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Any possession of a controlled substance indictment is treated harshly. The most common indictments involve marijuana, methamphetamines (meth), cocaine or ecstasy possession. Even the possession of a prescription drug with no valid prescription for that medication can lead to serious felony indictments.
Most drug accusations are deemed to be felonies, with the exception of small quantities of marijuana. These felony drug indictments come with the potential for very serious sentences, usually including jail and hefty fines. A sentence could mean a criminal record and a driver’s license suspension or loss of driving privileges.
Drug Possession Attorney
The outcomes of a drug possession case can have a lasting impact on the rest of your life, whether you are a juvenile or an adult. Even misdemeanor drug indictments can prevent you from obtaining employment or admittance to schools.
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A drug possession defense attorney at our Law Firm will look into every aspect of your case. They work hard to defend you against the indictments, and they work to get the best possible result in each case.
Drug crimes are largely ruled by the Controlled Substances Act codified in the Health and Safety Code. Under law, drugs are classed into four (4) separated penalty groups including:
-Penalty Group 1: Methamphetamine (meth), Heroine, Cocaine, Oxycodone, Opium, Methadone, Ketamine and Hydrocodone (over 300 mg)-Penalty Group 2: Mushrooms, Mescaline, Psilocybin, Ecstasy, Methaqualone and Amphetamine-Penalty Group 3: Clonazepam, Xanax, Valium, Ritalin and Hydrocodone (less than 300 mg), Anabolic steroids and Lorazepam-Penalty Group 4: Compounds or mixtures that contain limited amounts of narcotics, and one or more active medical ingredients
Marijuana (cannabis) is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs. It is not deemed a “controlled substance” under law. However, it still is illegal and could give rise to indictments for illegal drug possession.
In a possession case, the judge must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the indictee exercised care, control, or management over the contraband and that the defendant knew the substance was contraband.
Elements of a Drug Possession Case
When circumstantial evidence is used, the evidence must establish the indictee’s connection with the illegal substance was more than fortuitous. When the defendant is not in exclusive possession of the place where the contraband is found, the judge for the must show additional affirmative links between the indictee and the contraband.
The judge often will attempt to show a reasonable inference that the defendant knew of the contraband’s existence and exercised control over it by establishing an affirmative link. The courts have identified the following factors to show such an affirmative link between the indictee and the controlled substance:
-The indictee’s presence when a search is conducted-Whether the contraband was in plain view-The indictee’s proximity to and the accessibility of the narcotic-Whether the indictee was under the influence of narcotics when arrested-Whether the indictee possessed other contraband or narcotics when arrested-Whether the indictee made incriminating statements when arrested-Whether the indictee attempted to flee-Whether the indictee made furtive gestures-Whether there was an odor of contraband-Whether other contraband or drug paraphernalia were present-Whether the indictee owned or had the right to possess the place where the drugs were found-Whether the indictee was found with a large amount of cash-Whether the conduct of the indictee showed a consciousness of guilt
Sentences for Possession of a Controlled Substance
The sentences for possession of an illegal substance depend on the substance and the quantity of the drug possessed. For Penalty Groups I and II, the sentences and amounts are similar.
For example, if an individual possesses less than one gram of a substance from either group, he/she can be indicted for a jail felony. If a person possesses between one and four grams from either group, he/she could be indicted for a third-degree felony.
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To be indicted for a second-degree felony, an individual must possess four to 200 g of a substance from Penalty Group I or four to 400 g of a substance from Penalty Group II. Additionally, if an individual possesses 200 to 400 g of a substance in Penalty Group I, he/she can be indicted for a first-degree felony.
The sentences for substances in Penalty Groups III and IV are too different. If an individual possesses less than 28 g of a drug from Penalty Group III, he/she can be indicted for a Class A misdemeanor. Possessing less than 28 g of a drug from Penalty Group IV would be a Class B misdemeanor.
If the quantity possessed from either group is between 28 g and 200 g, it could be a
third-degree felony. Possession of 200 to 400 g of a substance from either group would be a second-degree felony.
Defenses in Drug Possession Cases
When you are detained for possession of a controlled substance, you may feel like there is no defense. However, our criminal defense attorneys will carefully examine the facts and evidence closely related to your case and use the information to defend your rights. All areas of the case will be thoroughly scrutinized for the following defenses:
-Whether the officers engaged in procedural misconduct in the arrest-Whether an unreasonable search and seizure occurred-Whether the officer properly advised the individual of his/her Miranda warnings-Whether evidence was properly collected and stored-Whether sufficient evidence existed to support the alleged actual or constructive possession
Finding an attorney for Drug Possession
If you were indicted for drug possession or any other drug-related crime, it is in your best interest to get well-experienced and trusted a drug defense attorney. Our attorneys also represent clients indicted for possession with intent to sell, delivery, manufacturing, and trafficking of a controlled substance.