Marijuana is easily the most commonly abused unlawful drug within the United States. Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, classified as having a high potential for abuse. Street names for marijuana include grass, pot, weed, Mary Jane, dope, indo, and hydro. Marijuana possession laws can impose strict penalties under certain situations.
Possession of marijuana (sometimes called simple possession) is easily the most common drug criminal activity in the United States. Considered a misdemeanor in a majority of states, marijuana possession penalties include fines, probation, and/or community service. Criminal possession of marijuana is the next level up in marijuana possession crimes and consists of possession of marijuana in a public place where it is either burning or in open public view in quantities of more than 2 oz . but less eight ounces. Criminal possession of marijuana is also a misdemeanor but the repercussions increase as does the probability of prison time.
Theoretically, under federal drug law, the possession of marijuana, in any amount, is punishable by up to twelve months in jail including a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. Further convictions and larger amounts bring about much stiffer penalties. Fairly few marijuana possession court cases give rise to a felony level crime. Marijuana distribution, however, is invariably a felony under federal law. The sale of under 50 kilos of marijuana (the smallest amount category) is punishable by five years in prison including a $250,000 fine.
Marijuana is commonly consumed in its organic state, the plant itself utilized in various ways to produce a hallucinogenic effect on the user. Abuse and use of the cannabis plant as a means for getting high dates back to biblical times. The advent of laws criminalizing the use of the drug occurred sometime during the twentieth century, with fights to legalize the use of marijuana argued ever since, its use among Native Americans in religious ceremonies and the utilization of the drug by cancer patients to alleviate nausea being the most recurrent arguments used for its legalization, and a significant change in the marijuana possession laws.
Marijuana production's principal supply is Mexico. Nearly all foreign-produced marijuana readily available within the United States is smuggled into the country from Mexico over the Mexico border by criminal groups. Mexican criminal groups control the majority of wholesale marijuana distribution in the United States, with Asian criminal groups which bring in the product over the Canadian border running a close second. The potency of Canadian marijuana being considered finer quality than the Mexican version has resulted in an increase in Asian control of marijuana production and distribution. According to the National Drug Threat Assessment 2007, high potency Canada-based smuggling, distribution and production groups are increasing, giving rise to large-scale cannabis cultivation in large outdoor sites by both Mexican and Asian groups. In addition, in an effort to stay competitive in the higher potency marijuana distribution trade, Asian groups have begun operating indoor grow sites in homes throughout the Pacific Northwest and California. The trend is to purchase or lease a house, modify the residence for the objective of producing two to four crops of cannabis and walking away from the property once the crops are harvested.
Challenges to existing marijuana production and distribution laws are ongoing, with several states decriminalizing certain marijuana usage for specific medical conditions. However, in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Club, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marijuana doesn't have any medical value as determined by Congress. The court’s opinion stated that: “In the case of the Controlled Substances Act, the statue reflects a determination that marijuana doesn't have any medical benefits worthy of an exception outside the confines of government-approved research projects.”
In 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a verdict which upheld the Drug Enforcement Act’s determination that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive schedule under the Controlled Substance Act. The marijuana debate and court battles will certainly continue to occasionally appear in the United States Court system for years to come.
Defenses for those guilty of breaking marijuana possession laws, and distribution of marijuana laws, in most cases revolve around the misuse of law enforcement power to search and seize property. Unlawful search and seizure, unlawful surveillance, and entrapment are the primary means of defending a charge of marijuana possession or marijuana distribution.
Texas courts take marijuana possession criminal charges seriously, and so should you. Multiple convictions of marijuana possession may lead to felony criminal charges. Consequently, you want to fight every arrest you have to deal with, not just immediately, but to safeguard your protection under the law in the future as well. Because possession charges may very easily result in growing and cultivation criminal charges, you want a criminal defense attorney who can lower virtually all potential damages.
The Most Dedicated Houston Criminal Attorney will protect your protection under the law and fight for you against marijuana possession criminal charges.
The harshness of the criminal charges you face will depend on the quantity of marijuana. Should you are caught with under two ounces, you will face minor misdemeanor charges, but the penalties go up steeply from there. Possession of two to four ounces is a Class A Misdemeanor, and possession if over four ounces is considered a felony.
