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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
In Odessa and throughout Texas, drug distribution is covered by the intent to distribute statute. Whether an individual completes a transaction or merely intends to, law enforcement can charge them with a serious crime.
If you were charged with drug distribution in Odessa, do not hesitate to contact an experienced defense lawyer for assistance. A dedicated attorney could craft a powerful defense on your behalf.
Potential Aggravating Factors
One of the factors that can increase the severity of a drug distribution charge is whether or not there is a firearm involved in the transaction. This situation would move the offense into the “3G crime” category, meaning the judge cannot offer probation and the individual must serve at least 2 years in jail. They would have to serve half of the sentence before being eligible for parole.
For example, suppose a person was convicted and sentenced to 10 years for a third-degree felony. With a normal 10 year sentence, they would be eligible for parole in 25% of that time, or two and a half years. If they get “good time credit,” they may be eligible for parole in a year and three months. In contrast, if someone had a deadly weapon and was given a 10 years sentence, they would have to serve at least five years before being eligible for parole.
Other aggravating factors include where the drugs were, who the suspect is, and where the person was located. Texas has drug free zones, which enhance the minimum sentences for drug offenses occurring within a certain distance of schools, churches, playgrounds, and other locations with children. For example, a typical third-degree possession case could lead to two to 10-years in a penitentiary. If the bust occurred in a drug-free zone, the minimum would be enhanced from two to seven years.
Evidence Used by the Prosecution
The prosecution can use all kinds of evidence to prove drug distribution. Some of the most common include:
- Undercover police/agents
- Informants that may testify they bought drugs from someone
- Items taken from the scene, such as scales, large sums of money, or baggies
While this evidence may seem convincing, it is important for a criminal defense attorney to analyze the facts of how the police obtained it. If the traffic stop or search was illegal, an Odessa drug distribution lawyer may be able to move to exclude the evidence.
What to Look for in an Odessa Drug Distribution Attorney
When a person is charged with drug distribution, they should seek out an experienced defense attorney who focuses on criminal law and has experience with drug cases. It can be especially helpful if an attorney has been through the Axiom lab training, which educates them about not only the drugs but how they test them in the lab.
Large firms have access to in-house investigators, which are incredibly important. There is a lot of work involved in defending drug distribution cases, and there are witnesses that need to located and talked to. General practitioner attorneys, who do more than criminal law, cannot offer these perks.
If you were charged with selling drugs, reach out to an experienced Odessa drug distribution lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney could protect your rights at every step of the case. Call now for a consultation.