By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Drug cases are very technical in nature and are typically more defendable than you may think. They’re not hopeless and by just talking with the prosecutor yourself, you’re precluding almost any chance of acquittal. This is for several reasons.
First is that the evidence must be seized lawfully. In Texas, Article 38.23 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure holds that unlawfully seized evidence cannot be admitted into evidence. If the prosecution has no evidence, they lose because they have the burden of proof. The sands are constantly shifting between what is reasonable police conduct and what is not under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
If you’re reading this article for your own case, you probably know by now that police can sometimes be highly aggressive, persistent, and sometimes manipulative in their goal of searching your person, car, or home. When they legally reach too far — and it’s an easy and common mistake for them to make — a judge may throw out all or some of the evidence against you. This happens where I practice, in Collin County, Texas, all the time.
Also the legal definition of “possession” in the Texas Penal Code under Section 1.07(a)(39) means “actual care custody control or management.” Merely because you were in the same vehicle or area where drugs were found doesn’t mean the evidence is legally or factually sufficient to demonstrate “possession” and could also mean acquittal from a judge or jury. And remember — the state has to prove you are guilty. You have the right to remain silent during the arrest and all through your trial and never have to prove your innocence!
Though the Texas legislature and courts have made recent pushes towards rehabilitation for marijuana cases and other prescription abuses such as hydrocodone or oxycontin, the government’s version of “help” could still mean labeling you a criminal for the rest of your life an subjecting you to treatment which could be inferior to treatment you could get in the outside world.
Having an attorney in a Texas marijuana or other drug case can help you evaluate your legal position in the matter and if necessary, can help mitigate the charges against you.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. He is a Texas Super Lawyer as designated by Thomson Reuters. www.texasdefensefirm.com