If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Texas, there are a number of defense strategies that a skilled attorney will know how to employ if they are right for your specific circumstances.
In this post, we’re going to detail some of the most common defenses that are used to fight drug trafficking charges and how a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you.
Common Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges in Texas
Lack of Possession
You may be able to use this defense if you were among a group of the true offenders, but you did not participate in the crime yourself. For example, you may have been a passenger in a vehicle or a member of a gang where drugs were found, but none were actually found in your possession.
Unaware of Possession
This defense may work if you can prove that you had no knowledge of the drugs found in your possession. For example, you may have been given an item of clothing to wear that had drugs stashed in the pockets. Similarly, you may have been asked to deliver a package that contained drugs without your awareness.
Search and Seizure Rights Violations
You have rights to proper arrest procedures protected under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A police officer cannot stop you without probable cause. Law enforcement officials cannot open your trunk or raid your house without following proper procedure. If your rights were violated, your case can be dismissed.
Purity of Drug in Question
The drugs that are seized at the scene of the crime are taken to the crime lab for analysis. If the purity of the drug does not match what was described in your charges, the case may be thrown out.
Seized drugs are held in police possession during the prosecution process. If for any reason the same drugs from the crime scene are not admitted as evidence in your case, you cannot be tried for trafficking of a different substance.
Drugs Were Planted
In rare circumstances this defense may apply. If you have evidence to support the fact that someone else planted the drugs in your case, a skilled Ft. Worth criminal attorney can argue this defense on your behalf.
Item Not for Human Consumption
Sometimes the substance perceived to be an illegal drug is actually a material not intended for human consumption, such as hemp for making rope. If this is true, drug trafficking charges cannot apply.
You may have been threatened with serious bodily injury or death unless you trafficked drugs. Or someone may have threatened a loved one unless you carried out the crime. In these situations, the defense of duress may work.
If a law enforcement officer or informant convinced you to traffic drugs that you otherwise would not have, you may be able to use this defense.
Fighting Your Drug Trafficking Charges
Even if the drugs in your case were intended for personal use, the amount, weight, and type of the drug can make the offense qualify as drug trafficking. Additionally, if there is any evidence of participation in a distribution network, drug trafficking charges will apply.
Harsh consequences apply for drug trafficking in Texas. Penalties start at 6 to 12 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine for a state jail felony. Some drug trafficking convictions require minimum sentences lasting 25 years or more and fines reaching into six figures. The most severe penalty for a first degree felony could result in a life sentence and up to $250,000 in fines.
That’s why it’s essential to get the help of an aggressive criminal defense attorney who can find a viable defense for your case. An experienced Texas lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into all the details surrounding your case, including the actions of law enforcement officers.
We will look closely at whether the police obtained a valid warrant for search and seizure. Since a drug trafficking case hinges on criminal intent, we will work hard to find proof that acts were unintentional.
If you’re ready to build the strongest possible defense against your drug trafficking charges, call us today for a free case review. We will work hard to protect your reputation and your freedoms.
About the Author:
Brandon Fulgham has an in-depth understanding of both Texas law and Texans themselves. Before practicing law here, he received his undergraduate degree from TCU, and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduation, he worked in District Attorneys’ offices as a prosecutor, building cases designed to put people behind bars. Now, he uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people in and around Fort Worth, making sure they receive the strongest possible defense when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. He has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, Fort Worth Magazine, and others.