Dallas Drug Defense Lawyer
Illegal drug distribution is an area where the federal government and the local police can double up and pursue their own charges against you for the same drug activity. Local police may charge you for a drug delivery, while the federal government can use that same delivery in a broader drug conspiracy charge. Many times local police will participate in joint task forces with the FBI and DEA, thus availing themselves of the vast resources of the federal government.
Of course you don’t have to be subject to a multi-agency task force to be brought up on drug charges. State and local police agencies have their own narcotics squads that conduct drug investigations. Through the use of informants, surveillance and undercover buys, they can provide the basis to obtain search warrants, thereby allowing them to search a premises and individuals therein for drug evidence. Many state cases arise from just simple traffic stops with drugs found in the vehicle.
Punishments vary depending on the type and quantity of drugs involved. Delivery of a quarter ounce of marijuana or possession of under four ounces are misdemeanors. Quantities above those amounts are felonies. Some jurisdictions do not pursue criminal charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession, while others are just waiting for you to commit a traffic violation on the way back from Colorado. Delivery or possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone or fentanyl under a gram are state jail felonies with punishment up to two years in a state jail. Delivery of Xanax or Soma under 28 grams are also state jail felonies. Possession of Xanax or Soma without a valid prescription under 28 grams are misdemeanors. Ever increasing amounts of the mentioned drugs have increasing penalties. Many courts will seek to rehab lower level drug offenders through drug treatment programs, whether out patient or in patient rather than just incarcerating offenders.
Once arrested for a drug offense a bond would be set by a magistrate. For minor possession cases, the accused is likely to be released on their own recognizance. Otherwise a bond would be set based on the amount of drugs involved and the individual’s criminal history. If the bond is set higher than the individual’s means, an attorney can try and work out a lower amount through the prosecutor assigned to the case or if that does not work can challenge the bond through a bond reduction hearing. Ultimately it is up to the judge to make. Nowadays more people that are accused of a drug offense are being released while the case is pending because of the long time it takes to get the drugs analyzed.
Searches can be challenged through motions to suppress. After reviewing a search warrant and the circumstances of the actual search, if the attorney believes there are flaws a hearing can be held for the judge to determine the validity of the search. Sometimes the mere threat of a challenge to a search provides leverage in negotiating with the state. If the search is bad, anything obtained through the search is excluded, meaning it cannot be used in court
If you have been charged with a drug offense, contact Howard Blackmon for a free initial consultation. He can analyze a drug case and determine whether there is a bad stop or bad search and give you an aggressive legal representation.