By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer
A marijuana arrest doesn’t look good on a resume. There are obviously much worse charges someone may face — but this doesn’t mean a drug arrest like this should be taken lightly. It can result in the loss of a driver’s license or even in the loss of financial aid.
What we do in these cases — as with almost all criminal charges — is we plan backwards. We know our goal is almost always going to be a non-disclosure or expunction, so we do our best to position the final result to have our clients be eligible for non-disclosure or expunction.
Fortunately there are many different ways to be eligible for non-disclosure or expunction. We thoroughly review the evidence in the case to make sure the state has a ‘leg to stand on’ in bringing the charges.
Merely because someone is found in the same car doesn’t mean they’re guilty of possession of marijuana. The law requires the state to prove the defendant had “actual care custody control or management” of the contraband in question. Also, there are frequently questions about how the drugs were attained by the police. Remember, police often target younger people or people who may dress or act differently. Sometimes they can be far too aggressive or manipulative in the police encounter and a judge may declare the arrest improper.
Another way we can attempt to clear a record is to have the charges either reduced or to seek invitation into the district attorney’s office pre-trial diversion program. This requires us to be able to let the prosecutors know our client otherwise has a clean history and can enter a program which helps them if they have drug issues.
The key in making sure we can help someone clear their record is double and triple checking our facts, having a command of the law, and having the know-how to make your case to a judge, jury or prosecutor!
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly. Contacting the attorney through this forum does not create an attorney-client relationship and communications sent through this forum are not confidential nor privileged.