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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Amarillo authorities are cracking down on all drug offenses, even simple possession for personal use. Due to the city’s location along I-40 in the Panhandle, experienced defense attorneys see numerous cases where individuals were stopped under suspicion of trafficking drugs or bringing THC back from Colorado.
Whether you were charged with drug possession, distribution, or intent to distribute, a conviction could affect your life for years to come. The best way to work towards a positive resolution of your charges is with an aggressive criminal lawyer by your side.
Recent Trends in Amarillo Drug Enforcement
Due to the marijuana legalization trend in nearby states, cities like Amarillo have been cracking down on cannabis-related offenses. Drugs like THC may be perfectly legal in Colorado, but they are prohibited throughout the state of Texas. Even if the drugs were purchased legally in another state, it is a crime to bring them into Amarillo.
Notably, Texas law punishes possession of THC far more harshly than cannabis flower. If someone has more than four grams of THC, they are looking at a second-degree felony. Penalties are based not only on the substance but also on the quantity, including any adulterants. For example, if THC is extracted and put into a gummy bear or a 16.9 fluid ounce bottle of juice, that is a first-degree felony.
While the penalties upon conviction can be harsh, it is important to remember that not every case will be a win for the prosecution. Depending on the circumstances, an Amarillo defense attorney may be able to exclude some of the prosecution’s best evidence from court. A lawyer could advise defendants of the potential outcomes in a case after completing their investigation, interviewing witnesses, reviewing the evidence, and speaking with the state or district attorney.
How Prior Convictions Affect a Case
An individual’s prior criminal history can have an enormous impact on the outcome of a case. First-time offenders may be able to work out a pre-trial diversion Program or Diversification, which could potentially keep a charge off their record. However, this is only available in certain case. For example, an individual convicted of a state-jail felony may be subject to mandatory probation. Overall, judges and prosecutors often look at individuals without a criminal history in a better light.
In contrast, a repeat offender may face enhanced punishments. For example, a charge that is normally a third-degree felony could be enhanced to a second-degree felony for subsequent convictions. Additionally, some judges may not offer probation, and prosecutors may be less willing to negotiate.
Let an Amarillo Attorney Help With Your Drug Case
Every drug case is unique, and the outcomes can vary from judge to judge, prosecutor to prosecutor, and county to county. In general, Amarillo authorities treat drug offenses with the utmost seriousness, and unrepresented defendants are at a severe disadvantage. As soon someone gets in trouble, it can be vital to get an attorney involved in the case. The attorney could assist with their release from jail, gather important facts and evidence, and put together a strong mitigation packet.
Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, retaining a criminal lawyer can help. The defense attorney could help show the District Attorney that you are taking steps to become a valuable member of the community, such as attending therapy or rehab. At the end of the day, these measures can increase your chances at a positive outcome when negotiating with the prosecutor.