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Amarillo authorities take drug offenses seriously. They often pull drivers over for even minor violations and use the stop as a way to look for marijuana or THC. While a drug arrest can be intimidating, there may be ways for an experienced Amarillo attorney to raise a powerful defense.
Arrest Procedures in Amarillo
Many drug arrests in Amarillo begin with a simple traffic stop. For example, the police may pull someone over for speeding, and during the conversation, they find drugs in the car and arrest the driver. At that point, the individual is typically taken from the scene to one of two county jails.
Amarillo is a split city, being divided by Potter County to the north and Randall County in the new southern division. If the individual is arrested in Potter County, they will be taken to the Potter County jail. If they are arrested in Randall County, they go to the Randal County jail. This is the case even though they are arrested by the Amarillo Police Department.
Each of these counties has a different procedure, but generally, the charged individual will be allowed to make phone calls. At some point in time, they will see the Magistrate, who sets the bond or bail. The bonding company certifies to the court that the charged person has completed the bond process, and assuming there are no other holds, the person is released from custody.
Multiple Individuals at the Scene of a Drug Arrest
When there are several people at the scene of a drug bust, who is arrested depends on who the police officer thinks had possession of the drug. For example, four people are in a vehicle at a traffic stop, and the police smell marijuana. The police ask who the marijuana belongs to, and if no one takes ownership, everybody in the car may be arrested. On the other hand, if the driver said it was theirs, police may only arrest the driver.
Proving possession in Texas requires authorities to demonstrate the three C’s: care, custody, and control. If the State believes it can prove each of these elements, it often charges an individual with possession of a drug.
Rights During a Drug Arrest
When a person is arrested for a drug-related charge, they have the right to remain silent and should exercise that right. People often believe the police will go easy on them if they explain what happened, but anything said to an officer can be used against the defendant. The statement a defendant makes to police is often more damaging to their case than the police report, video, search warrants, or testimony. If the defendant is going to make a statement, they should wait until consulting with a lawyer. While defendants do have the right to an attorney, they usually do not have a chance to contact one until after booking.
Another important right is to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Under no circumstances should any person consent to a search of their vehicle by police. The police can say they have probable cause to search or even call a drug dog, but when someone consents to a search they defeat the lawyer’s ability to challenge it. This is one of the biggest mistake people make during traffic stops in Amarillo.
Talk to an Amarillo Attorney About Your Drug-Related Arrest
If you were arrested by Amarillo or state police for drug possession, do not give up hope. There may be ways for an experienced defense attorney to challenge the evidence against you. To discuss your case with a legal professional, call today.