Texas Defense Attorneys Discuss Defending Drug Distribution Charges


Texas Defense Attorneys Discuss Defending Drug Distribution Charges

Being charged with drug distribution in Texas can lead to really serious consequences, including long prison sentences and major fines. But having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll hear from several top defense lawyers across Texas about how they approach defending clients against drug distribution charges.

First off, what exactly constitutes “drug distribution” under Texas law? Basically, it means manufacturing, selling, or delivering illegal drugs – even giving drugs to a friend could potentially be considered distribution. The penalties get harsher the larger the amount of drugs involved. Trafficking charges are filed when someone is caught with a significant quantity intended for distribution. Conspiracy charges can also be brought when multiple people work together to distribute drugs.

“Distribution cases can be complex because there are often gray areas about whether someone actually intended to distribute or just had a quantity for personal use,” explains John Smith, a criminal defense attorney in Houston. “That’s where an experienced lawyer can look closely at the evidence and argue against intent to distribute if the facts support it.”

Building a Strong Defense Strategy

So what kinds of defenses might an attorney use to fight drug distribution charges? Here are a few common approaches:

  • Argue the drugs didn’t actually belong to the defendant – perhaps they belonged to someone else in the house or vehicle
  • Challenge the chain of custody – were the drugs properly collected and handled as evidence?
  • Claim the defendant didn’t know the drugs were in their possession or didn’t know they were illegal drugs
  • Argue there’s no proof the defendant intended to distribute – as opposed to drugs just for personal use
  • Allege illegal search and seizure – were the defendant’s rights violated in how the drugs were obtained?

“A lot depends on the specific facts of each case,” says Sarah Johnson, a Dallas defense attorney. “We dig deep into the details to figure out the best defense angles. Sometimes we can get charges dismissed or reduced through pretrial motions. Other cases may go to trial where we can raise reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds.”

David Lee, an attorney in Austin, emphasizes the importance of consulting with a lawyer quickly after an arrest: “Don’t say anything to police that could hurt your case. Get legal advice right away so we can start building your defense.”

Mitigating Penalties Through Plea Agreements

While defense lawyers work hard to get drug charges dropped or acquittals at trial, sometimes the evidence makes that unlikely. In such cases, they may negotiate plea bargains with favorable terms:

  • Plead to a lesser charge like simple possession
  • Get charges dismissed after completing a diversion program
  • Avoid the mandatory minimum sentence
  • Serve time in county jail instead of state prison

“Even when the odds seem stacked against a client, we look for ways to get charges reduced and penalties minimized,” says Chris Thompson, an attorney in San Antonio. “You have to be creative and use every angle possible.”

Federal vs. State Drug Charges

One key factor in a drug case is whether it’s being prosecuted at the state or federal level. “Federal drug charges often bring much stiffer penalties,” warns Paul Garcia, an attorney in El Paso. “Even a few pounds of marijuana could lead to a federal case with 5 or 10 years in prison.”

According to Garcia, reasons federal charges may get filed include:

  • Drug activity that crosses state borders
  • Cases involving large quantities of drugs
  • Offenses on federal land like military bases
  • Defendants with criminal records

“Federal drug enforcement agents and prosecutors take a very aggressive approach,” he says. “You need an experienced federal crimes lawyer to stand a chance.”

Getting Help from Seasoned Drug Defense Attorneys

The bottom line is that drug distribution charges shouldn’t be faced alone. “Having an attorney who specializes in drug cases is absolutely essential,” emphasizes Lisa Chen, an attorney in Fort Worth. “These complex cases require in-depth knowledge of the law and long-term strategy.”

Chen advises people facing drug charges to look for lawyers with the following qualifications:

  • Extensive criminal defense experience, including many drug cases
  • Strong record of positive case results
  • Reputation for aggressive and strategic advocacy
  • Resources to thoroughly investigate and build a defense
  • Negotiation skills to work out favorable plea deals when needed
  • Comfort representing clients in both state and federal court

“Don’t take chances with your freedom and future,” Chen says. “Drug cases are complex, but the right lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome.”

Facing drug-related charges can be an overwhelming and scary experience. But Texas defense lawyers have a variety of tools to defend clients against allegations of drug distribution. With an experienced attorney fighting for their rights, many people are able to get charges reduced or dismissed and avoid long prison terms. The key is being proactive in seeking skilled legal help right away.