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Richmond Drug Crime Lawyer

Richmond Drug Crime Lawyer

Richmond Drug Crime Lawyer

Richmond Drug Crime Attorney

Drug possession charges and other drug crimes can be very stressful to deal with in Richmond, TX whether it is your first offense or not, and the penalties for conviction can affect the rest of a person’s life.  Possession of a controlled substance is a common criminal charge, and it can lead to fines and imprisonment. It can even affect your employment, child custody agreements, and your right to vote if you’re convicted.

If you have been arrested or charged with drug possession or a DWI in Richmond, you should work with a drug crime defense attorney. This makes a positive outcome for your case more likely, as your attorney has the resources and skills to lessen or even eliminate your charges.

At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, we believe that these charges should not affect your entire future. We have been providing criminal defense for more than 10 years, and we understand how complex these cases have the potential to be. We want to help you create an effective defense against drug charges. You have the right to fair and exceptional representation, and we are proud to represent our community in Richmond. Our team can provide you with the information and guidance you need to handle your drug crime case.

Texas Drug Laws

Drug laws in Richmond are strict. The penalties for a drug charge vary depending on several factors, including:

  • The type or types of controlled substance
  • The amount of a controlled substance involved
  • Intention for the controlled substance
  • Aggravating factors, such as repeat offenses

Texas law lists controlled substances in schedules. Schedule I drugs are substances with no accepted medical use and a high likelihood of misuse. Schedule V drugs are controlled substances with an accepted medical use and a low likelihood of misuse or dependency.

Depending on the unique circumstances of a drug crime case, the charge could be anywhere from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Criminal drug charges in Texas include possession, manufacture, and distribution.

  • Possession: Possession charges apply when someone is found to be knowingly possessing a controlled substance. Possession charges are usually the least severe charges and may only result in a fine with no jail time. However, significant amounts of a controlled substance, or any quantity of a high-schedule substance, may result in severe penalties, perhaps even a first-degree felony.
  • Manufacturing and Delivery: Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, deliver, sell, or distribute is illegal and generally more serious than a possession charge.
  • Prescription Drug Offenses: Possessing a prescription drug without a prescription is illegal, and the penalty depends on the type of drug.
  • Drug-Free Zones: Offenses like possession can be aggravated and carry more serious penalties if the crime happens in drug-free zones, such as within a certain distance of schools, parks, and public housing.
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: Penalties for possessing drug paraphernalia vary depending on whether it includes manufacture and delivery, among other circumstances. They can result in fines and even jail time.

The penalties for these charges depend on the specifics of your situation. You may face only a fine for first-time possession, or you may face a felony. Drug laws are also subject to change over time.

How a Richmond Drug Possession Lawyer Can Help

The criminal law system is not easy to navigate. The most effective way to protect yourself when you or a loved one is facing drug possession or other drug crime charges is to work with an experienced drug crime defense lawyer. An attorney can offer you counsel and information to help you understand your legal options. If your rights were violated during your arrest or after, your attorney can recognize that, defend your rights, and even get the charges dropped for that reason.

An attorney is also invaluable in crafting a strong defense. To prove possession, the prosecution must convince a jury that you knowingly and intentionally had care, custody, or management over the substance. Your attorney can gather evidence, find expert witnesses and eyewitnesses, and utilize defenses that have been successful in cases like yours.

If the evidence against you is significant, they can also advise you on a plea bargain and negotiate on your behalf to lessen your sentence. If you are convicted, an attorney can advocate for alternative sentencing and the appeal or expungement processes. A knowledgeable attorney is useful in a drug crime case every step of the way.

Common Penalties for Drug Crimes

Drug crimes in Texas can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Penalties for these charges include:

  • Class C Misdemeanor: Fine of up to $500
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Jail time of up to 180 days and/or up to $2,000 in fines
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail and/or fines of up to $4,000
  • State Jail Felony: This can result in as much as $10,000 in fines and/or between 180 days and 2 years in jail
  • Third-Degree Felony: As much as $10,000 in fines and/or a federal prison sentence between 2 and 10 years
  • Second-Degree Felony: Federal prison sentence between 2 and 20 years and/or fines as much as $10,000
  • First-Degree Felony: Federal prison sentence for life, or between 5 and 99 years, and/or fines up to $10,000

How to Handle an Arrest for Drug Possession

If you are arrested for drug possession, it’s important to remain calm. Although the situation is undoubtedly stressful, there are steps you can follow:

  • Follow instructions and invoke your rights. Follow the police officer’s instructions, and invoke your right to silence. Avoid saying anything that may be used against you.
  • Contact a defense attorney. Don’t speak to the police or other authority without an attorney present. You have the right to legal counsel and should contact a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.
  • Gather information. Note down or remember arrest details, including the time, place, and officers present.
  • Listen to your attorney’s advice. Your attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system, protect your rights, and determine your potential for bail.
  • Be prepared for the legal consequences. Your attorney can help you understand how severe your situation is, but drug possession is a crime in Texas. You may be facing fines, jail time, and even time in federal prison.

Although being arrested for drug crimes is difficult for most people, your situation is not impossible. With an experienced attorney, you are better equipped to challenge and defend yourself.

Drug Offenses FAQs

Q: What Does a Drug Crime Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

A: A criminal defense drug crime attorney can protect your rights and interests. Drug charges, particularly felonies, can have significant consequences in several aspects of your life, beyond heavy fines and jail or prison time. Working with a drug crime defense attorney can give your case the greatest chance of being lowered or dropped. You can have a professional on your side who can investigate your case, craft strong legal defenses, and represent you in court.

Q: Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go to Jail in Texas?

A: Depending on the offense, a drug crime may result in jail time, even for a first offense. However, first-time offenders arrested on less serious charges, like possession of small amounts of certain controlled substances, have a better chance at alternate sentencing like parole. If you are convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, you will have to pay a $500 fine and may need to complete alternate sentencing, like community service. A conviction, even for this misdemeanor, still shows up on a criminal record and on background checks.

Q: How Long Do You Go to Jail for Drug Possession in Texas?

A: If you are convicted of drug possession, the penalties will depend on the schedule and amount of the drug that was possessed. It will also be affected by aggravating factors such as whether possession was near a school or if there was intent to manufacture or distribute the substance. Possession of less than 1 gram of a substance like cocaine or heroin is a state jail felony. However, having 200 to 400 grams is a first-degree felony. Possession of substances like marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids results in less severe punishments, and it is a Class B misdemeanor for less than 2 ounces.

Q: How Long Does Drug Court Last in Texas?

A: Drug court is a supervised treatment program for non-violent offenses that may last between 1 year and 18 months. It provides counseling, drug testing, and judge supervision. The goal is to help those suffering from substance misuse disorders recover and return to the community. This enhanced supervision helps those struggling and also reduces taxpayer costs.

The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC: Your Richmond Drug Crime Attorney

When you’re facing drug possession charges, you can’t take chances with your future. A criminal record can have a significant impact on your freedom and future. The professionals at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, can fairly advocate for your rights and defend you against drug charges. We can help you understand your options. Contact us today to learn how we can protect your rights.

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