No one wants a drug arrest on their permanent record, so our first step is to have the criminal charges completely dismissed. If dismissal or an acquittal at trial is not really conceivable, we are going to seek to reduce the criminal charges or diminish the penalties where possible.
For first-time offenders, the Most Dedicated Houston Criminal Attorney will explore diversionary programs as well. By seeking proper drug treatment, you could very well be able to avoid prison time. They will help you explore all possible alternative sentencing techniques.
Marijuana has a distinctive scent, and therefore it is dangerous for minors to smoke it anywhere: in a car, at home, or in a dorm room. Authorities may smell it and a second infraction might result in significant repercussions, including the loss of student loans. The Most Qualified Houston Lawyer will handle juvenile crimes involving marijuana possession as well as criminal court cases.
If you or a family member have been arrested for marijuana possession, you want an expert trial lawyer who is prepared to stand up for your rights right now. Speak to the Most Respected Lawyers In Houston Tx right now for a complimentary initial consultation.
Drug violations may be charged against a single individual with just a minute quantity of marijuana, or perhaps a college student selling ecstasy or an individual trafficking sizeable amounts of crack across state lines. Because drug offenses cover an extremely wide array of criminal acts, almost nobody can avoid the possibility of being found guilty, regardless if they are an upstanding citizen or possibly a career criminal.
Drug offenses range in severity with the possession of a tiny quantity of marijuana for individual use being a "lesser" drug crime, and operating an entire drug trafficking business being a significantly greater criminal offense. The violations may be tried as a misdemeanor or perhaps a felony, based on a number of elements. For instance, the kind, quantity and objective are all evaluated when making an arrest. The prosecution and the judge may also consider whether or not the suspect has a past criminal history, and they'll examine the circumstances associated with the criminal case. A professional Houston Criminal Attorneys can help you fight for your legal rights and ensure that the more positive aspects of the scenario don't get disregarded by the prosecution. These methods will help make sure that you aren't sentenced with more severe consequences than necessary. Drug offenses are taken extremely seriously within the state of Texas and a skilled defense attorney might be the difference between your independence and a felony conviction.
According to the elements of one's case, you might discover your self defending a jail sentence. More serious cases of sales or sizeable amounts of drug possession could put you behind bars. An experienced drug offenses attorney can keep you from dealing with prison time. Drug violations fall within the jurisdiction of both federal and state laws, based on the nature of the criminal offense. Smuggling illegal substances and substantial quantity narcotic conspiracy cases are usually prosecuted on the federal level. Some other drug violations, like possession, manufacture and illegal drug trafficking inside state boundaries, are generally prosecuted by the State of Texas. Drug violations criminal charges consist of possession, use, sale or furnishing of any sort of unlawful drug or drug paraphernalia that's prohibited by law, also as the illegal possession of legal drugs (like prescribed pharmaceutical misuse).
Drug offenses in Texas are taken extremely seriously by federal and state prosecutors. When you have been arrested for simple marijuana possession, you could confront elevated criminal charges if you're caught in possession of 4 oz . or more. If you're found guilty of violating the Texas Controlled Substance Act, you might lose the privilege of your driver's license for as much as six months time. Drug violations are extremely severe in nature and must by no means be taken casually. An individual who's arrested for a drug offense deals with life-changing legal repercussions. In Texas, drug offenses are prosecuted harshly by law enforcement officials and District Attorneys. Because of a continual growth in drug associated offenses, the federal and state government now utilize more rigid drug regulations and legal punishments.
Drug violations consist of an array of activities forbidden by federal or state statute, which includes possession, sale, manufacture, distribution and trafficking, along with prescription fraud and forgery. Drug violations consist of attempts and conspiracies to commit any sort of of these acts. On the federal level, involvement in a continuing criminal enterprise additionally exposes a person to criminal accountability. These offenses are extremely precisely defined, and therefore the government is expected to establish a particular set of facts before a charged individual may be declared guilty of them.
Additionally, drug cases often involve the issue of whether or not the proof was correctly attained by law enforcement officials. Evidence attained in violation of an defendant's constitutional legal rights isn't admissible in the courtroom. A good number of challenges to the admissibility of evidence are primarily based within the Fourth Amendment, that protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Drug courts currently operate or are being structured in virtually all 50 states. Although they differ among states, these specialized courts focus on therapy more than time in jail for defendants with substance abuse problems. Compliance with all the enforced stipulations (e.g., frequent drug screening, participation in a rehabilitation program) could possibly lead to dismissal of criminal charges, or suspended or lowered sentences.
