Drug Possession Attorney in Houston
Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a serious charge — especially if you are accused of possession with intent to distribute or in a school zone. Even worse, many people perceive drug possession charges as open and shut. That is simply not the case.
Whether you are accused of possessing a small amount of marijuana or kilogram of cocaine, you still have rights, quality defense options, and a chance of getting your charges dismissed.
Seasoned counsel is just a phone call away. If you’ve been charged with drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug possession with intent to distribute, or any related drug charge, contact a Houston attorney for drug charges at Thiessen Law Firm by calling 713-766-4770 today.
Drug charges in Houston
Houston drug crimes are governed by both Texas state law and federal law, and whether or not your charges are subject to state or federal guidelines depends on the amount of a drug you are accused of possessing, whether or not you are accused of interstate trafficking, whether or not your drug charge is related to organized crime, and several other factors.
State courts handle small-amount drug delivery and possession cases that are classified as misdemeanors, state jail felonies 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 larger cases. The Harris County DA will prosecute cases involving cocaine possession of up to twenty kilos. Additionally, Harris County police officers are currently under instruction not to arrest those accused of marijuana possession, but Houston marijuana laws are definitely still a thing, and you can still face charges for marijuana possession in H-town.
Generally speaking, Texas lawmakers are tough on drugs and, as your drug offense lawyer in Houston should tell you, they can carry severe penalties — even without intent to distribute. That’s why it’s worth your while finding a lawyer who truly understands how to get a possession charge dismissed.
Thank you Mark, for saving my career
“Mark came highly referred to me from my friends. After reading his reviews online and meeting him in his office, I knew I could trust Mark to fight for me. Every time he walks in the court the DAs, the Judge and staff all greet him. I was honestly proud that he was my lawyer when he came in.
I had a very complex case with some tough issues, but Mark didn’t give up. He told me: if they want to label you a criminal and cost you your career, they can find you guilty over my dead body.”– Beau, A Happy Client
Types of Drug Charges
People arrested for drug-related offenses can face several different categories of drug charge, each with their own sentencing guidelines. NOTE: sentencing for conviction of different drug crimes varies based on the penalty group of the drug involved. For more information, please see our article, What is Considered a Dangerous Drug in Texas?
Possessing a drug may sound like a simple concept, but when it comes to Texas law, there is room for interpretation. Texas drug statutes define drug possession as occurring when someone “knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance, unless the person obtained the substance directly from or under a valid prescription or order from a practitioner acting in the course of professional practice.”
Establishing whether or not you knew you possessed an illegal substance is an important element of trying and defending accusations of drug possession. This can often come into question in situations where multiple people are present around drugs stored in a central location, such as a house or a car.
(Wondering what happens when you get caught in a vehicle with drugs? Check out our articles: “If Drugs Are Found in Your Car, Who Is Responsible?” and What Happens if You Get Caught Traveling with Edibles?)
Drug possession with intent to distribute
If investigators have reason to believe that you intended to sell the drugs you are accused of possessing, they can enhance your charges based on alleged intent to distribute, which can result in harsher sentencing under either state or federal guidelines, depending on the drug possessed and the quantities.
In the context of drug crimes, Texas defines “distribution” as delivery of a controlled substance by means that don’t include administering or dispensing it (i.e. injecting a willing user with heroin). In simpler terms, distribution means dealing drugs.
Investigators use a number of factors to establish intent to distribute, including the quantities possessed and the presence of other incriminating items such as scales, baggies, guns, or any other item that may be associated with drug dealing.
Drug manufacturing or cultivation
In Texas, it is illegal to manufacture (cooking crack/meth, synthesizing LSD, etc.) or cultivate (growing marijuana) a controlled substance. Drug manufacturing charges can lead to federal charges or enhanced penalties related to involvement in organized crime, depending on the drugs being produced and other circumstances related to the charge.
Penalties for drug-related offenses in Texas
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.
|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)/ some medicines||0-1 year in jail|
|State Jail||Possession of Marijuana / Oil (4 oz – 5 lbs) Possession of Penalty Group 1 Less than 1 gram (such as Cocaine, Heroin, Ecstacy, LSD, Mushrooms etc.)||6-24 months in state jail|
|3rd Degree||Possession of Marijuana / Oil (5 lbs – 50 lbs) Possession of Penalty Group 1 1-4 grams||2-10 years in prison|
|2nd Degree||Possession of Marijuana / Oil (50 lbs – 2000 lbs) Possession of Penalty Group 1 4-200 grams||2-20 years in prison|
|1st Degree||Possession of Penalty Group 1 200-400 grams||5 years – life in prison|
|1st Degree (enhanced)||Possession of Penalty Group 1 over 400 grams||10 years – life in prison|
Facing a long prison sentence for your drug offense? Check out our guide on how to beat a felony drug charge.
Why work with Thiessen Law Firm for drug charges
Whether you’re facing a life sentence or a year of probation, choosing aggressive, knowledgeable representation for your drug offense is an investment in your freedom and your reputation. We serve each client based on the unique circumstances of their case and work to find the win in your specific case. Sometimes, working with the prosecution and pleading your charge down is genuinely the best option available, but it isn’t always. Sometimes it’s worth taking drug charges to court and fighting for the “Not Guilty” verdict.
Mark Thiessen is among the few attorneys capable of seeing a case all the way to trial and winning. Whether you’re looking for a marijuana attorney in Harris County or have been accused of cocaine possession in Texas, Thiessen Law Firm is here to fight for you.
Mark Thiessen, top criminal defense attorney and founder of Thiessen Law Firm, is Board Certified in Criminal Law by Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has extensive experience crafting trial-tested defense strategies to help those accused of drug crimes defend their freedoms.
How Thiessen Law Firm fights drug charges
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fighting drug charges, but certain strategies come up often when defending drug charges in Houston.
Proving that the seized goods were not illegal drugs
Police science is full of issues, and people can be arrested for drug possession when what they possess isn’t even a drug (just ask this guy whose kitty litter got him charged with meth possession). Having been designated as a Lawyer-Scientist by the ACS-CHAL, Mark Thiessen understands the science — and the shortcomings — behind police testing methods and can use that knowledge to help you fight your drug possession charges.
Proving the defendant did not legally possess the drugs
In some instances, the prosecution may not have sufficient evidence to prove that you “knowingly or intentionally” possessed an illegal drug.
Proving that the drugs were found and/or 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.
Get all-star defense from Thiessen Law Firm
No matter the drug or the amount, Thiessen Law Firm can help you defend your name and your freedoms against drug crime accusations.
Don’t settle for less when your life is at stake — choose experienced, trial-tested counsel to help you through the fight of your life. Our Houston drug attorneys are here today to speak with you and help you explore your options.
You can’t afford to take a chance with your reputation and freedom. Call Thiessen Law firm today at 713-864-9000 to discover how our Houston, TX lawyers can help you.
You can’t afford to take a chance with your reputation and freedom. Call Thiessen Law firm today at 713.864.9000 to discover how our Houston, TX lawyers can help you.