How To Defend Yourself Against Evidence In A Drug Crime

drug crimes

Have you been accused of a drug crime in Texas? Is there evidence against you?

In drug crimes, there is a lot of evidence that can be collected and used against you. Many times, you think evidence has the final word, but that isn’t always the case. There is a lot you can do to defend yourself against evidence collected by law enforcement officers or agencies, no matter the charge you’re facing, the drug you were in possession of, or the evidence that was collected.

It’s important to understand how illegal drugs are classified and penalized under Texas law, what types of evidence can be collected to use against you, and what you can do to defend yourself against evidence in your case.

Drug Classifications & Penalties Under Texas Law

Under Texas law, there are four drug classifications, with marijuana classified separately. Under Texas law, these drugs are illegal to possess, deliver, and distribute, and there are different penalty groups, including:

Penalty Group 1

These substances have a high potential for addiction and/or abuse and no known or accepted medical use in the United States. Examples of Penalty Group 1 drugs are cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, hydrocodone, and LSD.

Penalty Group 2

These substances have a high potential for addiction and/or abuse but may have some medical purposes. Some examples of Penalty Group 2 drugs include psilocybin, mushrooms, ecstasy, PCP, THC oil, and MDMA/Molly.

Penalty Group 3

These substances have a lower risk of abuse and common medical uses in the United States, under specific circumstances. Examples of Penalty Group 3 drugs are Valium, Ritalin, lorazepam, anabolic steroids, and Xanax.

Penalty Group 4

These substances have a low risk of abuse and common medical uses in the United States. Examples of Penalty Group 4 drugs include codeine and opium compounds.

Penalties in these groups can range from a maximum prison sentence of two years to a prison term of 10 to 99 years, depending on the amount possessed, manufactured, or delivered.

Marijuana Penalties In Texas

Possession of marijuana in Texas includes the following penalties:

  • Two ounces or less: 180-day sentence maximum and $2,000 fine
  • Two to four ounces: One-year maximum prison sentence and $4,000 fine
  • Between four ounces and five pounds: 180 days to 2 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between five and 50 pounds: 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between 50 and 2,000 pounds: 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • 2,000+ pounds: 5 to 99 years or life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine

Delivery of marijuana carries the following penalties:

  • Less than ¼ ounce and no payment: 180-day sentence maximum and $2,000 fine
  • Less than ¼ ounce and received payment: One year sentence and $4,000 fine
  • Between ¼ ounce and five pounds: 180 days to 2 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between five and 50 pounds: 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between 50 and 2,000 pounds: 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • 2,000+ pounds: 5 to 99 years or life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine

Examples Of Drug Evidence In Drug Crimes

In addition to illegal drugs themselves being used as evidence in drug crimes, drug paraphernalia, meaning equipment, product or material that is intended for use in growing, producing, storing, or using a controlled substance that violates Texas law, is often collected for evidence in drug crimes.

Types of drug paraphernalia related to the possession, delivery or manufacture of controlled substances under the Texas Controlled Substances Act include:

  • A planting or growing kit for a species of plant that is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance may be derived
  • A material used for manufacturing, processing or preparing a controlled substance
  • An isomerization device used to increase potency
  • Testing equipment
  • A scale or balance used to weigh or measure a controlled substance
  • A dilutant or adulterant
  • A marijuana sifter
  • A blender, bowl, container, spoon, or mixing device
  • A capsule, balloon, envelope, or another container for packaging small quantities of a controlled substance
  • A storing or concealing container
  • A syringe, needle or injection device
  • An object for ingesting, inhaling or introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the body, including a bowl, pipe, mask, carburetion tube or device, chillum, bong, or ice pipe.

On top of controlled substances themselves and drug paraphernalia, evidence in a drug crime can include:

  • A drug expert’s testimony
  • Video surveillance
  • A witness’ testimony
  • An officer’s testimony

How To Defend Yourself

There are many ways to defend yourself against evidence in a drug crime, but it’s important to make sure you have experienced representation to help you with your defense. Here are a few common examples of how you can defend yourself against evidence:

  • You can challenge whether you were actually in possession of or had control over the substance.
  • You can challenge the actions of law enforcement officers in conducting traffic stops and other investigative techniques. If the evidence was obtained illegally, it could be excluded from your trial.
  • You can challenge the state’s identifying witnesses and confidential informants during delivery and manufacturing cases.
  • You can challenge whether you were acting knowingly and intentionally possessing, delivering, or manufacturing a substance.

Get A Top Drug Crime Lawyer To Help

If you’re accused of a drug crime in Houston, you need a top criminal law firm that can help you form a defense against evidence in your case. Contact the Houston Law Firm of Aaron W. Perry today to get started on your case now or like us on Facebook to get in touch!

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