A drug charge doesn’t have to ruin your life. An experienced Houston drug lawyer can offer you options and how to best avoid a conviction.
Drug crimes in Harris County, TX are serious. You may feel alone, wondering how to keep a drug conviction from ruining your future. The best chance you have at dealing with Houston drug charges the right way is by working The Law Offices of Ned Barnett.
An experienced and aggressive Houston drug attorney knows how to work with the prosecutors, what alternatives are available, and when you are eligible for a reduction or dismissal of the charges. If you or a loved one are facing drug charges in Texas, call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 today for a free case consultation.
Attorney Ned Barnett expands on drug charges and the seriousness that comes with such a case. At the Law Offices of Ned Barnett, we have experience handling drug charges and helping individuals regain their freedom.
Common Houston Drug Charges
Depending on the circumstances and the drugs involved, you may be charged with:
Marijuana remains mostly illegal under Texas law. Only low-THC cannabis products are lawful for medicinal use by epileptic patients. All other marijuana possession, no matter how small the amount, is unlawful and can lead to criminal charges. Marijuana possession can be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the amount of the substance in your possession.
If there is evidence you grew marijuana, participated in cultivating it for unlawful use, distributed it to others, or sold it, then you could be charged with manufacturing or delivering marijuana. Depending on the amount, this could be a misdemeanor or felony charge. Contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett to learn the best way to defend yourself against these charges.
Having cocaine on your person, in your vehicle, or within any of your property is a serious crime in Texas. Possession of any amount of cocaine could result in hefty fines and long incarceration terms. Learn more about the potential penalties and consequences of cocaine possession and contact a Houston drug lawyer right away.
If there is evidence that you took part in creating cocaine, you can be charged with a drug manufacturing offense. If there is evidence that you transported cocaine, then you can be charged with delivery. For either of these crimes, you face years in jail or prison and large fines.
Possessing heroin in any way is unlawful, and is considered a felony. If you have the smallest amount possible – under 1 gram – you may only face up to 2 years in jail. However, if you’re found possessing a greater amount of heroin could lead to decades in prison. If you have been charged with heroin possession, contact Houston drug attorney Ned Barnett immediately.
Like with all other controlled substances, creating or assisting in the creation or delivery of heroin to another party is unlawful. Both manufacturing and transporting heroin are felony crimes, punishable by up to life in prison, depending on the amount in question. Learn more about these charges and how to defend yourself against them by contacting an attorney right away.
Having any type of amount of methamphetamine under your control without a valid prescription is illegal in Texas, and throughout the nation. If you are caught with meth on your person, in your car, or at your home, then you will be charged with a felony. If you’re charged with methamphetamine possession, it is vitally important to learn more about meth possession charges and your legal options.
Methamphetamine Manufacturing or Delivery-
The creation of meth in makeshift labs around the country is an epidemic. If the police believe you are involved in the making of meth in any way, you will be arrested and charged with a felony. If there is evidence you moved meth from one person to another, whether you were a middleman or seller, you will also face felony charges.
Manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with the intent to distribute any controlled substance is illegal under both state and federal law. If you are found to have a large quantity of drugs under your control, moving large quantities of drugs, or smuggling drugs in or out of the state, you will face significant charges. When you are charged with federal drug trafficking while in Texas, you need an experienced Houston drug lawyer with experience in federal courts.
Federal Drug Crimes
You may face federal drug charges if the alleged illegal activity took place on federal property or crossed state lines. While facing federal charges, you could be punished by years in federal prison. Do not hesitate to contact federal drug crimes lawyer Ned Barnett for help.
Arrested for Drugs? What to Expect
There are typically two ways you can end up facing drug charges in Harris County, TX. The first is that law enforcement believes they caught you performing a drug crime. For instance, you may have been pulled over for speeding. But, during the stop, drugs are found.
The other is through a pre-arrest drug investigations. If the police suspect drugs are being manufactured and/or distributed, they will attempt to gain evidence about who is involved. If their investigation points toward you, then the police may obtain a warrant for your arrest.
If you are arrested for a drug crime, you will find yourself before a magistrate within 48 hours of your arrest. During this initial court appearance, you will hear a number of items, including the charges and your legal rights. The judge will also set the conditions for your release.
Next, the prosecutor must bring an indictment against you if you are accused of a felony. This requires a prosecutor to go before a grand jury, which is a group of 12 citizens who decide whether there is enough probable cause to move forward with charges.
Once an indictment is brought down, you will receive notice of your arraignment. This is the first time you will have to enter a plea. Most attorneys recommend you plead not guilty at this time to give you time to learn more about your situation and analyze your legal options.
Following your arraignment, there will be a number of hearings and legal procedures that lead up to your trial. During this time, you can plead guilty, negotiate a plea bargain, or prepare to defend yourself at trial. By working with an experienced drug lawyer early on, you can move through the process easier. You’ll also have the opportunity to limit inappropriate evidence, conduct your own investigation, and highlight flaws in the drug charges filed against you.
Houston Drug Charges; Penalties & Consequences
Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, the specific charges you face depend on:
- Whether you are accused of possessing, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver an illegal drug
- The specific drug(s)
- The total amount of drug(s)
Texas divides the controlled substances schedule into penalty groups. The lower the penalty group, the more serious the charges. The higher the penalty group, the less serious the charges.
The Schedule of Controlled Substances:
- Penalty Group 1- Substances such as heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and fentanyl
- Penalty Group 1-A- LSD
- Penalty Group 2- Hallucinogens such as ecstasy and PCP
- Penalty Group 2-A- Synthetic cannabinoids like Spice and K2
- Penalty Group 3- Ketamine and anabolic steroids
- Penalty Group 4- Stimulant drugs intended for recreational use and other narcotics including Valium and Xanax
Drug Conviction Penalties
Based on the factors above, you could be charged with various drug felonies with the following penalties:
- State jail felony- A minimum of 180 days up to 2 years in state jail and a fine up to $10,000
- Third-degree felony- Between 2 and 10 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony- Between 2 and 20 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000
- First-degree felony- Between 5 and 99 years in prison, and fines reaching $10,000
Other Consequences of a Drug Conviction
There are many possible consequences of a drug conviction beyond the statutory penalties. Just some of the collateral consequences you may experience include:
- Trouble finding a job
- Difficulty continuing your education
- Trouble obtaining financial aid
- Ineligibility for certain professional licenses
- A modification of your child custody or visitation rights
- Denial of a visa, permanent residency, or citizenship application
- Loss of voting rights
- Loss of gun ownership rights
Defending Against Houston Drug Charges
Drug crimes can be extremely complicated and every case is different. By contacting an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, you can learn how to handle your specific drug charges.
Attorney Ned Barnett has years of experience investigating drug charges and building the strongest defenses possible. if there is an issue with the search that led to your arrest, he’ll know how to show where the officer went wrong. There are also problems with how drugs are tested and measured in the field, and mistakes could result in you being overcharged. Attorney Barnett will review all the evidence, and pursue every possible way to have your drug charged reduced or dismissed.
Some effective defenses in Houston drug cases involve:
- Constitutionality of your arrest
- Constitutionality of evidence
- Whether there is enough evidence to prove possession, manufacturing, or intent
How a Houston Drug Lawyer Helps You
Hiring a Houston drug defense attorney should be your first move when facing any Texas or federal drug charges. Attorney Ned Barnett will protect your rights and work to limit the evidence against you.
He will conduct an investigation into the charges, challenge the witnesses and other evidence against you. He’ll look for police mistakes, oversights, and other weaknesses that put you in a better position. You may also be able to secure an outcome that keeps a drug conviction off of your record.