—your attorney will remain by your side to answer your questions, address your concerns, and defend your best interests at every turn. Let’s take a look at some of the drug charges Texas criminal defense attorneys can assist you with and what steps you should consider taking as soon as law enforcement places you under arrest.
Understanding the Various Drug Charges in Texas
The criminal penalties for drug-related offenses depend on the type of substance and the quantity involved. The Texas Controlled Substances Act recognizes four categories (or Penalty Groups) of drugs, with Penalty Group 1 containing the most dangerous or addictive substances (i.e., heroin, cocaine, etc.). Controlled substances in Penalty Group 4 are considered less severe, but they are still illegal to possess or distribute. There are three main types of drug-related criminal offenses in Texas: possession, trafficking, and manufacturing.
Drug possession refers to knowingly or intentionally having a controlled substance on your person, in your vehicle, or at your residence. Essentially, prosecutors must prove that you were aware of the controlled substance and you had it within your control. For example, if law enforcement pulls you over for an infraction (i.e., speeding or having a nonfunctioning taillight) and they see a bag of drugs on the passenger seat next to you, they may place you under arrest for possession of a controlled substance. The nature of the charges depends on the Penalty Group and quantity of the substance in question; small amounts of a Penalty Group 4 substance carry lighter sentences than possessing large quantities of a Penalty Group 1 substance.
If prosecutors want to show that you intended to sell the controlled substance in your possession, you will likely face drug trafficking charges. In many cases, an arrest for drug possession escalates into drug trafficking charges, as prosecutors will attempt to argue that you intended to sell the large number of drugs allegedly found in your possession. They may also use circumstantial evidence, such as the presence of small scales, plastic baggies, or a stash of cash, to support their claim that you intended to sell and distribute the drugs. The penalties for drug trafficking tend to be more severe than those for drug possession, so contact a skilled Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance
If the arresting officers find equipment used to grow, cultivate, or fabricate a controlled substance on the premises, you may be charged with drug manufacturing. For example, if officers find a greenhouse filled with marijuana plants or chemical compounds used to produce methamphetamine, they can arrest you for drug manufacturing. The severity of the criminal charges and penalties depends on the substance’s Penalty Group classification and the amount of the substance involved in the offense.
How a Skilled Texas Attorney Can Protect Your Future
The scene of an arrest can be chaotic and frightening. However, it’s important to resist the urge to explain yourself or declare your innocence, as the arresting officers may use any statements you make to build their case against you. Instead, exercise your Constitutional right to remain silent until you have the opportunity to speak with your attorney. Even if the officers claim to be “on your side” and ask you to talk about the charges, it’s best to remain silent and cooperative until you can speak with your lawyer.
Call a knowledgeable and experienced Pearland criminal defense attorney to discuss your situation as soon as possible. You can trust that your lawyer has the skills necessary to mount a strategic defense to protect your freedom and future. Your lawyer will inspect the case from every angle, seeking to have the case dismissed or the charges dropped whenever possible. No matter what happens, you can take comfort in knowing that you have a trusted and dedicated legal advocate fighting hard to keep your future as bright as possible.
If you are facing drug charges in the Pearland area, call the Law Offices of Keith G Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer.