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Charged with a Federal Drug Crime? The Best Houston Criminal Attorney To Your Defense

13 Nov

The Best Houston Federal Drug Lawyer: Charles JohnsonHouston Lawyer Charles Johnson is one of the foremost Federal Drug Defense Attorneys in the country. He represents clients who have been charged or are about to be charged with drug charges in Federal Court. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has earned an international reputation as a Leading Federal Drug Law Firm.

Regardless of the federal or international drug charge, Federal Drug Lawyer Charles Johnson has the drug defense experience to handle your case. He has successfully handled sophisticated drug defense cases that included Trafficking, Importation, Distribution and many others. When faced with a federal drug crime there is absolutely no substitute for experience. If you have been charged with drug crime and need a Federal Drug Defense Attorney, contact Attorney Johnson directly anytime night or day at (713) 222-7577. In Federal and International Drug Defense, experience makes the difference.

Federal Drug Crimes Overview

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, also known as the Controlled Substances Act, classifies narcotics, marijuana and other drugs into five categories, or Schedules. Besides establishing requirements relating to manufacture and distribution of drugs, the law also defines penalties for violations of the Act. Depending on the nature and quantity of the substance involved, as well as the presence of sentence-enhancing factors, the criminal penalties can be severe. If you are facing federal drug charges, call Federal Drug Crime Lawyer Charles Johnson for advice on the law, your rights and how to proceed. He is available around the clock to take your call.

Offenses at the Federal Level

Federal drug offenses differ from those at the state level, even though the conduct in question might be the same. In defining crimes, Congress’ authority comes from its Constitutionally-granted powers over the areas of commerce, taxation and the postal service.

Some of the drug crimes under the Controlled Substances Act include:

  • Drug trafficking: manufacturing, distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute illicit drugs
  • Manufacturing: operating places for the purposes of manufacturing, distributing or using illicit drugs, or endangering human life while so doing
  • Continuing criminal enterprise crimes: trafficking in illicit drugs by a person in concert with five or more other persons
  • Conspiracy: involves attempts and the promoting and facilitating of manufacture, distribution or importation of illicit drugs
  • Protected location offenses: distributing illicit drugs to persons under age 21 or within a school or playground zone; employing persons under age 18 in drug operations
  • Simple possession: possessing controlled substances without a valid prescription from a licensed medical practitioner (unlike trafficking, simple possession does not involve intent to distribute the drugs)

Other drug offenses under the Act include investing illicit drug profits in businesses affecting interstate commerce and unauthorized importation of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces the federal controlled substances laws and regulations.

In addition, drug crimes at the federal level may include violations of tax law, such as tax evasion, or engaging in activities prohibited by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Federal drug laws specify minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment, based on the type and quantity of drug involved. Likewise, under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, these factors are taken into account, along with:

  • Whether the offense involved injury to another person
  • Whether a weapon was possessed or used
  • The defendant’s criminal history

While judges have discretion to depart from sentencing guidelines, they must still stay within the mandatory minimum and maximum terms specified by statute. Where the offense occurs in a school or other protected zone, penalties may be enhanced.

Hire the Best Houston Criminal Attorney: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Drug crimes can be charged and prosecuted under federal law, state law or both. Because federal drug crimes can carry significantly harsher penalties, it is important to contact a knowledgeable lawyer who is familiar with both federal and state drug laws. If you are facing either federal or state drug charges, call Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson now at (713) 272-4586. He can explain the intricacies of both systems and vigorously represent your interests.

Charged with a Federal Crime? What To Expect

The following is a short summary of what you can expect if charged with a Federal Crime.

SILENCE

By the time you read this material, you or your loved one will have already entered the Federal Criminal Justice System. Whether you are in custody or in the “free world”, one firm rule applies: Do not discuss your case with anyone but your lawyer. Anything you say can and will be used against you. This is true whether you talk to a police officer, a person you just met in a holding cell, or a “friend”.

RELEASE OR DETENTION

The first thing to worry about is whether you are going to be released while waiting for trial. There is no bond set automatically in federal court. Your family cannot simply pay a bondsman to get you out.

Court Appearance: If you were arrested and taken into custody, you will soon appear before a United States Magistrate Judge.  This is not the District Judge that will hear your trial.  This Magistrate Judge will decide if there are any conditions that would allow your release.

Pretrial Report: In order to assist the Magistrate Judge, a Pretrial Services Officer will interview you and give the Magistrate Judge a written report about your background and criminal history. The Officer will not ask you about the facts of your case and you should not volunteer any information. If you lie to the Officer, it will hurt you later on.

Chance for Release: You are most likely to be released if you have little or no criminal history, if you have solid employment and family ties in your community, if you are a United States Citizen, and if you are not charged with a serious drug trafficking offense or crime of violence. Even if you are not a good risk for release, the Magistrate Judge must still hold a hearing and find reasons to keep you in custody. The only time this hearing is unnecessary is when you are being held in custody for other reasons — such as a sentence in another case, a parole warrant, or a probation revocation warrant.

YOUR LAWYER

When you are facing criminal charges, your choice of legal representation is a critical issue. You must ensure that you have legal representation from a proven attorney with a record of successfully defending difficult cases.

In order to protect your rights and to fight a possible Federal drug conviction, it is very important to hire the Best Federal Lawyer you can find. Your future is at stake, and this is not a time to cut corners. A knowledgeable Drug Crime Defense Lawyer will be able to sort out the details of your drug crime charges and diligently work to provide evidence that will benefit you. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we have been successful at lowering or dismissing charges against our clients and will look to do the same for you. To counteract the aggressive investigation and prosecution from the federal government, you will need an equally aggressive criminal defense attorney. Federal Drug Crime Lawyer Charles Johnson understands federal drug crime cases inside and out and will provide an unmatched dedication, commitment and an aggressive approach when defending your case.

Honesty: Defendants often believe it is better not to tell their lawyers the truth about their case. This is not a good idea. Everything you tell your lawyer is privileged and cannot be told to others. The best defense is one that prepares for all the bad evidence the prosecutor may present against you at your trial. Your lawyer must know all the facts. It is foolish to ignore the dangers and simply hope everything will turn out all right. That is the sure way to be convicted.

Bad Advice: If you are in custody, you will probably get a lot of free advice from other inmates. Unfortunately, much of that advice will be wrong. Many of the other inmates are in state custody and know nothing about federal criminal law. Even the ones facing federal charges may give you bad advice; they may not know any better, or they want to mislead you.

Respect: Treat your lawyer with respect and that respect will be returned to you. Lawyers are human beings who tend to work harder for clients who do not mistreat them.

YOUR RIGHTS

When people talk about “rights” in the federal criminal justice system, they are usually talking about the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution. These rights include freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to remain silent, the right to legal counsel, due process of law, equal protection under the law, protection from double jeopardy, a speedy and public trial, the ability to confront one’s accusers, subpoenas for witnesses, no excessive bail, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

Caselaw: There are many books and thousands of cases that discuss what these rights mean. The law is always changing.  A court opinion written in 1934 by a Montana court of appeals is probably no help in your case. Your case will mostly be affected by recent published opinions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Application: Not all of these rights apply in all cases.  If you never made a statement to the police, then it will not matter whether you were told of your right to remain silent. If you consented to a search of your car, then it will not make a difference whether the police had a search warrant.

