FAQ: DRUG CHARGES
June 30, 2022
The state of Texas treats drug crimes very seriously. For this reason, it’s essential you understand the basics if you’ve been accused or charged with a drug crime. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there were 88,651 drug abuse arrests in 2021 and this includes everything from possession to use to manufacturing and distribution of drugs. Although this number is slightly lower than in previous years due to the pandemic, it’s likely to rise. Qualified criminal defense counsel is more important than ever before.
At MC Criminal Law, we’re here to advocate for your rights and help answer some frequently asked questions regarding drug charges in Texas. Our firm is able to serve clients in Dallas, Texas, and throughout North Texas, including Fort Worth, Denton, and McKinney. Call us today to set up a consultation.
Drug Charges: Frequently Asked Questions
I just want this to go away. Should I accept a plea deal?
You should never accept a plea deal without first speaking with an attorney. By pleading guilty up front, you may be signing yourself up for a penalty that’s worse than what could have happened if you’d fought the charges in court. Only an experienced attorney who has thoroughly investigated your case can advise you on whether accepting a plea deal is in your best interest.
Can I be charged for driving under the influence of drugs?
Yes. Under Texas’s DWI laws (Driving While Intoxicated), you can be arrested if you’re found to be driving impaired under any drug, not just alcohol. This could apply to marijuana, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or other illegal substances.
When are police allowed to search my person, vehicle, or home?
The legality of police searches depends on the circumstances of your situation. For example, if you are pulled over in a traffic stop, the police can only search your car with your permission, if they have probable cause, or if you’ve been formally arrested. If you feel the police illegally searched you, or if you’re wondering, “What are the chances of appealing my case if the evidence was obtained illegally?” you should contact an attorney immediately to talk through your options.
I hear a lot about states relaxing marijuana and other drug laws. What is the situation in Texas?
While it’s true that many states across the country are passing laws making medical and recreational marijuana use legal, Texas is still one of only a handful of states that have not legalized it in any capacity. To make matters more complicated, all of Texas’s neighboring states have legalized marijuana in some capacity. In New Mexico, it’s fully legalized; Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana all have passed laws allowing medical marijuana. Because of this, you can still receive drug possession charges for pot, even if you obtained it legally in another state.
What does it take to be charged with possession with intent to distribute?
If you’re charged with possession with intent to sell, you’re likely looking at stiffer penalties than you would with a simple possession charge. These charges are usually seen when law enforcement finds large quantities of drugs (more than for personal use), cash, or packaging materials that could indicate the intent to sell. A distribution charge can also mean the difference between a felony vs misdemeanor charge since simple possession is almost always tried as a misdemeanor, while a distribution charge is a felony.
What are controlled substance “Schedules”?
Texas follows the same drug classification system as the federal government and this breaks down substances into one of five “schedules,” with Schedule I being the most dangerous (meaning the drugs have the highest potential for addiction and abuse, or there is no known medical use), and Schedule V as the least dangerous. Currently, drugs that fall into the Schedule I category are heroin, marijuana, LSD, peyote, and mushrooms. It’s important to note that a drug does not need to be illegal to be listed. For example, there are many prescription drugs like Vicodin, codeine, or Xanax that are Schedule III or IV drugs.
What can I expect when I first meet with my attorney?
The first thing to understand when you meet with an attorney about a drug charge such as the selling or manufacturing of drugs is that everything you say to them is confidential. Because of this, you should be 100% honest with them about everything. The more information they have, the better they’ll be able to represent your interests. Your attorney should make you feel comfortable and safe and you should not feel judged in any way about your charges. Remember, their job isn’t to pass judgment on your actions, but to defend you against the prosecution. You should also bring in any relevant documents or evidence that you think may help your case.
Skilled Guidance You Can Trust
If you’re in the Dallas, Texas area and would like to speak with a criminal defense attorney about recent drug charges, call us at MC Criminal Law today. With over 30 years of combined experience, we’re committed to providing all our clients with personalized legal counsel to address their specific needs now and in the future.