Drug Possession Charges in Texas
Drug possession charges in Texas are taken very seriously and can lead to jail time, expensive fines, difficulty in finding a job and a permanent criminal record. If you have been arrested or charged for drug possession or drug delivery, you are probably confused, worried and scared. There are thousands of drug arrests every year in Texas, with many of those arrests occurring in Austin or Travis County. Whether a felony drug case or a misdemeanor case, your future, freedom and criminal record are at stake.
The classification of the drug charge will determine the different types of penalties that one faces. For example, drug possession or drug delivery can range from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge. Depending on the particular facts of the case, the case could even be filed in federal court. However, when facing any type of drug charge, hiring a criminal defense lawyer to examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest is crucial to protecting your legal rights, freedom and criminal record.
Search and Seizure Laws in a Drug Possession Case
Drug arrests usually happen as a result of a police “search” and can occur just about anywhere. The most common places are vehicles, public places or on someone’s person. One key to successfully defending a drug possession or drug delivery case is to challenge the “Legality of the Search.” A police search is considered illegal when it violates either a person’s state or federal constitutional right against “unlawful search and seizure.” Defense lawyers experienced with drug charges know that among other things, search and seizure law focuses on whether the police had a valid search warrant, whether the police had a lawful right to stop and detain a person, and whether the police had a right to search a person, his vehicle, or his residence.
If a criminal defense lawyer can prove in court that the police violated your constitutional rights and that the search and seizure was illegal, the evidence seized may be “suppressed.” The suppression of evidence may very well lead to a dismissal of the drug charges against you. Search and seizure law is complex and is constantly evolving. An Austin criminal defense lawyer should be familiar with the latest developments in Texas and federal search and seizure law.
The Element of Possession in a Drug Case
Another key to defending a drug possession or delivery case is to challenge the “affirmative link” between an accused and the illegal drug. An affirmative link is the relationship between an object and the person accused of possessing it.
In many instances, the illegal drug – whether marijuana, cocaine or some other substance – is not actually found on a person, but possibly nearby or in an area that others have access to. If a prosecutor cannot prove an affirmative link, or if the defense lawyer can effectively challenge the link in court, it could lead to a dismissal of the charges or a trial verdict of “not guilty.”
Contact a Skilled Austin Drug Possession Lawyer
A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to spot both the legal issues and the factual issues in your drug possession or delivery case. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is a defense firm in Austin that represents those accused of both felony and misdemeanor drug possession crimes.
If you have been arrested or charged with drug possession or another drug-related crime in Austin, Texas, take the first step in defedning your drug charge by contacting Austin Defense Attorney Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. You may also contact us through email.