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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
People facing an allegation involving the illegal possession or distribution of drugs in Tarrant County should act quickly to protect themselves. Just because the police have made an arrest does not mean that they have concluded their investigation. In many cases, the police may make an arrest with the intention of strengthening their cases by questioning the defendant while in custody.
In any event, it is essential to take these allegations seriously and move to provide yourself with every possible advantage. Working with a Tarrant County drug lawyer could provide this advantage. A proactive defense attorney can conduct their own investigations into the incident, talk to any relevant witnesses, and take steps to protect your rights in court and while still in police custody.
How Police Conduct Drug Investigations
It is very rare for police to witness someone selling or otherwise holding an illegal substance. Even if they believe that this is the case, many illegal substances are indistinguishable to the naked eye. As a result, most drug investigations begin in one of two ways.
The first is with a search following suspected illegal activity. If the police witness a defendant allegedly committing a crime, they can make an arrest and search the defendant as a part of their common procedure. If this search reveals an item that police believe to be an illegal substance, they can file drug charges.
The second is when police conduct an intensive investigation into drug activity in the County. This can include using informants, staking out public meeting places, and using controlled buyers. Invariably, these cases will rely upon warrants for everything from establishing wiretaps, to searching a home, to making an arrest.
Police will generally attempt to question a defendant while they are in custody. It is important to remember that it is never wise to talk to the police. A Tarrant County drug lawyer could explain police investigations and take appropriate steps to contest these investigations in court.
Laws and Penalties in Tarrant County
Texas’ laws concerning illegal drug possession and distribution are complex. The Controlled Substance Act creates the list of illegal substances, mandates penalties for illegal activity, and defines critical concepts such as drug distribution.
The simplest drug offenses are those involving drug possession. It is illegal to have any controlled substance under one’s control. This can include having a substance on someone’s person, but also in a car, home, or hotel room. The lowest level of this offense is a class B misdemeanor where the maximum penalty is 180 days in jail. Still, a conviction creates a criminal record and could affect a person’s housing and job prospects.
Much harsher are allegations involving drug distribution. This does not have to be for profit; any changing of hands qualifies as distribution under the law. Any conviction for drug distribution, no matter how small the amount, requires a jail sentence of at least 180 days. The most serious allegations can result in a life sentence upon conviction. A Tarrant County drug lawyer could help those facing any type of drug charge in the county.
Learn How a Tarrant County Drug Lawyer Could Help
Allegations involving the illegal possession or distribution of drugs are some of the most common criminal cases in Tarrant County. Many of these charges involve intensive evidentiary work and complex police actions that may infringe upon a defendant’s Constitutional rights.
A Tarrant County drug lawyer could help you if you are facing any sort of drug offense allegation. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your situation and learn more about your options.