CUSTODY

There are no benefits to being locked up. Jail has many rules and regulations. Some of those rules are made by the jailers. Some of these rules are made by the United States Marshal.

Clothing: You can get clothing two ways. The way to get underwear, tennis shoes, socks, etc, is to buy them through the jail commissary. Despite what others tell you, your lawyer cannot simply bring you these items. In most instances, trial clothing can be brought to the U.S. Marshal’s office shortly before your court appearance. You will be allowed to change in the holding cell at the federal courthouse.

Other Possessions: Sometimes the jail may allow you to receive magazines by subscription or books mailed from a store. It depends on the jail’s rules. Most other items need to be purchased through the commissary. All jails prohibit your lawyer from bringing you any items, such as cigarettes. You may keep legal documents in your possession.

Visits: Your friends and relatives must follow the jail’s rules when making appointments to visit you. You must put the names of these persons on your visitation list.

ARRAIGNMENT

At some point you will come to court for an arraignment. This is the time when you enter a plea of “Not Guilty”.

Indictment: Before the arraignment, you will have been indicted by a Grand Jury. Neither you, nor your attorney, has a right to be present at the Grand Jury session. A Grand Jury decides if there is enough evidence to have a trial in your case. If there is not, then the case is dismissed. If there is, the Grand Jury issues an Indictment. An Indictment is the document that states what the charges against you are. The Grand Jury sessions are rarely transcribed, so it is usually not possible to receive a transcript of their sessions.

Hearing: The arraignment takesplace before a Magistrate Judge,notthe DistrictJudge who will hear your case. The Magistrate Judge will ask you several questions:

  1. Do you understand what you are charged with?;
  2. Do you understand the potential penalties if you are convicted?; and
  3. How do you plead to the charges?

Since you will have discussed the case with your lawyer by this time, you will be able to answer the first two questions “Yes”. Your answer to the third question is “Not Guilty”. You cannot plead “Guilty” at an arraignment. Pleading “Not Guilty” will never be used against you.

Discovery: Federal law provides only limited access to the government’s evidence against you. Under local rules, you and your attorney are permitted to have copies of only certain types of documents in the government’s file. The rules of discovery must be strictly adhered to, and your attorney will discuss these rules with you more thoroughly as your case progresses.

Motions: Before or after investigating your case, your attorney may feel it appropriate to file a motion(s), which may be heard before or at trial. You should never file your own motions without fully discussing the proper procedures with your attorney. If you have ideas about specific motions that could be filed your case, you should discuss with your attorney whether those particular motions would be appropriate or beneficial to your defense.

SPEEDY TRIAL

Many defendants want a quick trial. This is usually for two reasons. First, defendants who are in custody want to get out of the county jail as soon as possible.  Second, defendants believe that if they are not tried within the Speedy Trial Act’s 70-day time limit, then their cases will be dismissed.

Pretrial Detention: There is no question that conditions in the county jail are not good. However, a defendant is rarely ever helped by going to trial as soon as possible. The prosecutor is prepared to try the case when it is filed. Your lawyer is only then beginning to investigate the case. Your lawyer does not have access to offense reports of the law enforcement officers that have already investigated the case. Also, “aging” a case has other benefits — the case becomes less important over time, witnesses’ memories fade, etc.

Dismissal: There are many exceptions to the Speedy Trial Act. Generally, a prosecutor can get a continuance of the trial whenever requested. The usual reason why a prosecutor requests a continuance is because there are co­defendants who have not been arrested yet.  The speedy trial deadlines do not begin to run until all charged defendants have appeared in court. Also, any time any of the defendants file motions, the time until those motions are decided is not counted toward the speedy trial deadline.

TRIAL

A felony trial in federal court is decided by twelve jurors. The jurors only decide if you are “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” of the charges in the Indictment. Jurors do not decide punishment. The District Judge decides punishment.

Jury Selection: The trial begins with the selection of the jury. A panel of potential jurors is called to court from voter registration lists. The District Judge, the prosecutor, and your lawyer talk to the panel and ask questions. The lawyers are allowed to keep certain members of the panel from sitting on the jury. The first twelve of the remaining panel members become jurors.

Opening Statements: Before the evidence is presented, the lawyers may make opening statements.  Opening statements are when the lawyers tell the jury what they believe the evidence will show.

Order of Proof: The prosecutor presents evidence first.  You are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not have to present any evidence or testify. If your lawyer does put on evidence, it will happen after the prosecutor has finished presenting evidence.

Rules: During the trial, the lawyers must follow the rules of evidence and procedure. These rules are complicated. The rules can both help and hurt you. For instance, the rule against hearsay evidence prohibits a prosecutor from calling a witness to testify how he heard about what you did. The same rule will stop your lawyer from introducing an affidavit made by some person who is unwilling to come to court and testify.

Prior Acts: Although you are only on trial for the charges in the Indictment, there are two ways the jury can learn about other accusations against you. First, if you testify then the prosecutor will be able to introduce your prior convictions. Second, the prosecutor can introduce your prior acts –even if they are not convictions — if they are similar to the crime you are charged with (for example, prior drug sales in a drug distribution case).

Final Arguments: After all the evidence has been presented, the lawyers argue the facts to the jury.

Jury Deliberations: Jurors are usually average working people from the community. They are not specially trained in law. They use their common sense when deciding the case. Although the District Judge will instruct them about “the presumption of innocence” and “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, jurors rely on many things in coming to a decision in a case. Jurors often rely on things such as: the appearance of the defendant, the defendant’s character, and their own biases and prejudices. They cannot be questioned about how they reached their decision.

Verdict: If you are found “Not Guilty”, you will be released. If there is a “Guilty” verdict, then the District Judge will order the Probation Department to prepare a Presentence Investigation Report to assist the District Judge at sentencing. It takes approximately two months between a conviction and sentencing.

Release: If you were previously on pretrial release,the District Judge may continue thatrelease until sentencing, unless you were convicted of a crime of violence or a serious drug trafficking offense.

GUILTY PLEAS

Statistics show that most defendants plead guilty. You make the decision to plead guilty. That decision is never simple. Some possible benefits of a guilty plea are that:

  1. the prosecutor may dismiss some charges;
  2. the prosecutor may not file new charges;
  3. the prosecutor may recommend a favorable sentence;
  4. you may get credit for accepting responsibility, etc.

Plea Agreement: Any promises the prosecutor makes for your guilty plea will be stated in a written plea agreement. That agreement is signed by you, your lawyer, and the prosecutor.

Plea Hearing: You must enter a guilty plea in court before the District Judge. The District Judge must ask you many questions so the record shows you understand what you are doing. During the hearing, the prosecutor will briefly tell the District Judge the facts of the case. You must agree to those facts for the District Judge to accept your guilty plea.

Effect of Plea: Once the District Judge accepts your guilty plea, you are just as guilty as if a jury returned that verdict. Once you are convicted of a felony, you lose certain civil rights, including the right to vote; the right to sit on a jury; and the right to possess firearms.

After Plea: The procedure after a guilty plea is the same as after a conviction at trial. A Presentence Investigation Report will be ordered and you will either be released or detained until sentencing (see “Trial” section).

COOPERATION

Some defendants give prosecutors information against other persons for the possibility of a reduced sentence. There is no guarantee that a defendant will get a lower sentence for “giving people up”. Cooperation usually requires a defendant to testify in court or before a Grand Jury.

