The distribution of illegal drugs (known as “drug trafficking”) is a violation of the Texas Controlled Substances Act, and anyone who is found distributing marijuana or any other controlled substance is guilty of this crime. Controlled substances will fall under any of the four groups that are listed in the act, with marijuana having its own classification. The term “drug trafficking” is just another term that refers to the distribution of illicit drugs. This can include the transportation, sale, or import of controlled substances (such as meth, cocaine, heroin, and even marijuana). Drug trafficking can also include the illegal transportation or sale of prescription drugs, which has recently been on the rise. There has also been a recent increase in the number of arrests for heroin and meth distribution.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in the State of Texas
A drug trafficking charge is considered a felony in the State of Texas, and it can come with a wide range of penalties. It can be anywhere from a state jail felony (which will carry the most lenient punishment) to a first-degree felony (which has the harshest). Several factors will determine the sentence you’ll receive for drug trafficking in Texas, which can include but may not be limited to:
- The amount of the drug that was distributed.
- The type of drug that was distributed (which will be listed in any of the four groups under the Texas Controlled Substances Act).
Texas has some of the harshest penalties for drug trafficking, but prosecutors may also offer a plea deal to people who have been accused of these crimes. They’ll be offered a charge of a lesser degree in exchange for information that would help authorities get the evidence they need to complete investigation of a higher priority.
The penalties for drug trafficking in Texas can be 180 days to two years in a state jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000, but you could also get anywhere from 15 years to life in prison with a possible fine of up to $250,000. Distributing less than a gram of any controlled substance is considered a state jail felony, while distributing 400 grams or more of the same drug is considered a first-degree felony. However, state laws can always change with the passage of new legislation, higher court rulings (which can include federal mandates), ballot initiatives, and many other factors. That’s why you should speak to a qualified attorney before anyone else.
Possible Defenses for Drug Trafficking in Texas
Your best chance to beat a drug trafficking charge is to hire a qualified attorney — someone who knows how to protect your rights. Some of the defense strategies for drug trafficking in Texas can include but may not be limited to:
- The police conducted an illegal search and seizure, which violates your Fourth Amendment rights. They must have “probable cause” to search you, your home, or your vehicle.
- The drugs were planted on you by law enforcement officers. While this claim is rare, it’s a valid defense if you’re able to prove it.
- You weren’t aware you were in possession of an illicit substance, because they belonged to someone else. You might have been given a package or piece of clothing, and you didn’t know it had drugs.
- There were discrepancies between the purity of the cited substance during the arrest and what was analyzed by a crime lab.
- There was evidence missing between the time of the arrest and the day of the trial. Only drugs that were taken at the crime scene can be used as evidence in court.
- You were threatened with bodily injury or death if you refused to participate in drug trafficking for someone else (what’s called “duress”).
- You were part of a group of drug traffickers at the time of the arrest, but you didn’t actually have drugs in your possession.
In all of these situations, a criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi can help you.
Your Best Choice for a Criminal Defense Attorney in the Coastal Bend!
If you have been accused of drug trafficking in Texas and need a criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi to defend your case, Gale Law Group is your best choice. We have a team of qualified attorneys who understands drug trafficking laws in Texas, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re rights are protected. If you have been charged with drug trafficking or any other crime, you don’t want to go it alone. So if you’re looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi, get it touch with us today!