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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Drug offenses are taken seriously in Midland, and someone could face a variety of penalties for a drug arrest. If you have been charged with a drug offense in Midland, it is important to speak with a Midland drug lawyer to understand your rights and protect them as best you can. An attorney is the best help for someone to know the arrest process for a drug offense and potential aggravating factors of an arrest.
Usually, a person facing drug-related charges in Midland goes straight to jail where they are processed. Unfortunately, the jails take some time and processing could take eight to 14 hours. At that point, the person goes before a magistrate who sets their bond. They get an arraignment date and the court process proceeds from there. Following an arrest for drug-related charges in Midland, the person has an arraignment where they are informed of their charges. They get a scheduling order and eventually a trial depending on the charges and the plea agreements. Attorneys will want to investigate if there was anything done incorrectly in the case at this point.
A person arrested for a drug-related offense should avoid admitting that they used drugs recently. They should avoid telling the officer that they have something illegal on their person or that there is anything illegal in the car, and should know their right to silence.
Aggravating Factors for an Arrest
When there is a large quantity of drugs, the officer wants to know where the person got them and may ask to search their home. The officer may request a search warrant to look for other things depending on the amount of the substance or how quickly the person is booked in.
Often, law enforcement pulls the person’s history to see if they have a prior arrest for drugs. They try to find something on the person, so they may be a little bit more detailed in their search of the car or in the depths of questions they ask.
Everyone at the scene of a drug arrest is at risk for facing consequences. Many times there are drugs in the console of the car and if no one claims ownership of them, everybody in the car goes in for an arrest and this factor may set the urgency. If one person takes responsibility for the drugs, other people present may not be arrested. Sometimes, the law enforcement officers give people the opportunity to turn someone in. If they can give credible information about someone higher up in the drug chain, the officers may not arrest the informant at the time.
Rights During an Arrest
Someone arrested for drugs in Midland does not have to talk to law enforcement. They do not have to consent and they have all the rights on the side of the road as they would have if already in jail. A person does not have to consent to the search of their vehicle. If the officer already has probable cause, for example, they walk up to the car and smell marijuana, it does not matter if the person gives consent. If they do not give consent, the officer can ask for a search warrant or a drug dog to do a sniff test. An experienced attorney can help explain all potential rights a person has to protect them during a drug arrest in Midland.