OTHER CHARGES

Many times, federal defendants are first arrested by state officers on state charges. Sometimes, even when federal charges are filed, the state charges are not dismissed. It is possible to be convicted of both state and federal charges for the exact same offense. This is not “double jeopardy”. It is also possible to receive “stacked time” (a consecutive sentence), by pleading guilty to an unrelated state or federal case before being convicted in your federal case. Be careful not to do anything about your other cases without telling your attorney. If you are summoned to “jail call”, do not agree to plead guilty to your state charge in exchange for “time served” without telling your lawyer. Despite what the state prosecutor may tell you, this conviction will affect your federal sentence.

SENTENCING

Sentencing takes place approximately three (3) -six (6) months after you have been convicted by a jury or guilty plea. The District Judge decides the sentence. Unlike state court, you cannot simply agree with the prosecutor to serve a particular amount of time or probation.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines: The District Judge decides your sentence based upon a book called the “Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual”. That book works on a point system. You get points for the seriousness of the offense and your role in the offense. Points may be subtracted if you accept responsibility for the offense or if you were only a minor participant. The Manual also considers your criminal history.  Your criminal history is the record of your prior convictions in state and federal courts. A chart at the back of the Manual determines your sentencing guideline range, based upon your criminal history points and the points you received for the offense conduct.

Mandatory Minimum Punishments: Some drug and firearms cases have mandatory minimum punishments. These minimum punishments apply even if the Federal Sentencing Guidelines would otherwise give you a lower sentence. For instance, anyone possessing over 280 grams of crack cocaine after August 3 2010, with the intent to deliver it, must receive at least ten (10) years in prison; even if that person is a first offender.

Departures: If the District Judge sentences you to more or less time than your sentencing guideline range, it is called a “departure”. Departures are unusual. The District Judge must have a good legal reason for a departure. The District Judge cannot depart downward below a mandatory minimum punishment, unless the reason is that you have provided substantial assistance to the government in the prosecution of others or you qualify for the “safety valve” provision as a first offender. Only drug cases qualify for the “safety valve”.

Presentence Investigation Report: Before the sentencing hearing,the District Judge will review a Presentence Investigation Report prepared by a Probation Officer. That report summarizes the offense conduct, your criminal history, and other relevant background information about you. Most importantly, the report calculates a range of punishment for the District Judge to consider in your case. The Probation Officer creates the report based upon information from the prosecutor, independent investigation, and an interview with you in the presence of your lawyer.

Interview: It is important to be honest with the Probation Officer at the presentence interview. If you mislead the officer you may increase your sentence for “obstruction of justice”.  Also, you will not get credit for accepting responsibility unless you talk truthfully about your crime.  Do not talk about any other conduct for which you have not been convicted, unless your lawyer tells you to.

Objections: Before the District Judge gets the Presentence Investigation Report, it will be sent to your lawyer. The probation office will also mail a copy directly to you for your inspection. Review it carefully. If there is anything incorrect about the report, your lawyer can file objections. Some mistakes are more important than others. If the report says your car is red rather than blue, that is probably not important. If the report says you have five (5) prior felonies when you do not, that is important.

Sentencing Hearing: At the sentencing hearing, the District Judge will review your objections to the Presentence Investigation Report and make findings about any facts or legal issues that cannot be agreed upon. Your lawyer will address the legal issues and point out the facts in your favor. District Judges do not want to hear from witnesses who are just there to plead for a reduced sentence. Letters of recommendation and other helpful evidence should be provided to your lawyer well before sentencing so the District Judge can see them before the hearing. Before the District Judge pronounces sentence, you can make a statement.

Concurrent and Consecutive Sentences: No area of law is more confusing to defendants and lawyers than whether multiple sentences (more than one) may be served at the same time (concurrent) or one after another (consecutive).

Present Charges: If your federal Indictment has several related charges, and you are convicted of them, you probably will serve these sentences at the same time. However, it is possible for the District Judge to “stack” unrelated convictions so each must be served before another begins.

Other Charges: Sometimes a defendant is already serving a sentence before being convicted in a federal court. Unless the District Judge specifically orders the new sentence to run at the same time as the previous sentence, they will be stacked and will run consecutively.  You would have to finish your other sentence before the new one begins.  Even if the District Judge runs the new sentence at the same time as your previous sentence, you will not get credit for the time you served prior to sentencing.

VOLUNTARY SURRENDER

If you were on release until sentencing, you may be allowed voluntary surrender. This means about 45 days later you report directly to the federal prison designated for sentence. Otherwise, you would go directly into custody if you received a prison sentence.

APPEAL

An appeal is not a new trial. An appeal is a review of your case by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. You may only appeal after you have been sentenced. A notice of appeal must be filed within 10 days after judgment (your sentencing order) is entered, or you lose that right. Transcripts of all testimony, and all the legal documents in your case, are sent to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals decides whether the District Judge made any mistakes in ruling on the law in your case. If the Court of Appeals decides there were some important mistakes made by the District Judge in your case, the usual remedy is that you will be allowed to have a new trial or a new sentence. That is called a “reversal”. It does not happen often. It is nearly impossible to be released while your appeal is being decided. The decision to appeal should be made only after a careful discussion with your lawyer. The Fifth Circuit is strict about accepting cases that raise legitimate issues. A claim that you received “too much time” will not prevail in the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit will dismiss your appeal if you do not present an issue they consider meritorious. Also, you and your lawyer can be sanctioned (punished) if you present a “frivolous” issue on appeal.

PROBATION

Probation means your term of imprisonment is suspended, you must follow restrictive conditions, and report to a probation officer. Probation is not available for federal drug trafficking crimes. Except for minor fraud cases, most federal defendants do not get probation. “Shock Incarceration” or “Boot Camp” is not probation.  That is a military discipline program followed by time in a halfway house. It is available mostly to young, nonviolent, first-time offenders.

PRISON

Most defendants who are sentenced to prison go directly into custody or continue to remain in custody. Where the sentence will be served depends on several factors.

State Custody: If the reason you first came into custody was a state charge, parole warrant, or probation revocation warrant, then you are in state custody, not federal custody. Neither the United States Marshal, nor the District Judge, has the authority to take you from state custody so that you may begin serving your sentence in a federal institution. This means you will remain in the county jail, or the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, until your State of Texas (or whatever other jurisdiction you owe time) sentence is completely served. Even if you got a federal sentence that is to run at the same time as your previous sentences (see “Sentencing” section), you will do that time in the other jurisdiction’s prison.

Jail Credit: In the federal system, the district judge does not have the authority to award jail credit at your sentencing hearing. See United States v. Wilson , 112 S.Ct. 1351 (1992); 18 U.S.C. §3585(b). Under the statute giving a defendant convicted of federal crime the right to be credited for time spent in official detention before sentence begins, the Attorney General is required to compute credit after the defendant has begun to serve his sentence, rather than the district court at time of sentencing. Statute giving defendant convicted of federal crime right to receive credit for time spent in official detention before sentence begins does not authorize district court to award credit at sentencing.

Federal Custody: You are in federal custody if you  were brought in on a federal warrant. It does not matter that you are being held in the county jail or that state charges or revocations are later filed. It is always better to be in federal custody, because the State of Texas will give you credit for serving your state sentences no matter who has custody of you.

