One of the most serious types of drug offenses is drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is an umbrella term that involves distribution of illicit drugs. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office takes these cases seriously. The best criminal attorneys in Houston, Texas, know how to handle these cases to try and get the best results possible.
For drug possession, the prosecution has to prove a person intentionally or knowingly possessed a controlled substance. Delivery is just that—delivering (or trying to deliver) a controlled substance. The four groups of drugs defined and listed in the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
The prosecution has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. As Houston criminal lawyers know, this is not always easy. For example, there may be problems for the Harris County prosecutors proving possession or the mental state of knowing. Further, suppression issues often exist, from police illegally obtaining evidence to coercing confessions.
Often, and particularly in federal drugs cases, prosecutors will file a host of other charges. Recently, with federal criminal charges involving synthetic drugs (like “fake” marijuana), “Houston criminal attorneys have been seeing criminal and civil forfeiture charges added. Additionally, there has been an increase in charges for methamphetamine, amphetamine, speed, and cocaine and crack cases. Anyhow, common additional charges include:
Drug trafficking and related crimes are very serious offenses that can result in severe penalties, including fines and jail time. For example, some State cases have a punishment range of 15 years to life. That is more than the punishment for murderers or child molesters!
With so much at stake, you need the best criminal lawyer in Houston, Texas, that you can find. This is not a time to roll the dice and gamble your future. You need a caring criminal attorney dedicated to fighting and getting the best results he can.
A. Offense – Felonies
B. Offense – Misdemeanor
In the United States, it is important to differentiate between medical marijuana at the federal and at the state level. At the federal level, cannabis per se has been made criminal by implementation of the Controlled Substances Act which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the strictest classification on par with heroin, LSD and Ecstasy, and the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution allowed the government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use. The United States Food and Drug Administration states “marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision”.
Sixteen states have legalized medical marijuana. California, Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, and Michigan are currently the only states to utilize dispensaries to sell medical cannabis. California’s medical marijuana industry took in about $2 billion a year and generated $100 million in state sales taxes during 2008 with an estimated 2,100 dispensaries, co-operatives, wellness clinics and taxi delivery services in the sector colloquially known as “cannabusiness.” Texas, of course, has not legalized marijuana. I suspect our State will be among the last that does so legalize.
In 2009, the US Deputy Attorney General issued a US Department of Justice memorandum to “All United States Attorneys” providing clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana. The document is intended solely as “a guide to the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion and as guidance on resource allocation and federal priorities.” The US Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden provided seven criteria, the application of which acts as a guideline to prosecutors and federal agents to ascertain whether a patients use, or their caregivers provision, of medical marijuana “represents part of a recommended treatment regiment consistent with applicable state law”, and recommends against prosecuting patients using medical cannabis products according to state laws. Not applying those criteria, the Dep. Attorney General Ogden concludes, would likely be “an inefficient use of limited federal resources”. The memorandum does not change any laws. Sale of cannabis remains illegal under federal law. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s position, that marijuana has no accepted value in the treatment of any disease in the United States, has also remained the same.