Drug Charges/Drug Offenses

FORT BEND DRUG LAWYER Fort Bend County Harris County Drug Charges Attorney – Jason Lawrence

If you have been charged with a drug crime, then you need immediate representation. These crimes include drug possession; marijuana possession (POM); cocaine or other controlled substances possession (PCS); possession of chemicals for manufacturing drugs; manufacture or cultivation of controlled substances; dealing, delivery, importation or transportation of narcotics; or drug distribution, sales or trafficking. A criminal conviction on drug charges can have serious repercussions for your future.

Depending on the seriousness of the charge and the type of drugs involved, you may face a lengthy prison term if found guilty. If you’ve been arrested on drug charges in the Fort Bend County area, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

DRUG OFFENSES IN TEXAS CRIMINAL COURTS

The State of Texas and the Federal Government investigate and prosecute the same types of drug cases. State courts handle small-amount drug delivery and possession cases that are classified as state jail or 3rd degree felonies. Depending on which agency works the case, most drug cases end up in federal district court, with some landing in state court.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office now has special drug prosecution divisions assigned to handle the larger cases. The Harris County DA will prosecute cases involving as much as twenty kilos of cocaine.

In some respects, the state court is a more attractive court for the accused. Unlike federal court, a state judge is not required to consult guidelines to determine the proper sentence. Also, in Texas, the accused may submit punishment decisions to the jury. As a result, Mr. Lawrence has been very successful in obtaining probation for cases in state court that would have concluded differently in federal court. Mr. Lawrence has also had drug cases dismissed.

No matter the amount of drugs, defenses for drug cases generally fall into three categories:

• The seized goods were not illegal drugs
• The drugs were not “possessed” by the defendant
• The drugs were seized illegally. This defense is usually addressed through a pretrial motion to suppress; however, in Texas, a defendant can submit to the jury a factual dispute relating to a constitutional issue under Article 38.23.
Four drug penalty groups exist, with penalty group one being the most severe and carrying the most punishment. Depending on the amount, possession of a drug in penalty group four or three may be a misdemeanor. Keep in mind, though, that a conviction for a drug offense may carry with it collateral punishment, such as a driver’s license suspension.

Common State Drug/Narcotics Offense Punishment Ranges:

CLASS C Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 0-$500 fine
CLASS B Possession of Marijuana (0-2 oz) 0 - 180 days in jail
CLASS A Possession of Marijuana (2-4 oz) 0 - 1 year in jail
STATE JAIL Possession of Marijuana (4 oz - 5 lbs) 6-24 months in state jail
Possession of Penalty Group 1
Less than 1 gram (such as Cocaine, Heroin, etc.)
3RD DEGREE Possession of Marijuana (5 lbs - 50 lbs) 2-10 years in prison
Possession of Penalty Group 1
1-4 grams
2ND DEGREE Possession of Marijuana (50 lbs - 2000 lbs) 2-20 years in prison
Possession of Penalty Group 1
4-200 grams
1ST DEGREE Possession of Penalty Group 1 5 years - life in prison
200-400 grams
1ST DEGREE (ENHANCED) Possession of Penalty Group 1 10 years - life in prison
over 400 grams
 

ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Mr. Lawrence will investigate all avenues of a drug arrest to determine whether the government violated the search and seizure laws. Because illegal search and seizure is a threat to the freedom and privacy of all Americans, it is called the poisonous fruit doctrine. The reason for this name is that if the drugs were obtained illegally, they are poison and should not come into evidence.

REPRESENTATION IN A VARIETY OF CASES

Jason Lawrence can help if you are facing drug charges involving marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, mescaline, amphetamines, methamphetamine (meth, ice), ecstasy, GHB (water), Rohypnol, steroids, testosterone, and prescription narcotics and drugs such as Xanex, Vicodin, Valium, Percocet, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, SOMA and Oxycontin (oxycodone).

An arrest for a drug offense should never be taken lightly. If you’re facing charges for possession, manufacture or distribution of drugs, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The Lawrence Law Firm, PLLC specializes in handling drug cases on behalf of defendants in the Fort Bend County area.

Mr. Lawrence is committed to protecting your rights and he is experienced in mounting an aggressive defense on behalf of individuals charged with drug offenses. If you’re a first-time or juvenile offender, Jason Lawrence will work hard to help reduce or eliminate the charges against you or negotiate a lesser sentence. He may also be able to help you avoid incurring a criminal record by negotiating your entry into a diversion program.

If you or your child has been charged with a drug offense in Fort Bend County, you need to call Jason Lawrence today to get the experienced legal representation you deserve. Don’t let a drug conviction ruin your life or the life of someone you love. Call (832) 356-4404 today for your free initial case evaluation.