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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Students can often face consequences for many illegal acts on campus. Included are various substance related offenses which can often be quite common on college campuses. These offenses can have a severe impact on an individual’s education, including the potential for suspension or expulsion. Further, an individual may suffer when trying to gain admission to schools in the future. In dealing with a charge you may have incurred as a result of a common substance related offense on campus, it is pertinent that you contact a Lubbock student defense lawyer immediately. An attorney will be able to build a strong defense using the specifics of your case, and help to ensure any penalties you are facing can be either minimized or reduced.
Possession of marijuana is the most common drug-related charge on college campuses. In Texas, it is illegal to possess marijuana, and there are not many laws which address the drug. However, there are many cases now in Texas where marijuana is coming in from other areas, specifically Colorado in the form of an edible product. These types of products could be classified as a candy bar, gummy bear, or some other substance that is infused with a wax-based or a liquid-based THC.
In the State of Texas, the quantity of marijuana does not matter, it is always charged as a felony. A further common drug-related charge involves possession of substances such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and other drugs with similar classifications.
Any drug that is illegal for the purposes of the general population remains illegal for the student athletes. There are certain drugs that are not illegal per se, if an individual has a prescription for it. However, that drug may still be illegal under the standards of student athletes, and may lead to a failure of a drug test. Sometimes student athletes possess an illegal drug which can subject them to a criminal case, and also to the student code at the universities. Although not as frequent, this is still among one of the most common substance related offenses on campus.
There are three statutes in Texas that apply to the possession or the underage consumption of alcohol. These are minor in consumption and minor in possession when an individual is under the age of 21, and are not in the direct line of sight of their parents. A parent in the State of Texas can allow a child under the age of 21 to legally consume alcohol as long as they are with that child and the child is in their line of sight.
Other than that exception, any consumption or possession of alcohol by a minor is illegal. A possession in Texas is defined as care, custody, and control of a particular item. Sometimes, the police will go to a party where there is both beer and many students under the age of 21 present. There have been cases where the Lubbock Police Department has given these underage students tickets, or arrested them for minor in possession. However, that is not a true possession. Just because beer is in the same room as an underage individual does not mean that that minor possesses it. The state must be able to prove possession or consumption, which is the ingestion or drinking of alcohol.
Further, there is a public intoxication statute. The public intoxication statute does not differentiate between an under 21 minor and an individual over the age of 21. The statute says that the person must be so intoxicated that they are a danger to themselves or someone else. Sometimes, a law enforcement officer will smell alcohol when the person is out in public. This individual may not be in danger, and not doing anything wrong, but they are still arrested for public intoxication. This is another instance of a common substance related offense that occurs on campus, often requiring the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
Driving Under the Influence by a Minor
Another common subtance related offense on campus includes driving under the influence by a minor (DUIM). The main statute for driving while intoxicated says that for someone to be intoxicated, they have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties or they are at or above the threshold of a 0.08 BAC when they are age 21 or above. When a person is under 21 and the police officer smells alcohol, they will usually say that is enough evidence. Any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system could subject that person to the arrest of DUIM.
Possession of a Fake ID
There are multiple statutes for possession of a fake ID, and many students are charged with this common substance related offense. When someone has a fake ID, are under 21, and use it to purchase alcohol, it is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. When they only possess the ID, it is at a minimum a Class A misdemeanor. If someone is charged with possession with the intent to defraud someone, it can be charged as a felony. Oftentimes with minors who have a fake ID, the charge will be a Class C offense. However, sometimes the police arrest the individual on the highest grade of a misdemeanor, Class A, or charge them with a felony in the case.