What are Potential Defenses in a Texas Marijuana Case?
While many states in the country have recently legalized both medical and recreational marijuana possession and use, Texas is not one of them. As with any other drug crimes, people who are accused of possessing, growing, selling, or trafficking marijuana are subject to serious legal sanctions. In addition to the direct consequences that may be imposed by a court in a marijuana case, drug possession cases have the potential to disqualify you from student loans and other federal programs, keep you from getting a job, affect your ability to rent an apartment, and make it more difficult to get a loan. Consequently, it is important for any one facing an Austin marijuana case to retain a marijuana defense attorney as soon as possible.
There are a variety of legal defenses that could potentially be raised in a Texas marijuana case. While the exact defenses will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation, some of the most common include the following:
4th Amendment Violations
The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizure by government actors, including state and local law enforcement. There is extensive case law as to what police may and may not do when searching a suspect’s person, home, vehicle, or belongings, and any violation of that law may be sufficient to have any evidence being used against you suppressed by the court. When evidence is suppressed, it is inadmissible in any proceeding against you, meaning that the case could be dropped by the state or dismissed by the court.
You were not Actually in Possession of Marijuana
Many marijuana cases involve situation where the drugs were found in a container, a car, your backpack, or a locker. While you did not actually “possess” the drugs at the time, the law allows for the legal fiction of “constructive possession,” in which a person is assumed to have control over the drugs based on where they were found and other factors. Texas law defines possession as “actual care, custody, control, or management.” A skilled defense attorney may be able to introduce evidence that you did not actually possess the drugs you are accused of possessing.
Procedural and Administrative Errors
In order to convict someone of a marijuana crime, certain procedures must be followed. For example, law enforcement is required to establish a chain of custody for any evidence used against a suspect. Any issues with that chain could be grounds for ruling the evidence inadmissible. Another example of a procedural error that may result in your case being dropped is if the state does not file a case within the allotted time, known as a statute of limitations. An attorney will be able to spot and raise any of these issues, should they apply in your case.
Contact an Austin marijuana defense lawyer today to schedule a free consultation
Because marijuana cases can result in serious consequences that can affect you for years, it is important to mount the strongest legal defense possible. To schedule a free consultation with Texas attorney Kevin Bennett, call our office today at (512) 476-4626.