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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
In Midland, the laws are harsh against drug crimes. Penalties for Midland drug charges vary and can be severe. When someone is found guilty of a drug-related charge, the penalties depend on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. Factors considered when determining penalties include the amount and weight of the substance, and what state and federal schedule the substance are located in. In order to avoid these consequences and potentially mitigate any charges, someone should retain the help of a Midland drug lawyer as soon as possible in their case.
Originally, the police officer will assign the charge when they book the person into jail. The case is then sent over to the District Attorney‘s office. It is up to them to determine the official charges when they file a criminal case. As soon as an individual is arrested, the charge goes into a system in Midland that shows the arrest online. What the person pleads determines how it shows up later in life when someone is conducting a background check.
In Midland, sometimes cases are immediately dismissed because the person would sit in jail for months waiting on the lab report to come back. However, that does not necessarily mean the case is dismissed forever. Another reason for a case to be dismissed is when the person’s attorney goes to the prosecutor and shows what the officer did not do and what they should have done.
A short-term effect of a drug charge can be medical consequences. As far as personal consequences, the person could lose their job or be put in jail if they do not have the money for the bond. One of the most serious penalties for a drug offense in Midland is that the charge shows up on someone’s record immediately.
If someone is applying for a job or home, the charge could cause problems in their application when someone conducts a background check. When someone is convicted of a drug crime, it is on their record forever. Whenever they apply for a job or credit, that conviction shows up. The person might potentially be denied for those things because the perception is that they have a drug issue. Potential employer’s policies could prohibit the hiring of anyone with a drug conviction. The Armed Forces do not accept anyone who has been convicted of a drug offense.
Factors Influencing Penalties
The harshness of a drug penalty in Midland depends on how the amount, the kind of drug, whether they were in in a drug-free zone, and how many times the person did this previously. The penalties can be anywhere from up to one year in county jail or up to 99 years for a felony. A criminal history, even if it is not drug related could hurt a person’s case. Any other prior arrest can be used against a person at any time for the rest of their life.
One potential mistake from law enforcement that could be used in a defense to influence the penalties is when a law enforcement officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull the car over, such as not completely stopping at a stop sign or not using the turn signal. If the officer does not specifically explain inarticulable facts in their report, that could be a mistake. Another potential mistake is when the officer does not have probable cause to search the person. The officer might incorrectly identify the controlled substance or the weight of it and they entered the substance into a wrong category. These will all have an effect on the drug penalties someone faces in Midland.
With a first time charge, many prosecutors are more lenient as far as the person’s punishment. For repeat offenders, usually, it is automatic rehabilitation and/or prison time. For a state jail felony, it is automatic probation for a first time offender. Once someone is a repeat offender, the question is whether the person receives probation or a diversion program. Depending on how many repeat offenses a person has, they could be enhanced and face the next level of punishment ranges. For state jails, there can be anything under a gram in Penalty Group 1, which includes cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. For misdemeanors, it is usually Lortab and similar drugs.
There is automatic probation for someone with a first-time state jail felony. Depending on the offense, the person might get a diversion program. Usually, the prosecutors give someone a deferred or possibly a pre-trial intervention for a misdemeanor.
Working with an Attorney
A Midland attorney discovers the positive aspects of the person that can be presented to the prosecutor to show why this person should not be penalized to the maximum for their drug offense. There may be mitigating factors about the particular crime. The attorney can try to reduce the charges by eliminating things such as intent to deliver, the drug-free zone enhancement, or anything like that.
A Midland drug lawyer can try to take procedural mistakes to the prosecutor ahead of time. Depending on the client, sometimes the only way is to file a motion to suppress and have the case thrown out by the judge before it gets a trial. When considering the varying drug penalties in Midland, an experienced attorney will make their defense as strong as possible for their client.