Designation: If you are in federal custody, then a federal institution must be designated for your sentence. This designation takes about one (1) month and is made by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. During that month, you will probably remain in a county jail. The decision about where you will go depends upon the seriousness of the crime, your criminal history, the location of your family, among other things.  A recommendation by the District Judge to send you to a particular place is not binding on the Bureau of Prisons.

Good Time Credit: The Bureau of Prisons can give you up to 54 days a year of “Good Time Credit”.  This is time subtracted from your sentence. The credit is a privilege for good behavior, not a right. It does not begin to be counted until after your first year in prison.

Release: There is no parole in the federal criminal justice system. You will serve the majority of your sentence, minus Good Time Credit. You will receive a term of supervised release that begins after you are released. Like probation or parole, supervised release means you have to follow rules and report back to a probation officer. Violating supervised release can mean going back to prison.

CORRESPONDENCE

You must use your own judgment about writing letters. You should not write about the facts of your case to anyone other than your lawyer. If you have any questions about your case or suggestions about it, you should contact your attorney immediately.

Federal Drug Charges in Houston, TX

Houston is in a unique position because of its convenient location. It is a criminal hotbed for illegal drug activity and because of its reputation, law enforcement; the FBI and the DEA are on high alert when it comes to detecting and convicting those guilty of trafficking or other federal drug crimes. Because drug activity is so rampant in Texas, the state has exceptionally harsh penalties for those who commit federal drug crimes. How one is prosecuted will depend on whether or not they have any priors on their record, the type of drug, and the quantity. A prison sentence for a federal drug crime can be as little as five years or it can be as long as life in prison.

The state of Texas has long been involved in a “war on drugs.” Federal prosecutors in the state of Texas come down hard on criminals involved in selling, distributing and trafficking large amounts of drugs. Not only do you face years in prison if convicted, non-citizens face deportation from the United States. At The Charles Johnson Law Firm, we are here to defend you against Federal Drug Charges.

Contact the Best International Federal Drug Crimes AttorneyHouston Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson comprehends the differential factor between State and Federal drug crimes. If in fact you or a loved one are under investigation for a drug crime, or if you have been apprehended for or charged with a drug crime in Texas or Houston, you could face harsher punishment than you expect. If you or a loved one’s alleged crime is based upon large amounts of illegal drugs, transporting or distributing drugs over state lines or over and across the border, or other specific details, you could face federal drug crime charges rather than state charges.

The significant thing to know pertaining federal drug crimes is that a conviction will carry a much harsher punishment, a longer mandatory at the very least sentence, and the possibility of no bond or bail. Attorney Johnson defends cases at the Federal Level that involve drug crimes such as:

  • Federal drug trafficking
  • Federal drug manufacturing
  • Federal drug sales and distribution
  • Internet drug distribution
  • Federal drug importation and transportation
  • Mailing drugs over and across state lines or national borders
  • Drug smuggling into or out of the United States
  • Other crimes related to drugs and money laundering

Contact Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson anytime night or day to discuss your case. You can speak with him directly by calling (713) 222-7577. If in fact you or a loved one think you are part of a federal drug investigation, don’t wait to contact a lawyer you can trust. Rest assured that The Charles Johnson Law Firm will zealously defend you against any type of Federal Drug Charge.

 
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Charged with Marijuana Possession or Sales in Houston? Hire The Best Houston Lawyer

12 Jun

Best Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson is one of the foremost criminal defense attorney in Houston in defending people from drug convictions, including the possession and sale of marijuana. His unique strategy gives his clients the best opportunity to avoid criminal penalties, and his criminal defense law firm’s familiarity with drug laws, both felonies and misdemeanors, is unrivaled. He provides each client a high-quality legal defense that is superior. Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can defend against any criminal drug charge in both federal and state courts, and his firm’s track record of success continues to grow.

Hire the Best Houston Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Criminal Marijuana Penalties

Marijuana possession and sale charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, but both carry serious penalties. Jail time, heavy fines, probation, mandatory rehab programs and more are all possible penalties for drug charges. Attorney Johnson’s finely tuned defense techniques have evolved from years of experience, and he brings that knowledge and experience to those facing marijuana-related criminal charges.

Marijuana Possession

Of all the marijuana laws in Texas, possession of marijuana may be the most unfair. It punishes otherwise responsible citizens merely for keeping some pot for personal use and who have no intention of ever doing anything hurtful with it or profiting from it. Nonetheless, it is an offense to possess, distribute or cultivate marijuana in Texas. Depending on the quantity, possession of marijuana can be charged as a misdemeanor of felony in both state and federal court.

The prosecution may argue that you’re “in possession” of marijuana in Houston, TX, if you’re found smoking marijuana or if you knowingly “exercised control” over the marijuana. Therefore, the location of the marijuana is very important:

  • If the marijuana is found on your person, in your car, in or around your home, in a storage unit belonging to you, or in any other place that you have some authority over, the prosecution will argue that you were in possession of the marijuana since you had some control over the location.
  • Furthermore, if marijuana is found in your system during a drug test or you were caught driving under the influence of marijuana in Texas, the prosecution may try to use that to prove you’ve been in possession of marijuana since you presumably “exercise control” over your body.

Marijuana Possession Penalties in Texas

  • Two ounces or less include a fine up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail or both
  • More than two ounces, but less than four ounces. Penalties include a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Four ounces or more, up to and including five pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between 180 days and two years in prison, or both.
  • More than five pounds, up to and including 50 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between two and ten years in prison, or both.
  • More than 50 pounds, up to and including 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between two and 20 years in prison, or both.
  • More than 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $50,000, between five and 99 years in prison, or both.

Sale of Marijuana

Various states have different marijuana laws, and Texas is no different. Texas treats marijuana sales as a much more serious crime than possession, which is reflected in the penalties. The sale of any amount of marijuana can lead to prison time, even for small amounts.

Sale of Marijuana Penalties in Texas

  • 1/4 oz – 5 lbs: 6 months – 2 years, $10,000 fine
  • 5 lbs – 50 lbs: 2 – 20 years, $10,000 fine
  • 50 lbs – 1 ton: 5 – 99 years, $10,000 fine
  • 1 ton or more: Mandatory minimum of 10 – 99 years, with a $100,000 fine

These are for either the sale OR delivery, meaning it is irrelevant whether or not you are actually paid or just just giving it to someone. On top of that, if the delivery or sale is to a minor (in ANY amount), that is punishable by an additional 2 – 20 years in prison. Also, sale within 1,000 feet of a school or within 300 feet of a youth center, public pool or video arcade increases the penalty classification to the next highest level (which in some cases is a difference of many years).

The Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson understands the unique nature of Texas marijuana laws, and can provide a skilled defense. His unparalleled knowledge of state and federal drug laws gives him a unique ability to provide excellent legal services for you and your loved ones. If you are in need of criminal defense legal representation in the Houston area, contact Attorney Johnson anytime day or night at (713) 222-7577 to discuss your situation.

What Is Marijuana?

Cannabis sativa: There are two species of Cannabis. One species is Cannabis sativa, originally cultivated to make hemp. The stalks of the plant contain fibers that are woven to make rope, cloth, and paper. The other species is Cannabis indica, known for its psychoactive properties. Hashish is derived from Cannabis indica. In Africa, cannabis is know as “dagga,” in China as “ma,” and in India as “ganga” or “bhang”. Marijuana is the Mexican colloquial name for Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant.

THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is found in the plant’s resin. The amount of THC determines the potency of the marijuana. The resin is mostly concentrated in the flowers of the plant. Because of various cultivation techniques the amount of THC varies considerably in the flowers of individual plants.

Other Chemicals: Marijuana is a complex drug and is made up of 420 chemical components. Sixty-one of these chemicals are called cannabinoids and are unique to marijuana. Many scientific studies focus on the primary psychoactive chemical, THC but don’t know how these other cannabinoids affect the various organs, brain, and behavior.

Grades of Marijuana

  • Low-grade marijuana is made from leaves of both sexes of the plant.
  • Medium-grade marijuana is made of the flowering tops of female plants fertilized by male plants.
  • High-grade marijuana is made of the flowering tops of female plants raised in isolation to male plants. This marijuana is called sinsemilla because it does not produce a seed.
  • Hashish is produced when resin is collected from the Cannabis indica plant. The THC-rich resin is dried and then compressed into a variety of forms, such as balls, cakes, or cookie-like sheets. Pieces are then broken off, placed in pipes, and smoked or rolled into a cigarette along with tobacco or low-grade marijuana. The Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the main sources of hashish. THC content of hashish can vary from 8% to 20%.

What are the Physical Effects of Marijuana usage?

When marijuana is smoked, the affects are felt in minutes. The high usually peaks within a couple of hours. Marijuana affects users differently. The “high” can include a feeling of relaxation, improved sense perception, and emotional well-being. Music and visual images may seem more vibrant and intense. Time seems to slow down. Some people experience physical hunger and a range of emotion from laughter to introspection. Marijuana does not always produce pleasant feelings and may cause paranoia and hallucinations. Emergency room visits have increased because some people feel anxious or fearful after smoking high-grade marijuana. Whether the marijuana is smoked or eaten, THC can remain in the body for days. About half the THC is in the blood 20 hours after smoking. Although the initial high has disappeared, physical and mental functions may be affected for days.

The physical effects of marijuana depend on many individual factors such as personal health, the time of day that marijuana is used, the problems it causes, and how well a person is able to control his or her use. Research studies have shown that one of the primary concerns for those who use marijuana is cardiovascular damage. Marijuana causes damage to lungs that is similar to that caused by cigarettes. For people who inhale deeply or hold the smoke in their lungs longer, the risk can be greater. One study that compared cigarette and marijuana smokers found that marijuana smokers absorbed five times the amount of carbon monoxide, and had five times the tar in their lungs, as compared to cigarette smokers. For those who smoke both marijuana and cigarettes, the damage can be exponentially greater than that caused by marijuana or cigarettes alone.

Research shows that people who use marijuana more than one time during the day tend to have more social and physical problems than those who only use in the evenings. Those who use at multiple times may also be more likely to be smoking to avoid problems they feel unable to confront. A person who uses marijuana in addition to alcohol or other drugs can be at additional risk. The effects of some drugs become exponentially greater when taken together. In addition, the physical tolerance that one drug produces can sometimes affect another drug, and lead to dependence on multiple substances.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

While marijuana is not in the same addictive league as cocaine, heroin, and even alcohol, recent studies raise the possibility that THC affects the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that affects the pleasure circuits. Many addictive drugs cause the release of dopamine from the neurons. One report by the National Institute of Drug Abuse states that long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction for some people. This report concludes that along with craving, withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for long-term marijuana smokers to stop using the drug. People trying to quit report irritability, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety.

Drug Paraphernalia

Texas does not prosecute possession of drugs only. In fact, Texas will prosecute a person for possession of drug paraphernalia. Thus, it is a separate criminal charge classified as a Class C Misdemeanor and typically carries a penalty of $500. Normally, if one is charged with a possession of controlled substance, then a possession of drug paraphernalia will be charged against the person, as well.

Under federal law the term drug paraphernalia means “any equipment, product or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.”

Drug paraphernalia is any legitimate equipment, product, or material that is modified for making, using, or concealing illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia generally falls into two categories:

User-specific products

User-specific products are marketed to drug users to assist them in taking or concealing illegal drugs. These products include certain pipes, smoking masks, bongs, cocaine freebase kits, marijuana grow kits, roach clips, and items such as hollowed out cosmetic cases or fake pagers used to conceal illegal drugs.

Dealer-specific products

Dealer-specific products are used by drug traffickers for preparing illegal drugs for distribution at the street level. Items such as scales, vials, and baggies fall into this category. Drug paraphernalia does not include any items traditionally used with tobacco, like pipes and rolling papers.

With the rise of the drug culture in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, the country began to see the appearance of “head shops,” which were stores that sold a wide range of drug paraphernalia. While some of the paraphernalia was crude and home-made, much was being commercially manufactured to cater to a fast-growing market. Enterprising individuals even sold items openly in the street, until anti-paraphernalia laws in the 1980s eventually ended such blatant sales. Today, law enforcement faces another challenge. With the advent of the Internet, criminals have greatly expanded their illicit sales to a worldwide market for drug paraphernalia. For example, in a recent law enforcement effort, Operation Pipedreams, the 18 companies targeted accounted for more than a quarter of a billion dollars in retail drug paraphernalia sales annually. Typically, such illicit businesses operate retail stores as well as websites posing as retailers of legitimate tobacco accessories when in reality the products are intended for the illegal drug trade.

Identifying drug paraphernalia can be challenging because products often are marketed as though they were designed for legitimate purposes. Marijuana pipes and bongs, for example, frequently carry a misleading disclaimer indicating that they are intended to be used only with tobacco products. Recognizing drug paraphernalia often involves considering other factors such as the manner in which items are displayed for sale, descriptive materials or instructions accompanying the items, and the type of business selling the items.

Marijuana-Related Crimes

The Charles Johnson Law Firm is experienced in marijuana-related matters involving:

  • Possession
  • Cultivation
  • Distribution
  • Paraphernalia
  • Search and seizure laws
  • Asset seizure
  • Search warrants, wiretapping and surveillance

Contact the Best Houston Marijuana Possession Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Before someone can be convicted of marijuana possession in Houston, the state must prove that the accused actually had possession or took action to control the drug. Drug possession cases are complicated and depend the police’s adherence to strict guidelines concerning search and seizure of the drug.

As you could be facing fines, probation, drug classes, community service, and jail, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced Houston criminal attorney if you have been accused of this crime. Our team at the Charles Johnson Law Firm is well-equipped to handle any type of drug crime, including those involving possession of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia. We understand that mistakes can happen and not everyone who has been accused of a crime is guilty. No matter how serious you may believe your case to be, contact the Best Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson directly by calling (713) 222-7577 anytime, day or night to discuss your case.

 
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Best Houston Lawyer: Arrested for Distribution Of Crack?

13 Oct

Best Houston Lawyer

Felony charges for drug distribution or possession are the most typical felonies in criminal law.

If you’ve been charged with possession or distribution of Crack cocaine, the Best Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can help you to clear your record. The federal court system is renowned for the extremely tough penalties for crack distribution cases. Most cases are prosecuted as conspiracies and, with the way sentences are calculated on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, lower-level dealers can have their sentences increased significantly based on the quantity of illegal drugs being dealt by their supposed associates. The federal system is very different in comparison to the state court structure in these criminal matters. These cases demand legal counsel who is experienced and knowledgeable about the different trial rules and sentencing guidelines. This expertise gives him an exceptional edge over those attorneys who don’t practice on a frequent basis in federal court. The Charles Johnson Law Firm has successfully represented numerous customers facing illegal drug charges in both the State and Federal courts, and he will do the same for you.

