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Defining Possession in Texas Drug Cases

Defining Possession in Texas Drug Cases

Drug Possession Defined

 

Drug possession is a serious charge in Texas, bringing with it the potential for prison time and enormous fines. Due to the gravity of this type of charge, it’s vital to thoroughly understand every element of the crime as the court interprets it. Only from there can you build a strong defense. Let’s take a look at how Texas law defines possession of a controlled substance.

 

Under Texas statute, a person commits the offense of possession of a controlled substance if he or she:

 

Knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance, unless the person obtained the substance directly from or under a valid prescription or order from a practitioner acting in the course of professional practice.

 

Now that you know the legal definition of possession of a controlled substance let’s review a few examples that illustrate this definition.

 

John obtained a prescription drug from his doctor at his doctor’s office. While the prescription was for a narcotic pain reliever, he cannot be charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

The police found drugs in Jane’s car, but they were in her friend’s purse, which she left in Jane’s car by accident. Jane’s attorney could argue she did not knowingly or intentionally possess controlled substances.

 

Sam was found in possession of a controlled substance and claimed he had a valid prescription. In reality, his prescription was phony, which his friend who just graduated medical school wrote for him. Sam knew the prescription was fraudulent but filled it anyway. Sam could be charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

The police found Mary with a controlled substance on her person. She did not have a valid prescription, and she mistakenly admitted it was hers during the arrest. Mary could be found guilty of possession of a controlled substance.

 

A Drug Possession Defense Attorney Can Defend Your Rights

 

Every possession of a controlled substance case is different. The facts and circumstances of your offense can significantly impact the consequences. Call a Dallas-Fort Worth drug crime defense attorney immediately if you are facing drug possession charges. An attorney may be able to fight your charges depending on the specifics of your case. The penalties for possession of a controlled substance are severe and vary greatly depending on the penalty group. Don’t face these charges alone. Find an advocate who knows how to defend this type of case.

 

 

If you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on how to defend your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Home Illegally Searched? Here’s What You Can Do

Home Illegally Searched? Here’s What You Can Do

What Are Your Protections?

 

The US Constitution protects us from unreasonable search and seizure, meaning the authorities cannot search your person or property without good cause. Nevertheless, police illegally search people and their homes every day. If the police searched your home unlawfully, here’s what you can do.

 

Determine the Legality

 

First, speak with an attorney to determine whether the police illegally searched your home. Unfortunately, Texas laws lend police officers significant discretion when it comes to searching and obtaining evidence. That said, the police do not necessarily need to show you a warrant to enter and search your home. A police officer can enter your home without a warrant under exigent (i.e. emergency) circumstances. Typically, they do this when they need to provide assistance or aid to someone in the domicile to protect his or her life.

 

Exceptions and Exemptions

 

An officer may also conduct a warrantless search with probable cause, pursuant to an arrest, if they reasonably believe the suspect is about to destroy evidence in the home, when in “hot pursuit” of a suspect or when doing a protective sweep of the home to ensure there are no people or weapons that could potentially endanger the officer.

 

Fighting Back

 

If you and your attorney determine you are a victim of an illegal search of your home, you can take steps to exercise your rights. Specifically, you can petition the court to have any unlawfully seized property released to you. You can also file a motion to suppress evidence, which is relatively common in criminal cases. If you are facing charges, and the prosecuting attorney has evidence that law enforcement illegally obtained, your attorney can request the court “suppress” it, meaning that evidence cannot be used against you.

 

Police make mistakes. They also can make poor judgment calls. And when they do, they might conduct a search unlawfully. But the power of law enforcement does not have to go unchecked. If your home was illegally searched, or if you want to learn about your rights, speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney promptly. Involving an attorney early on in these types of cases is essential if you want to stand up and defend your rights.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on your rights and help you protect them. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Car Searches: When They’re Legal and When They’re Not

Car Searches: When They’re Legal and When They’re Not

Search Standards

 

Typically, law enforcement must have a warrant to search your person or property. Cars present a unique exception where police don’t necessarily need a search warrant for numerous reasons. Because vehicles are mobile, law enforcement might not have a reasonable amount of time to obtain a warrant before the “property” (i.e. the car) is gone. Likewise, because traffic stops are conducted on public roadways, the driver should not have an expectation for the kind of privacy of one’s own home. This expectation of privacy is a key legal test used to uphold the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from warrantless search and seizure. For these reasons, law enforcement can potentially conduct legal car searches without a warrant under the following circumstances.

 

Probable Cause and Car Searches

 

Like any situation where police want to conduct a search, whether or not a warrant is needed, the police must have probable cause, which is a reasonable suspicion a crime has been, is being or is about to be committed. For example, if a police officer sees drug paraphernalia in plain sight in the vehicle, he or she could have a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity had, was or was about to take place. In light of reasonable suspicion, law enforcement could potentially conduct a legal search of a vehicle without a warrant.

 

Consent

 

An officer may conduct legal car searches—or search of any property—with the driver’s consent. If a police officer asks you to provide consent, and it’s wise to always say NO and then invoke your right to remain silent. Saying NO does not indicate guilt, and it can protect your rights. A word of caution: do so politely!

