Lawyer For Possession With Intent To Distribute in Houston
Charges for drug possession with intent to distribute in Houston range from state jail felonies that will land you in jail for six months to enhanced first-degree felonies that will put you away for life. No matter the circumstances, if you were arrested on suspicion of intent to distribute, you are facing felony charges that could change your life forever.
If you or a loved one has been arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute, and you do not already have a skilled drug offense lawyer in Houston building your defense, you need to hire one before it is too late.
Not all drug crime attorneys are made equally. If you plan on beating possession with intent to distribute charges you’ll need an attorney that isn’t afraid to take tough cases to trial and fight. Mark Thiessen is that attorney. He takes complex cases to court and wins for his clients. Contact Thiessen Law Firm by calling (713) 864-9000 and start building your defense today.
What is considered possession with intent to distribute in Texas?
Possession with intent to distribute, as defined in the Texas Controlled Substance Act, is an enhanced possession charge reserved for situations in which the accused intended to sell the drugs they were charged with possessing or had a role in manufacturing them.
Texas defines distribution as the “delivery of a controlled substance by means that don’t include administering or dispensing it.” This means that you cannot be charged with distribution for simply giving a friend of yours drugs, and is intended to ensure that distribution charges are reserved for those dealing drugs.
If investigators have reason to believe that you were dealing drugs, you can expect harsher penalties and aggressive prosecuting. Some factors that investigators will use to establish intent to distribute include:
- Inordinate amounts of cash
- Amounts of drugs that exceed what could reasonably be considered personal use
What evidence do police need for drug dealing charges?
In order for you to be charged with possession with intent to distribute, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly either intended to distribute or played a part in manufacturing the drugs that you allegedly possessed.
First, they have to prove that you knowingly and willingly did in fact possess a controlled substance. Next, they have to prove that you had a hand in manufacture or distribution, for which they usually provide witness testimonies and physical evidence.
Proving intent is a bit more difficult than the act of manufacturing. Manufacturing leaves behind physical evidence in the way of equipment used to make, store, or conceal drugs, while intent is a bit more dubious. Usually proof of intent comes in the form of guns or other weapons, material used to package drugs for sale, or excess cash in proximity to the drugs themselves.
Penalties and punishments for possession with intent to distribute in Texas
Is possession with intent to distribute a felony? Yes. No matter what drug you are in possession of, or how little of that drug you possess, if you are suspected to have manufactured or intended to distribute it, you will be charged with serious felony drug charges.
Charges for possession with intent to distribute are brought at the state level, unless you were found crossing state lines or engaging in criminal activity that would draw the attention of federal investigators, in which case you would likely be charged with drug trafficking in a federal court. Comprehensive possession with intent to distribute sentence guidelines at the state level are as follows.
|Group I – up to 4 grams||Second-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 20 years in prison|
|Group I – 4 – 200 grams||Second-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group I – 200+ grams||Enhanced first-degree felony||Up to $250,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group II – up to 4 grams||Second-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 20 years in prison|
|Group II – up to 400 grams||First-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group II – 400+ grams||Enhanced first-degree felony||Up to $100,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group III – less than 28 grams||State jail felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 2 years in prison|
|Group III – 28 – 200 grams||Second-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 20 years in prison|
|Group III – up to 400 grams||First-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group III – 400+ grams||Enhanced first-degree felony||Up to $100,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group IV – less than 28 grams||State jail felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 2 years in prison|
|Group IV – 28 – 200 grams||Second-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 20 years in prison|
|Group IV – up to 400 grams||First-degree felony||Up to $10,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
|Group IV – 400+ grams||Enhanced first-degree felony||Up to $100,000||Up to 99 years in prison|
As you can see above, possession with intent to distribute sentences are harsh. If you want to avoid hefty fines, jail sentences, and other life-altering consequences, we suggest hiring the best lawyer you can find.
Possible defenses to a drug dealing charge
If you’re wondering how to get drug possession charges dropped, you’ll be relieved to know that while difficult, it is not impossible. A few strategies that your Houston defense attorney can use to build your defense, and hopefully either get your case dismissed or secure you a Not Guilty verdict, include:
- Disproving that you were actually in possession of any drugs. Drugs are often found in a car or an apartment, who’s to say that they were definitely yours?
- Disproving that what you had in your possession was certainly drugs. Bad police work and bad science can often mean charging first and asking questions later. Make sure that you have an attorney who knows the science well enough to examine the science and procedures used by the police to make sure they’re up to snuff.
- Were you under duress? Was entrapment involved? There is also the stipulation that you must knowingly and willingly possess them, which does not always hold up under scrutiny.
- Ensuring that the search and seizure of any evidence were done lawfully. Police officers are required to follow very specific guidelines when making arrests, to ensure that due process is being followed and your rights are not being infringed upon.
People charged with simple possession might find leniency from the prosecution, but not those accused of drug dealing. The same leniency that you might find in possession cases for those in possession of less dangerous drugs (for example, marijuana possession is a much less serious offense than cocaine possession in Texas) is not present in distribution charges either; whether you’re selling marijuana or heroin you will be prosecuted without mercy.
How to fight charges for possession with intent to distribute in Texas and win
If you or a loved one has been charged with possession with intent to distribute in Texas, you need an attorney to start building your defense now, because the prosecution is already working on their attack. Don’t hire just any attorney. Make sure that your lawyer has experience fighting felony drug charges in a court of law, and make sure that they win cases.
Mark Thiessen is an ACS-CHAL Lawyer Scientist, which means he knows the science behind toxicology and the ways in which police attempt to cut corners when making drug arrests — and he has the ability to prove it in the courtroom.