Possession Of Cocaine Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with cocaine possession, then you will face serious felony charges that could cause you to lose your job, your ability to drive and even your freedom. Cocaine charges can often lead to prison time. Like other felony charges, a conviction for cocaine possession can also have the collateral consequences of the loss of the right to vote, the right to hold public office and the right to possess a firearm. The ripple effect of a conviction for possession of cocaine touches every aspect of your life and your family’s life. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight your cocaine charge and minimize the impact this has on your future. We want to help you fix the damage and get your life back on track.
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Understanding The Laws On Cocaine Possession
In Texas, it is a felony offense to knowingly possess any quantity of cocaine, no matter how small the amount. The laws governing cocaine possession are contained in Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. Within that code is the Texas Controlled Substances Act. There we find listed “controlled substances” that are categorized into various Penalty Groups. The illegal possession of one of these controlled substances is a criminal offense. The type and amount of the substance determine the level of the offense.
Cocaine is a controlled substance found in Penalty Group 1. This means that the possession of even a small amount of cocaine is a state jail felony that can land a person in prison for up to two years. Section 481.115 of the Health and Safety Code makes it a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess cocaine. If you are convicted of cocaine possession, then you will face the possibility of prison time.
Penalties For Cocaine Possession
The potential penalties for cocaine possession are determined in large part by the amount of the substance alleged to have been possessed. The following is a breakdown of the various ranges of punishment for possession of cocaine offenses:
|Amount||Offense Level||Punishment Range|
|Less than 1 gram||State jail felony||180 days to 2 years in state jail|
|1-4 grams||Third-degree felony||2 to 10 years in state prison|
|4-200 grams||Second-degree felony||2 to 20 years in state prison|
|200-400 grams||First-degree felony||5 to 99 years or life in state prison|
|400 grams or more||(undefined)||10 to 99 years or life in state prison|
(Each of these offenses carries the possibility of a fine in an amount up to $10,000 or $100,000 in cases involving 400 grams or more.)
Other factors may also affect how an offense is punished. Those will include the circumstances of the offense, the general character of the accused, and the accused person’s criminal history or lack thereof.
Defenses To Cocaine Possession
An arrest for cocaine possession does not mean that you are automatically guilty. In order to convict you of possession of cocaine, the state must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. It may be that the state lacks the evidence to meet that burden of proof or it may be that you otherwise have a defense to the state’s accusations. The following are some of the commonly asserted defenses to the charge of possession of cocaine:
No legal basis for stop and detention: In order to stop your vehicle on a traffic stop or to stop and detain an individual, a peace officer must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed. If you are detained without reasonable suspicion, then you are being illegally detained, and any evidence obtained as a result of that illegal detention may be subject to suppression by a judge.
No warrant to search premises: Absent some exigent circumstance that prevents a peace officer from obtaining a search warrant, a peace officer cannot simply force their way into your home and search the premises without a search warrant. A search warrant must be signed by a judge and supported by probable cause.
No legal basis for a warrantless search of a vehicle: An otherwise legally conducted traffic stop by a peace officer does not automatically entitle the peace officer to search your vehicle without your consent. The officer must have probable cause to conduct a search or your voluntary consent to search. You do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle.
No probable cause to arrest: In order to arrest you, a peace officer must have probable cause to believe you have committed a criminal offense or have a warrant for your arrest. An unconfirmed warrant for a traffic ticket may later give rise to a basis for suppression if the warrant turns out to have been inactive.
No knowledge of or intent to possess cocaine: It is only a crime to possess cocaine if it occurs intentionally or knowingly. You cannot possess cocaine without knowing that you are doing so. You should not be prosecuted for someone else’s cocaine when you had no knowledge of the presence of the substance.
Hire An Aggressive Cocaine Possession Defense Attorney
If you or your loved one has been arrested for cocaine possession, then you need to hire an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to ensure you are protected. The state of Texas has unlimited resources to prosecute you and seek a conviction in your case. You need a resourceful and experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Waren Price at The Price Firm, PLLC, has more than 20 years of experience prosecuting and defending cocaine possession cases, striving to protect your interests in your case. Let the experienced criminal defense attorney help you with your case.
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