Texas Serious Drug Offenses Lawyer
Drug offenses in Texas carry significant consequences. If you face charges of drug possession, trafficking, distribution, prescription fraud, or other serious crimes, you could spend years in prison if convicted. The impact on your life and on your loved ones would be devastating. Even after incarceration ends, you would have a permanent criminal record that bars you from specific jobs and opportunities.
The drug crimes defense attorneys at Broden & Mickelsen, LLP are board-certified specialists in criminal and criminal appellate law as recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Together, our Texas drug crime lawyers have over six decades of collective experience in criminal defense for individuals and businesses. If you are facing drug charges, contact Broden & Mickelsen, LLP for a free consultation.
Importance of an Experienced Drug Crimes Attorney
Texas legal procedures surrounding drug crimes are complex, so having knowledgeable legal representation is vital. An experienced Texas drug offenses lawyer can help, ensuring you know your rights and options every step of the way. Here are some of the advantages of working with an experienced criminal defense attorney:
Understanding the Legal System
At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we understand the complexities of legal procedures, including these elements of the process:
- Motions to dismiss, suppress evidence, or change venue
- Discovery process
- Jury selection
- Filing appeals
- Post-conviction relief
- Sentencing guidelines
- Asset forfeiture proceedings
- Evidentiary rules
We can use our knowledge of Texas drug laws and procedures to fight for a dismissal of charges when appropriate and fight to protect your rights at every stage of the case.
Building a Strong Defense
An experienced drug crimes defense attorney can analyze the details of your drug crime case to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument and build a tailored defense that presents your side effectively. Our legal representation goes beyond basic knowledge to include the intricacies of the Texas court system, including:
- Challenging improperly or illegally obtained evidence
- Using the rules of evidence to prevent specific evidence from being introduced
- Prepping defense witnesses
- Detecting inconsistencies in the prosecution’s witnesses
- Employing effective cross-examination techniques
- Identifying weaknesses or oversights in the prosecution’s case
Negotiating Plea Deals
A plea deal is an agreement in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for reduced penalties. Our skilled drug crimes defense lawyers will work to:
- Persuade the prosecution of potential trial risks
- Highlight savings of time and resources
- Emphasize drug rehabilitation and treatment over incarceration, if applicable
Protecting Your Rights
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will fight for fair treatment and protect your constitutional rights. You deserve a strong legal advocate who ensures you understand your rights and options from the first court appearance through the conclusion of your case.
Types of Serious Drug Offenses in Texas
The Texas Controlled Substances Act describes illegal drugs and penalties, which depend on the type and amount of drugs involved in a specific case. The state uses guidelines from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedule of controlled substances, as follows:
- Schedule I: Substances with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, like heroin
- Schedule II: Drugs with some medical use but a high abuse potential and dependency, such as cocaine
- Schedule III: Substances with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence, including anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV: Drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of addiction, such as Ambien
There are several types of drug offenses in Texas. Some drug crimes violate state and federal laws, particularly those that involve large quantities of Schedule I and II substances. These drug offenses include:
- Illegal possession: Refers to having an illegal or controlled substance (in someone’s pocket, backpack, or purse, for example) or constructively having the substance (in someone’s car, home, or locker)
- Drug trafficking and distribution: Includes transporting, selling, or distributing illegal drugs or having an intent to distribute large quantities of controlled substances
- Drug manufacturing: Refers to growing, producing, or manufacturing controlled substances
- Prescription fraud: Illegally obtaining prescription drugs for personal use or sale
- Federal drug crimes: The federal government handles conspiracy and organized crime charges
- Conspiracy: Under Texas law, conspiracy occurs when two or more people agree to commit a felony criminal act together.
- Organized Crime: In Texas, organized crime occurs when three or more people collaborate to commit criminal acts.
Penalties for Drug Offenses in Texas
A drug charge conviction can result in very severe penalties. In Texas, the seriousness of the charge and resulting penalties typically depend on various factors, including:
- The quantity of the drug
- The Penalty Group the controlled substance is in
- The intended purpose
- Whether the crime involved weapons or minors
- Your previous criminal history
Less serious crimes could result in misdemeanor convictions, while more serious ones could result in felony convictions.
A drug charge conviction has collateral consequences. You could lose your right to vote or own a handgun, and specific educational and professional doors will close.
Here is an overview of penalties based on the Texas Controlled Substances Act:
Illegal Possession of Controlled Substances
Possession charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor, which can carry penalties of up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000, to a first-degree felony, resulting in a life sentence and fines up to $50,000 in certain circumstances. For example, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 or 1B is a third-degree felony if the substance is between one gram and four grams, while possession of the same type of controlled substance is a second-degree felony if the substance is between four and 200 grams.
Delivery or Manufacture of Controlled Substances
The type and amount of the controlled substance impact specific penalties for manufacturing or delivering illegal drugs. Penalties range from imprisonment from 180 days to life and fines from $10,000 to $250,000.
Drug Trafficking and Distribution
Drug trafficking in Texas involves the large-scale distribution or transport of illegal drugs. Distributing drugs across state lines invokes federal drug penalties ranging from jail time of less than one year to life and fines up to $75 million.
State penalties for trafficking and distribution of a substance in Penalty Group 1 may include the following:
- State jail felony: 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony: From two to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- First-degree felony: Imprisonment from ten to 99 years and a fine of up to $100,000
Enhanced penalties to the above punishments may apply if the offense involves a minor or takes place in a drug-free zone.
Defenses to Drug Charges
At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, our skilled criminal defense attorneys employ tailored strategies against serious drug crime charges. Some of these include:
- Unlawful search and seizure – Protection under the Fourth Amendment and rights violations by a police officer during the arrest or investigation
- Lack of knowledge – Accidental possession or being unaware of the drug’s presence
- Lack of possession – Drugs belonged to someone else when constructive possession cannot be asserted against the defendant
- Medical use of marijuana – Valid prescription or medical necessity
- Duress or coercion – Argued in cases involving police entrapment
- Mistaken identity – Evidence or alibi defense
An aggressive drug crimes defense will require a thorough investigation into the circumstances.
Seek Legal Counsel from an Experienced Drug Offense Lawyer
When you’re facing life-changing drug crime charges, you deserve a tough, experienced defense. At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we handle drug cases at the state and federal levels. Our successful track record relies on the personalized care we deliver to every client. Contact us now for a free consultation if you’ve been charged with a drug offense or drug-related crime.