When time in jail is required, on the other hand, possible penalties escalate based on the type and amount of the drug at issue and also the defendant's past criminal history. Particular crimes are categorized into classes and minimum and maximum sentences of these classes are stipulated based on a defendant's criminal background. Utilization of these sentencing recommendations in state and federal court have long been debatable; proponents maintain that recommendations make sure uniformity and equity in penalties, although opponents debate that they are not able to provide the flexibility required to take into consideration a defendant's specific situations.
When you have Been Charged with a Drug Criminal offense
Drug criminal charges can certainly have significant consequences, such as forfeiture of assets and time in jail. Talking to a highly trained lawyer for guidance on how you can proceed is important. If you're fighting drug criminal charges, a knowledgeable Houston Criminal Lawyers will assist you with navigating through the problems concerned in this complicated area of legislation.
If you're arrested for possession of illegal drugs, whether for private use or with the intention of selling, The Top Houston Criminal Attorneys will be able to pinpoint which defenses may apply for your case should you plead not guilty. Various states deal with the issue of unlawful drugs in various ways, while the federal government has a tendency to have the most stringent drug sentencing regulations. Nevertheless drug possession defenses are rather standard across state lines. Several defenses challenge the stated details, testimony or evidence within the case, whilst others focus on procedural faults, frequently search and seizure infractions.
Listed here are several defenses to drug possession criminal charges, several much more typical than others:
Illegal Search and Seizure
The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the privilege to due process of law, such as legal search and seizure methods before a charge. Search and seizure challenges are very typical in drug possession cases. Illegal drugs discovered in "plain view," including a auto's dash panel following a legal traffic stop, might be seized and utilized as evidence. Nevertheless illegal drugs discovered within the trunk of your vehicle after prying it open with a crowbar, presuming the suspect didn't provide authorization, can't be put into evidence. In the event the accused's 4th Amendment rights had been breached, then the illegal drugs can't be utilized at trial and the criminal charges usually are dismissed.
Illegal Drugs Belong to Somebody Else
A typical defense to any type of criminal offense arrest would be to merely proclaim that you did not do it. The drug possession equivalent would be to assert that the illegal drugs are not yours or that you simply had no idea they had been inside your apartment, for instance. The Best Houston Criminal Lawyer will compel prosecutors to demonstrate that the marijuana cigarette discovered within the automobile really belonged to their client rather than another individual within the automobile.
Crime Lab Investigation
Simply because it appears to be crack or Heroin does not necessarily mean that it is. The prosecution needs to demonstrate that a seized material is actually the unlawful drug it claims it is by submitting the evidence for crime lab analysis. The crime lab analyst then needs to testify at trial in order for the prosecution to prove its case.
Missing Illegal Drugs
The Recommended Houston Criminal Defense Attorney will make certain prosecutors have the ability to deliver the actual illegal drugs for which their client has been arrested. Comparable to the requirement for analysis by a crime lab, prosecutors who misplace or otherwise don't have the actual drugs risk getting their case dismissed. Seized drugs frequently are transferred a number of times prior to ending up within the evidence locker, therefore it should by no means be presumed that the evidence continues to exists throughout the trial.
Illegal Drugs Had Been Planted
This might be challenging to establish, because a law enforcement officer's sworn testimony carries a great deal of weight within the courtroom. Moreover, other police officers might hesitate to blow the whistle on a fellow police officer. Nevertheless, The Recommended Houston Criminal Defense Attorney might file a motion that, if authorized by the judge, demands the department to produce the complaint file of the given police officer. This file references the names and contact details of those that produced the complaints, who might then be interviewed by the lawyer or his private detective.
While authorities are free to operate sting operations, entrapment happens when police officers or informants cause a suspect to commit a criminal offense this individual otherwise might not have committed. If the informant pressures a suspect into giving illegal drugs to a 3rd party, for instance, then this might be regarded as entrapment. Generally, entrapment happens when the state offers the illegal drugs involved.
