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If you’ve been charged with drug possession in West Texas, you are no doubt frightened and confused about how to proceed. The first thing you have to do is contact a well-respected criminal defense team like Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C.

The smartest action you can take to protect your rights and prevent harsh penalties is to have your case handled by drug crime attorneys who have comprehensive knowledge of state and federal drug crime laws and 15 years of successful experience defending clients’ rights. Though you may feel trapped and powerless, there are a great many avenues your attorney can take to have you acquitted or to lessen your penalties through a deft plea bargain.

Marijuana Possession and Sale Are Illegal in Texas

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that marijuana possession will not be prosecuted in Texas. Though a number of states have legalized medical marijuana and some have legalized its recreational use, possession of even a small amount of marijuana remains illegal in Texas.

Though penalties may be lighter for marijuana possession than for possession of drugs classified as more dangerous and addictive, the state of Texas will still vigorously prosecute drug offenses involving pot. If you are charged with marijuana possession, as if you are charged with possession of heroin, ecstasy or cocaine, you will need strong legal representation. Possession of any illegal drug in Texas may have lifelong consequences.

Insufficient Evidence of “Constructive Possession”

It pays to remember that the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Basically, the prosecution must prove that you were “knowingly or intentionally” in possession of a controlled substance. In accordance with The Texas Controlled Substance Act, for you to be convicted of drug possession, it must be proved that you had illegal drugs in your possession and had “dominion and control” over them.

It is not enough for police officers to testify that the contraband was near you at the time of arrest. Without your possession of drug paraphernalia, drugs being found on your person, or your fingerprints being found on the container of the drugs or on the drugs themselves, your case may be dismissed. A competent drug defense attorney is often able to raise sufficient doubt that the drugs in your home or in your car belonged to you. If the court is convinced that the drugs belonged to someone else, you will be found not guilty.

Mistakes in Arrest Procedures May Give Your Defense a Significant Advantage

A savvy drug defense attorney will scrutinize all data pertaining to your arrest to make sure everything was on the up and up. If your lawyer finds that protocol was not followed, your defense may become much easier. Misconduct on the part of the arresting officers or other law enforcement personnel includes:

  • Unlawful search and seizure is forbidden by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Without a warrant, police are not allowed to search your home or your vehicle for illicit drugs. They can only use evidence found in plain view (e.g. on the dashboard of your car rather than in your locked trunk).
  • Miranda Rights violations occur when the police fail to read you your Miranda rights. You should note, however, that in Texas you must state that you wish to remain silent rather than just stop talking.
  • Crime lab analysis is necessary to prove that the substance the police believed to be an illegal drug actually was one. Without testing evidence, your attorney will move for dismissal. It is also possible to question testing methods or whether the drugs were mishandled or tainted during processing.
  • Missing evidence (e.g. drug