If you face drug-related charges in Sugar Land, Texas, you should immediately contact a state-licensed criminal defense attorney who has compiled an impressive record defending clients. The Lone Star State treats drug-related charges as a serious criminal matter that can negatively impact your life for decades to come. For years, experienced criminal defense lawyer Adam Capetillo has assisted clients by either reducing the severity of a drug-related conviction or getting drug charges dismissed.
The sale and/or possession of illegal drugs in Texas fall under the statutes written into the Texas Controlled Substances Act. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant intentionally possessed an illegal drug, whether that drug was intended for personal consumption or sale to another party.
One of the most effective ways to establish reasonable doubt is for the team of criminal defense attorneys at Capetillo Law Firm to demonstrate the drugs in question were part of a prescription handed out by a licensed healthcare professional.
Let’s review the three most common types of drug charges in Texas, with an emphasis on possession and distribution.
The Seriousness of Marijuana Laws in Texas
Although there is growing support in the United States for legalizing the possession of marijuana, Texas laws concerning the drug remain some of the harshest in the country. The Texas Health and Safety Code states that if you knowingly have “actual care, custody, control or management” of marijuana, then you legally possess the illicit drug. Punishment for marijuana possession depends on the amount of the drug. For example, possessing more than four ounces of marijuana in Texas is considered a felony.
Having up to five pounds of the drug in your control can trigger a jail sentence that runs from 180 days to two years, with a fine possibly added that cannot exceed $10,000. Possession of five to 50 pounds of the drug can earn a defendant jail time that spans between two and 10 years. A conviction for selling marijuana can carry a much harsher prison sentence that depends on the amount of the drug sold.
The Seriousness of Cocaine Laws in Texas
According to Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481, possessing, manufacturing, or distributing cocaine in the Lone Star States carries a significant penalty that combines a prison sentence with a substantial fine. All it takes in Texas is for a defendant to possess under one gram of cocaine to trigger a jail felony sentence, which carries a prison sentence between six months and two years. First-time offenders are eligible to receive a sentence of probation that requires following several stringent guidelines.
Having from one to four grams of cocaine on your possession can lead to time behind bars spanning between two to 10 years. The third-degree felony also can generate a fine not to exceed $10,000. A first-degree felony conviction for cocaine possession can cost a defendant from five to 99 years behind bars. Texas takes an even dimmer view of defendants that try to sell the illegal drug.
The Seriousness of Methamphetamine Laws in Texas
Also referred to as crystal meth, methamphetamine court cases have skyrocketed in Texas over the past 20 years. Over the same time, the Texas penal code has changed several times to mandate stricter punishments for the sale and possession of illicit drug. Having less than one gram of the drug in your possession can lead to a sentence up to two years behind bars. Possession of one to 3.99 grams of meth is considered a second-degree felony in Texas, with the penalty of between two and 10 years in jail, as well as a fine up to $10,000. Manufacturing and/or selling between one and 3.99 grams of meth can land a defendant in jail from two to 20 years.
Other Consequences of Drug-Related Charges in Texas
Although jail time and a hefty fine represent the most prominent punishments for drug-related charges in Sugar Land, Texas, criminal defense lawyer Adam Capetillo explains to clients that there are other serious consequences of having a felony conviction on a criminal record.
Felons have a difficult time landing gainful employment in Texas. Most employers conduct extensive background checks to vet job candidates for criminal and financial reasons. Even if you find a job after a sentence for drug selling and/or possession has expired, you can expect a tough road trying to climb the company ladder. Anyone found guilty of a drug-related charge in Sugar Land, TX can also expect to encounter difficulty finding a decent place to live. Many property owners do not want convicted felons to rent or even buying a private property.
Possible Defenses to Drug-related Charges in Sugar Land, Texas
Because of the seriousness of drug-related charges in Texas, veteran criminal defense attorney Adam Capetillo has several possible defenses that can either reduce a sentence or exonerate a client of all charges.
Here are the most effective ways to defend clients that face one or more drug-related charges in Sugar Land, TX.
- Lack of evidence
- Planted evidence
- Unknowingly possessed an illegal drug
- Constitutional violation
The United States Constitution contains two amendments that can help a defendant charged with a drug-related crime receive full exoneration. According to the Fourth Amendment, a law enforcement agency much acquire a properly issued search warrant to look for illegal drugs, whether the alleged drugs are located at a residence or inside a motor vehicle. The Fifth Amendment prohibits criminal defendants from the act of self-incrimination. You have the right not to tell law enforcement anything concerning the alleged sale and/or possession of an illicit drug.
Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney
A drug-related conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life. You cannot afford to risk your future by working with an inexperienced criminal defense lawyer. Act with a sense of urgency by contacting the Capetillo Law Firm at (346) 249-5544 or by submitting the online contact form.