As part of the “war on drugs,” the District Attorney’s Office for Tarrant County and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department have begun focusing heavily on investigating and prosecuting drug-related crimes. If you believe you are under investigation for a drug crime or have already been arrested, you need to consult with a skilled drug crimes attorney immediately to discuss your options. Drug convictions not only result in prison time, fines, and parole but may also limit your ability to obtain government benefits, seek employment, attend school, and file for child custody or visitation. It is imperative that you seek the experienced and knowledgeable guidance of a Fort Worth drug crimes lawyer who understands how to tailor a defense strategy to the unique facts of your case.
I strive to provide all clients with a comprehensive and personalized approach to drug crimes and charges. This involves keeping clients fully informed and updated, analyzing the facts and evidence from every cognizable avenue, aggressively defending against all allegations, and ensuring that my clients’ constitutional rights are protected. Prior to opening my boutique drug crimes defense law firm, I worked as a prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office in Collin and Tarrant Counties. Over the years, I have gained a profound understanding of the Texas court system, the Texas Penal Code, and most importantly – how Texas judges and juries approach testimony and evidence. I provide all prospective clients with a free initial consultation. Call the Fulgham Law Firm at (817) 886-3078 to learn about my unique style of representation and to discuss possible strategies and defenses.
Common Tarrant County Drug Crimes
Drug crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors depending upon the activity, type of drug, and amount of drug. Drug crimes are classified into three categories: possession, delivery, and manufacturing. The Texas Penal Code defines the various drug crimes.
- Possession: The knowing or intentional possession of a controlled substance. There are two types of possession: (1) actual possession– direct, physical possession, such as in the pocket or hand and (2) constructive possession – the drugs are in a place under the custody and control of the individual, such as home or car.
- Delivery: The knowing or intentional transfer of a controlled substance from one person to another. Delivery encompasses drug sales, trafficking, distribution, transfer, and gifts.
- Manufacturing: The growing, production or preparation of a controlled substance. Manufacturing can involve simply harvesting marijuana, mixing chemicals, or purchasing or possessing chemicals commonly used to create controlled substances such as methamphetamine.
What Is a Controlled Substance?
The Texas Controlled Substances Act of the Texas Health and Safety Code enumerates which drugs are banned in the state of Texas. In addition to controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and counterfeit substances are also illegal in Texas. Drug paraphernalia includes tools used to sell, deliver, or consume drugs such as pipes, bongs, or scales. Counterfeit substances are non-controlled substances that are disguised as and marketed as controlled substances.
Common controlled substances in Texas include street drugs such as:
Prescription medications can become controlled substances when the individual does not possess a valid prescription. These pharmaceutical drugs include:
- Painkillers such as Oxycontin
- Depressants such as Xanax
- Sleeping pills like Lunesta and Ambien
- Stimulants for ADHD like Adderall
Defending Against Texas Drug Crimes Requires a Lawyer with a Background in Possession, Delivery, and Manufacturing
Drug crimes in Fort Worth are unfortunately often associated with 4th and 5th Amendment violations by the police and prosecutor. Following a stint with the District Attorney’s Office, I have developed a keen eye for spotting constitutional issues involving illegal stops, pat-downs, and search warrants. For assistance with determining whether your rights have been violated, call me at the Fulgham Law Firm now at (817) 886-3078.
Probable Cause Questions on Your TX Drug Charge? Read This!
Anyone who has watched a police show on television or seen a movie has heard the term “probable cause.” However, it probably does not have a lot of impact on your life until it is being used against you.
Of course, something as important as probable cause in the criminal justice system has undergone quite a bit of scrutiny.
In a federal court case, the United States v. Christian, for instance, the accused attempted to parse the collective facts out individually and challenge each one to prove there was no probable cause to search his home.
Unfortunately, the court dismissed his challenge to the search warrant because that’s not how probable cause works. In fact, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly forbids what his legal team did, evaluating each element of the reasoning for the warrant line-by-line.
You may not be a high-stakes drug trafficker like the one in this case, but law enforcement’s explanation of probable cause can still play a big role in a case against you.
Learn more here about what it is and how the court determines whether there was probable cause in your case or not so that, together, you can build your strongest defense.
Defending yourself against drug possession charges in Texas starts with knowing the law. Understanding how the law works tells you what is required of the prosecution to convict you of the crime in question. Your job is to raise doubts about whether the definition of drug possession as written fits your circumstances.
Some of the most common and successful defenses against Drug Possession charges include:
Not Your Drugs
There are all kinds of situations where the person in possession of the drugs can be called into question. Say, for example, you were at a party where drugs were present. Or they were found in your car or apartment. A skilled Texas criminal attorney will demand that prosecutors offer definitive proof that the drugs were yours and did not belong to another partygoer, car passenger, or houseguest.
Not Actually a Controlled Substance
This one may seem crazy, but it is not all that uncommon for people to be arrested for substances that look like illegal drugs even though they are not illegal. Do not assume that this is a simple error that will correct itself. If you were arrested or charged for possessing a substance that is not actually illegal, fight to make sure it is tested in a lab and those results are admitted into evidence.
Drugs Have Gone Missing
The state cannot convict you of a drug crime if they don’t have the drugs they say they found on you. Experienced lawyers know to ask for the drugs to be presented, because more often than law enforcement would like to admit, drugs get lost somewhere along the evidence chain as they are moved from place to place.
Illegal Search and Seizure
This is the one type of police “misconduct” that does come up in a lot of cases. Essentially, there are specific procedures that must be followed by police when searching suspects, and these rules are often bent — if not broken — in drug possession cases.
For example, while police can seize illicit substances that are in plain sight (such as if you are smoking a joint in front of them), it is illegal for them to search the trunk of your car without your permission. This is a right protected under the Fourth Amendment of the United States.
These are just a few of the possible defenses available to you. The best one for you will depend upon the specific circumstances of your case. Highlighting the way you were treated by the police may be an option that makes sense, but if not, there are other arguments you can use.
Get Convicted of a Texas Drug Crime, Face Deportation
Within days of his 2017 inauguration, the President had already drawn up and signed an executive order to strengthen the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws targeting immigrants deemed a threat to public safety, and particularly “aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.”
Houston Public Media reported less than a month later that 680 arrests were made during raids within a single week, and that 75 percent of the detainees had convictions – including convictions on drug-related offenses. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio confirmed around the same time that ICE agents across Texas were conducting these targeted raids.
All of them fall under the ongoing domestic operation known as Operation Cross Check, which was originally intended to search for and apprehend undocumented immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes.
Of course, “serious” is in the eye of the beholder.
If you or someone you care about is being unfairly deported because of a drug-related conviction, connecting with an experienced Texas drug crime attorney is your first step in slowing what can seem like a runaway train.
In the meantime, read on for information regarding how deportation is handled when a Texas drug crime conviction is involved.
Call us right now to get help
We’ve helped hundreds of people in Texas and we can help you too. We’ll set you up with a free conversation with Mr. Fulgham which will help you know what to do next. The Fulgham Law Firm serves Fort Worth and Tarrant county areas.
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