Crack Distribution in Houston

Houston, Texas is one of the most significant illegal drugs distribution centers in the U. S. It is a distribution center used by many traffickers to supply unlawful drugs to main market locations all through the United States as well as to supply dealers within the Houston HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) region. Cocaine, Crack, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also recognized as Ecstacy) are shipped from Houston to major market locations such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. Once drug shipments are delivered to Houston, they’re frequently stored at nearby stash locations awaiting further distribution to illegal drug markets. Drug trafficking operations are extremely vulnerable at these stash locations; seizures of unlawful drugs from places where substantial amounts are stashed typically result in a much larger loss for DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations).

Houston’s well-developed freeway system, established financial structure, racial and ethnic diversity, and significant level of international trade contribute to the area’s role as a main shipment point for illegal drugs destined for American drug markets and drug profits headed for Mexico. The substantial number of drug-related investigations connected to the city exemplifies Houston’s role as an integral national drug distribution and cash laundering center.

Definition: Drug Trafficking Organizations, Criminal Groups, and Gangs

Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are complex organizations with highly defined command-and-control structures that transport, distribute, and/or produce large quantities of one or more illegal drugs.

Criminal groups operating in the United States are numerous and range from limited to moderately sized, loosely knit groups that disperse one or more drugs at the retail level .

Gangs are defined by the National Alliance of Gang Investigators’ Associations as groups or associations of three or more persons with a common identifying sign, symbol, or name, whose members on their own or jointly practice criminal activity that produces an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

Mexican DTOs are the most pervasive organizational threat to the Houston region. The proximity to the U.S.- Mexico border along with their access to main drug market areas all through the U.S. have made it possible for Mexican DTOs to emerge as the predominate traffickers within the region, in most locations along the U.S.- Mexico border, and in numerous areas of the United States.

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs), Street gangs, and Prison gangs distribute illegal drugs at both the retail and wholesale levels in the Houston area. Virtually all gangs in the region use drug trafficking as their primary revenue stream. Although most gangs distribute drugs on the retail level, a few have developed relationships with Mexican DTOs that permit them to acquire wholesale quantities of drugs directly from Mexico. These gangs are most prevalent in urban locations, which include Houston, Corpus Christi, and Beaumont, where violence related to their drug and gang- related behaviors is often a considerable threat to general public and law enforcement safety.

As a direct result Hurricane Katrina, associations between Houston and New Orleans illegal drug traffickers are reportedly growing. Roughly 150,000 Katrina evacuees relocated in the Houston region due to the hurricane. Some of these evacuees were drug traffickers from high-crime locations of New Orleans and, upon relocating to Houston, developed associations with drug dealers and gang members. Quite a few of these traffickers have returned home to New Orleans, and the relationships they built with these Houston-based drug dealers have given them the ability to acquire substantial quantities of unlawful drugs from associations in Houston.

The distribution and exploitation of unlawful drugs in the Houston area places substantial societal and financial burdens on communities and local, state, and federal agencies. Cocaine in the form of Crack is the primary drug of use for many illegal drug abusers in metropolitan locations of Houston; the drug has experienced a significant impact on the degree of violent and property crime occurring in many communities. Nevertheless, the quantity of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine seized within the region has lessened in recent years. This decrease can be credited, in part, to an increase in seizures made prior to the drugs being smuggled across the Border, increased seizures in South Texas counties that border Mexico, and traffickers’ use of alternate routes to smuggle illegal drugs across the Southwest Border.

Crack Distribution Defense: Employ the Best Houston Lawyer Attorney Charles Johnson

In Texas, Cocaine distribution charges are 1st degree crimes, and carry the toughest penalties. Possession of the Cocaine or possession with the intent to distribute , is usually a 2nd degree crime, and can lead to steep penalties, probation and/or imprisonment. Drug distribution is an extremely serious offense. However, like all drug crimes, drug distribution should be placed into the proper context in order to make sure that charges aren’t excessive. What may appear to be drug distribution may actually not be, and a skilled lawyer will see to it that you are furnished a powerful defense all through your arrest.

The quantity of drugs in your possession, how the drugs are packaged, which drugs are discovered to be on your person, and how many different types of drugs you have are typical elements that will be considered during a drug distribution case. For example, if a variety of packaged drugs are discovered in your possession, then it might be assumed that you, much like a shop, have a multitude of new items ready to sell. Also, your previous criminal record will play a factor, as will the area that you had been arrested. Being busted in an area known to be visited by drug distributors, for instance, won’t assist your case.

If an individual is found to be in possession of illicit drugs, doesn’t seem to be using the drugs himself, and is also behaving in a manner that is an indication of drug distribution, then law enforcement might place that person under arrest on suspicion of drug distribution. Although other drug charges like possession for sale require that some kind of monetary transaction take place, drug distribution only requires that illegal drugs are transferred from a single individual to another person. As such, protection against these charges may be complicated, especially within the state of Texas. Because of the complexities of Texas law, the most effective strategy taken by an individual charged with drug distribution is retaining the services of a seasoned Houston Lawyer .

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson will investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, and he will build you the most powerful defense possible given the circumstances. If you need expert legal assistance now, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Best Houston Lawyer At Any Hour, 7 Days A Week to discuss the specifics of your case.

 
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Best Houston Lawyer: Arrested for Possession of Cocaine?

29 Sep

Leading Houston Drug Crimes Attorney

Cocaine possession charges may harm your reputation. Don’t take chances. A Cocaine charge won’t merely disappear. It is very important to get a highly skilled lawyer who has an in-depth expertise in what the law states, dedication to you, as well as a familiarity with the policies of the county prosecutor. If you have been charged with a drug related criminal offense, contact The Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson right now for aggressive, experienced help. He is available around the clock to answer any questions you may have.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the coca bush. Both Cocaine and Crack Cocaine are powerful and particularly addictive illegal drugs. Cocaine is primarily grown in Columbia, Peru and Bolivia South America and is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means it has an incredibly high potential for misuse and addiction. There are two primary forms of Cocaine. The first is the powdery type. It’s used for snorting up the nose. Second is freebase, also known as Crack Cocaine, used for smoking. A smaller portion of Cocaine addiction is carried out intravenously. When Cocaine is snorted, the Cocaine powder gets inhaled into the nasal area where it’s immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. As soon as Cocaine reaches the brain, dopamine gets released, stirring pleasant feelings. Due to the fact that it is a stimulant, Cocaine has always been a major party drug. Cocaine is easily dealt on the streets because it’s sold in small packets.

What is Crack Cocaine?

Crack Cocaine, recognized as Crack, is a term for the smokable form of Cocaine. Crack is a street name given to the form of Cocaine that has been processed into a smokable substance. Smoking Crack Cocaine delivers significant quantities of the substance into the lungs, creating an immediate and intense euphoric feeling. The rush, or high, is ordinarily very intense, but doesn’t necessarily last very long. The rocks of Crack Cocaine are ignited in a Crack pipe and the ensuing vapors get deeply inhaled. Crack Cocaine has emerged as a major drug of misuse in the last twenty to twenty-five years. The term Crack refers to the popping sound heard when it’s heated.

