Federal and Texas Drug Possession Attorney
If you’ve been charged with drug possession, whether federally, or under Texas state laws, you need immediate legal assistance. The penalties for drug possession can be severe, so the quicker you speak to a federal drug possession attorney from Whalen Law Office, the better your outcome. We will assess your charges, evaluate the evidence, and begin building a solid defense on your behalf. Since federal penalties tend to be harsher than state penalties, you must take your federal drug possession charges very seriously.
What is Drug Possession?
Drug possession involves the willful possession of an illegal substance like heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and more. More than 80 percent of all drug-related arrests in the U.S. are for drug possession, with almost half of those being for possession of marijuana. Drug possession arrests have almost doubled over the past twenty years. The federal or state prosecutor must show that you were knowingly in possession of the illegal substance and that you also knew that the drugs you were in possession of were illegal.
Actual possession applies to those who have drugs clearly in their control—like in their pocket. Constructive possession means an individual has control over and access to the drugs, even though at the time of their arrest they were not actually holding on to the drugs. Both actual and constructive possession of drugs can end in an arrest and charges of drug possession.
What is the Process of a Drug Possession Case?
Although most drug possession cases are handled by the state, federal law enforcement can investigate and arrest you for possession. The federal government is more likely to handle drug trafficking, drug cultivation, and drug conspiracy crimes. Federal drug possession charges would usually only be filed if you committed the offense on federal property, or you were arrested by an undercover federal officer. The process of a federal drug possession case would include:
- An initial appearance before a Federal Magistrate who will inform you of your rights and determine whether you will be released on bail or your own recognizance, or detained.
- If no release is allowed, the case will be set for a detention hearing.
- Pre-trial motions will be made; your attorney can make a motion to suppress any evidence that was unlawfully detained.
- If you are suspected of being a part of a continuing criminal enterprise, you may be given the opportunity to cooperate—i.e, to provide evidence against others higher up in the criminal enterprise than you.
- Your attorney may secure a plea bargain, or your case may move to trial.
- If you are found guilty at trial, you will then be sentenced for your offense.
A state possession case would proceed in a similar manner as a federal case.
What Are the Potential Consequences of a Federal Drug Possession Conviction?
In the state of Texas, the penalties for a drug possession conviction will depend on the drug and the quantity of the drug. Possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, while possession of more than two ounces, but less than four ounces is a Class A misdemeanor. If you are in possession of at least four ounces but less than five pounds, you will be charged with a state jail felony. Possession of more than fifty pounds of marijuana could be a third-degree, second-degree, or even first-degree felony, and you would likely be charged with trafficking as well. Other drug possession charges and penalties will depend on where the drug falls within the drug schedule and the amount you are in possession of.
A Class C misdemeanor in Texas results in fines of up to $500. A Class B misdemeanor carries a potential jail sentence of up to six months and fines as large as $2,000. A Class A misdemeanor carries a potential jail sentence of between six months and one year and fines up to $4,000. A state jail felony carries a potential jail sentence of between six months and two years and fines up to $10,000. A third-degree felony conviction carries a prison sentence of between two and ten years, and fines as large as $10,000.
What Are Some Potential Defenses Used in a Texas Drug Possession Case?
Some common defenses to drug possession include:
- Asserting the drugs belonged to someone else
- Claiming the search and seizure were unlawful
- Showing you were a victim of entrapment
- Forcing the prosecution to prove the substance seized is actually a drug
- Proving your rights were violated during your arrest
Your specific defense will depend on the circumstances and facts of your charges.
How Can a Drug Crimes Attorney from Whalen Law Office Help?
It is extremely important that you have an experienced drug possession attorney from Whalen Law Office on your side as quickly as possible. Our firm handles both state and federal criminal charges and our experience in all areas of criminal offenses is extensive. In Texas, we mostly practice in the following counties; Collin, Denton, Grayson, Anderson, Henderson, Smith, Van Zandt, Dallas, Kaufman, Rockwall, and Tarrant. While we have all the resources of a large law firm, we offer exceptional client service that is highly personalized. Contact Whalen Law Office today.