Do I Need A Criminal Lawyer
If you're arrested for any type of of these or some other drug related criminal offense you should get in touch with The Finest Houston Criminal Lawyer as soon as you possibly can. The consequences of carrying out a drug offense may be very harsh, such as actual jail time, in some cases for several years in significant high profile drug cases. Being found guilty for a drug-related crime could not just harm your personal and professional stature, but might lead to actual termination from a good job or even the suspension or revocation of one's professional licenses. It is not whether or not you'll acquire an experienced attorney, rather, it is who you'll find to handle your case at your most susceptible time.
Do not let drug charges spoil your future. The Recommended houston tx attorneys will expertly defend drug charges in the courtroom. If you're struggling with misdemeanor or felony drug possession charges after having a drug arrest in Texas, safeguard your legal rights and future. Contact the Leading Houston Criminal Attorney to schedule a free initial consultation.
Virtually all drug charge convictions carry severe consequences, but the state of Texas makes every effort to crack down on drug manufacturing cases. From meth labs to marijuana grow houses, if you or a loved one faces criminal charges surrounding the cultivation of drugs; you want to speak to the Recommended criminal law houston tx prior to taking any type of legal action on your own.
The Most Qualified Houston Lawyer will have years of experience protecting the arrested within the courts all through Texas and is going to be prepared to respond to your questions and reduce the damages facing you after your drug manufacture charge.
Whenever you first step into their office, the Top Houston Criminal Lawyer will talk about your case, talk about what happened, and how the charges you face might be affected by a earlier criminal background. Listening to your side of the story, they'll help you discover any and all possible defenses.
Understanding your side of the story is essential. They'll tell you about the court in which your charges are being heard. In virtually all instances, they'll want to hear your side of the story prior to beginning to fully evaluate your options.
Texas defense lawyers see numerous drug distribution cases due to the sheer volume of interstate highway traffic. Sadly, it is all-too-easy to move drugs along the interstate freeway system in all directions. In particular within the Houston area, our law enforcement officers have noticed patterns when searching for drug traffickers. It is common for cars to be stopped along northbound interstates and for large amounts of drugs to be found. When suspicious vehicles are stopped heading southbound, large amounts of currency are occasionally found. Whether the criminal arrest will be sale, distribution, or drug trafficking depends upon the type and the amount of drugs involved. However the difference you face in penalties is significant.
A first degree felony drug conviction usually results in a minimum five-year prison term, but in large-scale drug manufacturing or drug distribution cases, prison terms might jump to a minimum of 15 years.
If excessively large sums of U.S. currency are found in your vehicle (or perhaps a vehicle you are riding in), you may confront criminal charges of money laundering. Amazingly, the penalties at the federal level for possessing significant amounts of cash are similarly severe to those for possessing big amounts of drugs.
You could also discover yourself fighting conspiracy charges, something federal prosecutors may add on to drug crime cases.
The Most Respected Houston Criminal Lawyer will have handled many federal and state drug cases in Texas courts, from drug manufacturing cases involving meth laboratories and marijuana grow houses to international drug trafficking. No case is too big or complex for their firm to handle.
Law enforcement officers doing drug interdiction work have the legal right to seize assets that had been used in furtherance of a criminal offense or bought using the proceeds of criminal activity. This means they not only confiscate drugs; they also seize cash, vehicles, boats, other personal property as well as real estate. The police or law enforcement agency can then sell the assets and keep the proceeds or just keep the property and assets altogether for their own uses. This can be particularly common with automobiles.
Asset forfeiture sometimes goes too far, with the police taking assets that doesn't belong to anybody charged with the criminal offense, property that in fact belongs to totally innocent family members or third parties. The Top Houston Criminal Defense Attorney handles asset forfeiture cases, helping clients battle to recoup seized assets .
A good number of drug manufacture criminal charges, whether or not they involve marijuana or methamphetamines, are heard in state court. Quite often, marijuana grow houses and meth houses are identified after informants report activities to the authorities.
If you have been turned in by a third party, the Finest Houston Criminal Lawyer will attack the reliability of the source. Nevertheless, in every case the quality of the evidence is different. That's why we analyze possible actions on a case-by-case basis.
Contact the Most Effective Houston Lawyers for a free of charge consultation. They'll fight hard to protect your legal rights all through the legal procedure.
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