Hire The Top Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

What are the Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

Cocaine addiction or Crack Cocaine addiction is in most cases identified with a person who’s compulsively looking for and utilizing Cocaine or Crack Cocaine, despite the negative consequences. The physical signs of Cocaine misuse can differ, dependent upon the person. For one, Cocaine acts as an appetite suppressant so Cocaine abusers quite often are not hungry and wind up losing considerable amounts of weight. Cocaine addicts quite often go on binges, in some instances for several days. The road to Cocaine addiction can begin with occasional use only at parties. Over time, a person’s ability to choose not to take the drug gradually erodes. Cocaine or Crack Cocaine addiction becomes compulsive and addictive mainly because of the ensuing enjoyable feelings.

The effects of Cocaine use consist of heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. Large amounts can cause bizarre and violent behavior. In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the initial use of Cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. The short-term physiological consequences of Cocaine include constricted blood vessels; dilated pupils; and elevated temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Large amounts (several hundred milligrams or more) intensify the user’s high, but could possibly also result in bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior. These users may perhaps experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or, with repeated doses, a toxic reaction closely similar to amphetamine poisoning. Several users of Cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest. Use of Cocaine in a binge, during that the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly higher doses, results in a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This may possibly result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and encounters auditory hallucinations.

Street Names

Cocaine goes by the street names of coke, snow, flake, blow and numerous others. Cocaine slang words are in no short supply, no matter where you go. Considering that police officers agencies work as hard as they do to stop the sale and distribution of Cocaine, users and dealers have incorporated tag words to identify the drug or the utilization of the drug without having to mention it by name.

Penalties

Being charged with Cocaine offenses are particularly serious in Texas and carry federal and state mandatory minimum sentences, in some instances. There has been a great deal of debate surrounding this law, that makes it far worse to be found guilty of criminal charges related to Crack Cocaine than standard Cocaine. The controversy lies within the reality that both drugs contain the exact same active ingredient and many say the sentencing disparity is unjust.

Twenty-five years ago Congress enacted serious mandatory minimum sentences, condemning thousands of mostly low-level, mostly nonviolent drug offenders to years, in some instances decades in prison. In part because of these and similar “sentencing guideline” penalties, the U.S. now is experiencing an incarceration rate unprecedented in the history of our own country or any other.

While Congress last year voted to substantially decrease — but not eliminate — the disparity in sentencing between Crack and powder Cocaine, Crack still earns substantially more time than powder. And this verdict clarifies that those stiffer penalties apply to freebase and coca paste, as well as Crack.

In many places, prosecutors don’t file criminal charges for a modest quantity of Cocaine, but not in Houston. Every narcotics possession, even a tiny quantity of Cocaine, can mean a charge and conviction – and that means a criminal background. Because it’s classified as a narcotic drug under Texas law, the charges filed by the prosecution in a Crack Cocaine or Cocaine base offense will likely consist of possession of a narcotic drug, sale of a narcotic drug, transportation of a narcotic drug and possession for sale of a narcotic drug.

Defense for a Cocaine Arrest

The sooner you contact The Leading #links#, the more chances there will likely be to minimize the consequences. The consultation is no cost and the Leading Houston Lawyer will be available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Texas faces higher risks of Crack Cocaine along with other drug importation due to its close proximity to the southern international border. For this reason, law makers and officials impose significantly harsh laws and penalties on those charged and convicted throughout the state. The Top Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson will offer legal counsel throughout Texas to clients facing Crack Cocaine criminal charges of possession, sales, trafficking, importation, manufacturing and transportation.

Attorney Johnson will immediately start to look for the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. In the majority of situations, when contacted at an early stage, they will likely be able to explain those problems to the authorities and the criminal charges will be dropped or never filed. Cocaine is regarded as an addictive drug, nevertheless one that is simpler to quit than others (notably meth). There could very well be a chance for diversion, a solution that opens the chance of no criminal charges.

Whatever Cocaine criminal charges you are defending, it’s of the utmost necessity for you to hire The Finest Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Charles Johnson who will battle to prevent the severe penalties that are the result of a Cocaine conviction. Even if it’s your initial criminal offense, you could have to deal with a mandatory jail sentence, as well as sizeable fines and a felony against your record. In the event you or a loved one has been charged with a narcotic drug offense in Houston, you ought to as soon as possible obtain the guidance of The Charles Johnson Law Firm.

 
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Best Houston Lawyer: What Are Some Effective Defenses For Drug Violations?

25 Sep

The Best Houston Lawyer at the Charles Johnson Law Firm can decide which defenses might pertain to your case should you be arrested for possession of illegal drugs, either for individual use or with intent to sell, in the event you plead not guilty. Various states deal with the issue of unlawful drugs in various ways, while the federal government has a tendency to have the most stringent drug sentencing regulations. However drug possession defenses are rather standard across state lines. Several defenses challenge the stated basic facts, testimony or evidence within the case, whilst others focus on procedural mistakes , frequently search and seizure infractions.
Finest Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

The following are a few defenses to drug possession criminal charges, a few much more typical than others:

Illegal Search and Seizure

The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the privilege to due process of law, such as legal search and seizure methods before a charge. Search and seizure challenges are very typical in drug possession cases. Unlawful drugs discovered in “plain view,” including a auto’s dash panel following a legal traffic stop, might be seized and utilized as evidence. Nevertheless illegal drugs discovered within the trunk of an automobile after prying it open with a crowbar, presuming the suspect didn’t provide authorization, can’t be put into evidence. In the event the accused’s 4th Amendment rights had been breached, then the illegal drugs can’t be utilized at trial and the criminal charges usually are dismissed.

Illegal Drugs Belong to Somebody Else

A typical defense to any sort of criminal offense arrest would be to merely proclaim that you did not do it. The drug possession equivalent would be to assert that the illegal drugs are not yours or that you simply had no idea they had been inside your apartment, for instance. The Best Houston Lawyer will compel prosecutors to demonstrate that the marijuana cigarette discovered within the automobile really belonged to their client rather than another individual within the automobile.

Crime Lab Investigation

Simply because it appears to be crack or Ecstasy does not necessarily mean that it is. The prosecution needs to demonstrate that a seized material is actually the illegal drug it claims it is by submitting the evidence for crime lab analysis. The crime lab analyst then needs to testify at trial in order for the prosecution to prove its case.

Missing Illegal Drugs

Attorney Johnson will make certain prosecutors have the ability to deliver the actual illegal drugs for which their client has been arrested. Comparable to the requirement for analysis by a crime lab, prosecutors who misplace or otherwise don’t have the actual drugs risk getting their case dismissed. Seized drugs frequently are transferred a number of times prior to ending up within the evidence locker, therefore it should by no means be presumed that the evidence continues to exists throughout the trial.

Illegal Drugs Had Been Planted

This might be challenging to establish, because a law enforcement officer’s sworn testimony carries a great deal of weight within the courtroom. Moreover, other police officers might hesitate to blow the whistle on a fellow police officer. However, The Recommended Houston Criminal Defense Attorney might file a motion that, if authorized by the judge, demands the department to produce the complaint file of the given police officer. This file references the names and contact details of those that produced the complaints, who might then be interviewed by the lawyer or his private detective.

Entrapment

While police are free to put together sting operations, entrapment happens when police officers or informants cause a suspect to commit a criminal offense this individual otherwise might not have committed. If the informant pressures a suspect into giving illegal drugs to a 3rd party, for instance, then this might be regarded as entrapment. Generally, entrapment happens when the state offers the illegal drugs involved.

