The states of Texas takes drug offenses seriously. Drugs are perceived as a major cause of violent and property crimes. Further, Harris County, Texas, has little patience for drug users, not to mention drug sellers, even addicts. In other words, just because you are an addict does not mean you will get a “hall pass” and Harris County prosecutors will sympathize with you. The punishments for drug offenses generally depends on several factors, including:
The most serious drug crimes are:
The maximum penalty for misdemeanor drug offenses ranges from:
Of course, any serious drug, such as cocaine and crack (a form of cocaine), ecstasy, heroin, and LSD, puts you in the felony range. That means, depending on the offense, you could face as much as 15 years to life for possessing with intent to distribute drugs.
To put into perspective, if you commit murder or child molestation, the minimum you could receive is five years’ imprisonment. But possess a few kilograms of cocaine, and the minimum you face is 15 years’ imprisonment.
So why are prosecutors so tough on drugs? Because politicians, pandering in the “war against drugs,” have passed draconian drug laws that are proportionally tougher on defendants than even violent or sex crimes. No one wins votes promising to surrender in the war on drugs.
Another reason for the war on drugs is the “criminal justice industrial complex” that has arisen from tougher laws and stricter enforcement. In Harris County, for example, money seized from drug dealers can be forfeited. And when it is forfeited, the county gets to use some of those funds for government vehicles, etc.
Which brings up another point about drug cases. Forfeiture of property, such as vehicles and money, frequently arises in drug cases. You need to make sure you hire a criminal defense lawyer in Harris County, Texas, who knows how to handle not just the drug case but also the forfeiture.
Because of the special challenges of drug cases, including the complexity of search and seizure law and of forfeiture, it is especially important to hire a qualified drug defense lawyer. Hence do not wait to get a lawyer who is Board Certified in criminal law, truly cares about your case, and has a proven track record.