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There are a range of potential drug charges in Amarillo, and the potential penalties vary accordingly. Regardless of the specific illicit substance violation you were charged with, you could face serious consequences, including incarceration. For help with your case, speak with a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible.
Various Drug Charges in Amarillo
Drug charges in Amarillo and throughout the Lone Star State encompass a few different behaviors. Some potential offenses include:
- Possession of a drug
- Possession with the intent to distribute
- Possession with the intent to manufacture
- Money laundering or other financial crimes, if there is money involved
- Enhancements for possession of a deadly weapon, if there was a gun involved
- Possession in a drug-free zone (typically 1,000 yards from schools, parks, or other areas where children might be).
Any of these charges can lead to harsh penalties, making assistance from an attorney critical to a defendant’s future.
Drug Offense Arrest Process
Once a person is arrested on a drug charge, they may be released from jail on some bond condition. Common conditions include checking in with a pre-trial officer, taking classes, drug tests, and a prohibition on consuming illegal substances. Additionally, the defendant will receive a court date sometime in the future.
The justice system in Texas does not move quickly. The arresting agency submits their reports to the district attorney or county attorney who is responsible for that area, and it is up to them to actually file the charges. Some cases take longer than others. Some counties wait for the labs to come back, some do not.
The case could be heard in either Potter County or Randall County courts, depending on where the person was caught or the drugs were found. If it occurred on the south side of the city, the case goes to Randall County. The county seat of Randall County is Canyon, Texas, some 10-15 miles outside of Amarillo. If they were in the Potter County side of Amarillo, it will be a Potter County charge.
Impact of a Drug Arrest in Amarillo
When a person is arrested, the charge is added to the person’s arrest record. Even if the person is never convicted of a crime, the charge will still be visible on the arrest record and open for the world to see. Individuals in this stage of the process may have trouble securing housing or employment. However, an attorney could help someone expunge this record if the case is ultimately dismissed.
If the defendant is arrested for a Class B misdemeanor or above and has a concealed handgun license, the state will try to revoke their right to carry that firearm. If they are charged with a felony, then under federal law they are a restricted person and cannot be in possession of a firearm. They cannot open carry, concealed carry, or even have a firearm in their home.
If the person is ultimately convicted of the offense, they may be a convicted felon. At that point in time, they would lose certain rights, such as the right to vote. They may face a litany of other consequences, including losing their driver’s license and any federal aid.
How an Amarillo Attorney Could Build a Strong Defense Against Drug Charges
Being arrested on a controlled substance charge in Amarillo can feel overwhelming and hopeless. However, it is important to remember that not every arrest leads to a guilty verdict. With a skilled defense attorney by your side, you may be able to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and fight for a favorable resolution of your charges.
For example, officers may have made mistakes when issuing the drug charges, such as conducting an illegitimate traffic stop. If the evidence was obtained illegally, it is not admissible in court, and the prosecution might not be able to prove its case.
By retaining an experienced Amarillo attorney immediately, defendants could come up with a strong defense strategy tailored to the facts of their drug arrest. A lawyer could communicate with the district attorney or the county attorney to see what resolution can be accomplished and start working toward that resolution quickly. To schedule a consultation and learn how an attorney could help in your case, call today.