The Texas Controlled Substances Act makes the buying, manufacturing, and selling of controlled substances, such as heroin and cocaine, illegal. These substances are illegal because of the dangers they pose to society. People in McKinney, Texas will face stiff penalties, but they have some defenses they could use in court.
Drug possession overview
Texas law defines possession as the actual controlling and being in care of controlled substances outside of a doctor’s prescription. Most states classify these substances in schedules according to addiction potential, which ranges from Schedule I to Schedule V.
Many states have made marijuana legal, but it is still illegal in Texas, except for medical marijuana. Texas doesn’t include marijuana in the same category as controlled substances, and possession charges are often lighter than selling, carrying a Class B misdemeanor. Drug cases for adults are often handled differently than for minors, based on the circumstance.
Common defenses for drug possession
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the defendant knowingly and willfully had possession of a controlled substance. A common defense is the court has no evidence of the defendant having control of the drug, or constructive possession. The defense could claim the defendant didn’t know of its presence, such as finding drugs found in a used vehicle left by a previous owner.
Drugs should get tested by a chemical lab before the trial begins, or the attorney can ask to dismiss the case. The defense may argue the drugs weren’t tested or tested incorrectly, or the defendant has a legal prescription to use it.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents unlawful searches and seizures, otherwise, they are illegal. Officers need a search warrant to search property and vehicles unless it is in plain view.
A first-time drug possession charge may include up to a $10,000 fine and 180 days to two years in jail if convicted. While plea deals are tempting, the defendant should speak to an attorney before negotiating charges.