 

 

After an Arrest

 

Police may potentially search a car without a warrant incident to an arrest. However, the suspect must be unsecured and have the potential to access what is in the car. An officer may also conduct a search if he or she believes there could be evidence in the car related to the arrest.

 

Presence of Weapons

 

If an officer can view weapons in the car in plain sight, he or she may conduct a legal search if he or she believes the suspect could be dangerous and access the weapons.

 

Taking Inventory

 

After a car is legally impounded, an officer may perform what is called an “inventory search” to inventory the contents of the car, according to standard policy.

 

Protect Your Constitutional Rights; Call an Attorney

 

In the absence of one of these scenarios, a law enforcement officer cannot conduct a legal car search. If police search your car, you should consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney about your rights. Explain the circumstances of the search in detail. A seasoned attorney will be able to advise you on whether the search was likely legal or not and what you can do if your car was illegally searched and evidence was seized. Typically, evidence unlawfully seized can potentially be inadmissible at trial.

 

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on your rights and help you protect them. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Facing Drug Possession Penalties in Texas? Follow These First Steps

Facing Drug Possession Penalties in Texas? Follow These First Steps

Drug possession penalties in Texas are severe. One misstep can leave you facing years of incarceration and insurmountable fines. Factors such as the type of drug and the quantity you possessed can mean the difference between a few years behind bars or life. Thus, if you are facing drug possession charges of any kind in Texas, here are some essential first steps you should take.

Connect With an Attorney

No one facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in Texas should do so without a criminal defense attorney. The potential consequences are too great. You should work with a legal professional to formulate the strategies you may need to employ to fight your charges or minimize the burden of the outcome of your case.

Analyze Evidence

It’s important to keep in mind that in drug possession cases, evidence can play a significant role. But evidence is sometimes fleeting and thus needs to be preserved. It can be seized by law enforcement, destroyed or disappear. Likewise, witness testimony can be of immense help but only if you contact and question witnesses soon after the incident in question. It’s best to bring a skilled Dallas-Fort Worth drug possession defense attorney on board to help you manage your case and obtain crucial pieces of evidence for a strong defense.

Abstain from Drugs and Alcohol

Pending the resolution of your case, it’s important to remain sober. Even one small mistake made when facing charges for another offense can ruin any hope of a positive outcome. Likewise, if you are convicted or placed on deferred adjudication with community supervision (i.e. probation), you will most likely be required to take and pass periodic drug tests. You may or may not be given notice before you have to take these. And lastly, staying committed to sobriety—even while your case is still pending—can demonstrate to the court that you have realized the consequences of your actions. This realization, if genuine, could potentially work in your favor. In fact, some prosecutors will agree to dismiss a case if you can pass a drug test on the day of court. There is no guarantee that this offer will be made to you, but you need to be ready if it does. There are even some judges that will test you on the date of a plea to see if you can pass a drug test; obviously not being able to do so does not help your case. Bottom line: no drugs or alcohol while the case is pending!

Drug Possession Penalties in Texas Can Be Life-Altering

Facing drug possession charges is frightening considering what is at stake. The good news is you do not have to face them alone. A skilled drug possession defense attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can work to minimize the burden of your case outcome. Hiring an attorney is a personal choice and one you should make when informed. At the very least, discuss the drug possession penalties in Texas with an attorney before you make any decisions in your case.

If you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action given your circumstances. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Demystifying Texas Drug Cases and Search and Seizure Laws

Demystifying Texas Drug Cases and Search and Seizure Laws

Know Your Rights

 

The U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement routinely searches people and their property to seize valuable evidence. This is particularly common in drug cases. Search and seizure remains a large component of law enforcement protocol. When investigating drug cases, obtaining evidence is of utmost priority. Texas has very strict controlled substance laws with severe penalties. The consequences of drug possession can vary widely based on the substance, the quantity, the context and the defendant’s criminal history. Thus, it’s essential to thoroughly understand search and seizure laws when facing drug charges.

 

Following Protocol

 

Typically, a police officer must have a warrant signed by a judge to search your person or property. If police conduct a search without a valid warrant, a judge may rule the evidence seized is inadmissible in court. Inadmissible evidence cannot be held against you.

 

But there are situations where law enforcement cannot obtain a warrant in a reasonable amount of time to apprehend suspects or seize evidence. The law provides police officer certain situations where they can perform a search without a warrant, including:

 

  • The officer saw the defendant commit the crime then conceal the evidence
  • The officer must enter private property to continue the pursuit of a suspect
  • The officer checks for weapons to ensure officer safety during a stop
  • The officer is arresting the subject and must search for weapons and contraband

 

Outside of these situations, there are very few instances in which a law enforcement officer may search your person or property and seize evidence in your possession.

 

Factors in Drug Cases

 

In drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia cases, search and seizure laws are fundamental. It’s crucial to understand your rights and protections under the law, especially when facing a possession charge. One of those protections is freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

 

Speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you think a law enforcement officer illegally searched you or your property. An attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you on whether the officer performed an illegal search. If so, the attorney can file a Motion to Suppress evidence in your case. Suppressing evidence can significantly weaken the prosecution’s argument. In some cases, this results in the case being dismissed altogether.

 

If you are facing drug charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collins, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.