Do I Need An Attorney?

If you’re arrested for any type of of these or some other drug related criminal offense you should get in touch with The Leading Houston Criminal Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm as soon as you possibly can. The consequences of carrying out a drug offense may be very serious, such as actual jail time, in some cases for several years in significant high profile drug cases. Being found guilty for a drug-related crime could not just harm your personal and professional stature, but may lead to actual termination from a good job or even the suspension or revocation of one’s professional licenses. It is not whether or not you’ll acquire an experienced attorney, rather, it is who you’ll find to handle your case at your most susceptible time.

Do not let drug charges damage your future. The Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson will expertly defend drug charges in the courtroom. If you’re struggling with misdemeanor or felony drug possession charges after having a drug arrest in Texas, safeguard your legal rights and future. Contact him 24/7 to schedule a free initial consultation.

 
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Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer » Arrested for a Drug Manufacturing Crime? Find Out Exactly How to Beat It.

14 Sep

Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer

All drug charge convictions bear severe consequences, but the state of Texas makes every effort to crack down on drug manufacture cases. From meth labs to marijuana grow houses, in the event you or a loved one faces criminal charges surrounding the cultivation of drugs; you want to speak to the Best Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer before taking any type of legal action on your own.

The Best Houston Attorney will have many years of experience protecting the arrested within the courts all through Texas and will be prepared to answer your concerns and reduce the damages facing you following your drug manufacture arrest.

Whenever you initially step into their office, the Leading Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer will talk about your case, talk about what actually transpired, and how the charges you face might be affected by a earlier criminal record. Listening to your side of the story, they will help you discover any and all potential defenses.

Understanding your side of the story is essential. They’ll let you know about the court in which your criminal charges are being heard. In all cases, they’ll wish to listen to your side of the story prior to beginning to fully assess your options.

Hire The Most Respected Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer

Texas defense attorneys see numerous drug distribution cases because of the sheer volume of interstate highway traffic. Sadly, it is all-too-easy to move drugs along the interstate highway system in all directions. In particular within the Houston area, our law enforcement officers have noticed patterns when looking for drug traffickers. It’s typical for cars to be stopped along northbound interstates and for large amounts of drugs to be discovered. When suspect automobiles are stopped heading southbound, big amounts of currency are sometimes discovered. Whether the criminal charge will be sale, distribution, or drug trafficking depends upon the kind and also the amount of drugs in question. However the difference you face in penalties is considerable.
A first degree felony drug conviction usually results in a minimum five-year jail term, but in large-scale drug manufacturing or drug distribution cases, prison terms can jump to a minimum of 15 years.

If excessively big sums of United States currency are discovered in your vehicle (or perhaps a vehicle you’re riding in), you may face criminal charges of money laundering. Amazingly, the penalties at the federal level for possessing large amounts of cash are similarly harsh to those for possessing big amounts of drugs.

You could also discover yourself fighting conspiracy criminal charges, something federal prosecutors might add on to drug crime cases.

The Most Dedicated Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer will have handled many state and federal drug cases in Texas courts, from drug manufacturing cases involving meth laboratories and marijuana grow houses to international drug trafficking. No case is too big or complex for their firm to handle.

Seizure of Assets

Law enforcement officers doing drug interdiction work have the legal right to seize assets that had been utilized in furtherance of a criminal offense or bought using the proceeds of criminal activity. This means they not just confiscate drugs; they also seize cash, cars, boats, other personal assets as well as real estate. The police or law enforcement agency might then sell the property and keep the proceeds or just keep the property and assets altogether for their own purposes. This is especially typical with vehicles.

Asset forfeiture sometimes goes too far, with the law enforcement officials taking property and assets that does not belong to anyone charged with the criminal offense, assets that in fact belongs to totally innocent family members or third parties. The Most Respected Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer handles asset forfeiture cases, helping clients battle to recover seized assets .

Building Your Drug Manufacture Defense

Most drug manufacture criminal charges, whether they involve marijuana or methamphetamines, are heard in state court. Quite often, marijuana grow houses and meth houses are identified following informants report activities to the authorities.

If you have been turned in by a third party, the Leading Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer will attack the reliability of the source. Nevertheless, in every case the quality of the evidence is different. That is why we consider potential actions on a case-by-case basis.

Get in touch with the Most Qualified Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer for a complimentary consultation. They’ll fight hard to safeguard your rights all through the legal procedure.

Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 
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Houston Drug Attorney: Arrested for Illegal Prescription Drugs?

06 Sep

Top Houston Drug Attorney

The illegal sale or use of prescribed pharmaceuticals can certainly result in severe criminal charges. If you have been arrested for a forged prescription or the illegal possession of a prescription drug, you want the Best Houston Attorney to protect your rights and battle on your behalf in the courtroom.

Houston Drug Attorney Charles Johnson will be readily available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days /year to answer your questions and build your defense.

Any individual can be addicted to prescribed drugs. Many men and women began taking their medications for health-related reasons, but grew to be addicted. When their prescriptions ran out, they acquired the drugs by various other means. The Most Qualified Houston Lawyer is aware of the consequences of a criminal conviction for average, everyday folks. They will be able to help you fight any of the following charges:

  • Prescription Forgery
  • Sale of Prescription Drugs
  • Prescription Fraud
  • Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs

The main goal in each and every prescribed drug case is to steer clear of a prison sentence. Houston Drug Attorney Charles Johnson will help you explore alternative sentencing options, most notably entering a drug treatment center. You may perhaps be in need of rehabilitation, not a prison sentence. Looking forward, they will help you receive the assistance you need.

While the majority of prescribed pharmaceutical cases involve painkillers, Attorney Johnson will handle charges involving an array of drugs, for an array of clients, including juveniles. If your case involves any of the following prescription drugs or others, he will be able to help:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Soma
  • Seroquel

Houston Prescription Drug Possession/Sales Defense: Houston Drug Attorney Charles Johnson

Trafficking in prescription medication carries with it lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. Having five oxyCodone pills (4.26 grams) in your possession leads to mandatory sentence of three years minimum, with larger amounts ending up with sentences of up to Twenty five years. Some other prescribed drugs that are prosecuted under the category of trafficking are Vicodin, opium, Valium, amphetamines and Ritalin. Labeling a person to be a drug trafficker because that person does not have a legitimate prescription for pain medication can destroy a person’s life. Often this individual is hooked on the drug, but wouldn’t be allowed to participate in a drug diversion program because he may be arrested for a first degree felony. If you or a family member has been charged with possession or trafficking of prescription drugs, or other prescription drug crimes, the Leading Houston Criminal Lawyer can prepare a strong defense for your case.

Prescription fraud is when forgery, misrepresentation or counterfeiting is used to illegally procure prescription medications. This could be done for private use or to distribute or sell these drugs to other individuals. Prescription fraud is normally accomplished by stealing, altering or creating fake/counterfeit blank prescription slips. Other crimes having to do with prescribed drugs are selling one’s own legal prescription or distributing it to other individuals and illegally manufacturing prescribed drugs.

Whether you have been charged with prescribed drug possession, sale, or fraud, you ought to consider these criminal charges as seriously as any sort of other drug charge. Call Houston Drug Attorney Charles Johnson today for a no cost initial consultation.