Possession of any amount of cocaine is illegal in Texas; if you have been arrested for possession of cocaine in Texas, you face stiff penalties, including jail time and fines. The smartest thing a person in your predicament can do is seek the services of an experienced Texas cocaine possession defense attorney. An attorney can help you make the best out of this bad situation.
Charges Depend on How Much Cocaine Was in Your Possession
The punishment you can expect depends on how much cocaine you were in possession of at the time of arrest.
Possession of one gram or less will result in a state jail felony. A guilty verdict could get you up to 180 days in a state jail and fines of up to $10,000. (You can be charged with a third degree felony if you have a prior conviction for possession.)
If you possess between 1 and 4 grams of cocaine when you are arrested, you can be charged with a third degree felony. Penalties for a conviction can include 2 to 10 years in a Texas state prison as well as fines of up to $10,000.
Possession of 4 to 200 grams of cocaine will get you charged with a second degree felony. That could mean 2 to 20 years in a Texas state prison as well as fines of up to $10,000. 200 to 400 grams is a first degree felony – you could face 5-99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Over 400 grams? That’s an enhanced first degree felony. You’re looking at between 10 and 99 years in prison, and/or $100,000 in fines.
The penalties will be worse if the authorities allege that you possessed the cocaine with the intent to sell it.
The Outcome Will Depend on the Evidence Against You
If you’ve been arrested for cocaine possession in Houston, the first thing you should do after posting bail is seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Having a criminal record for cocaine possession can have a negative impact on your personal and professional life, making it difficult to get a job, a loan or housing. Representation by an attorney who is experienced at defending clients in cocaine possession cases will give you the best possible chance at getting the charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
The prosecutor will use every tool at their disposal to get a conviction. Your lawyer will have to formulate an effective defense strategy based on challenging the evidence against you. For instance, were your Constitutional rights violated during the arrest? If so, the evidence against may be thrown out of court and your case will be dismissed.
If you are found guilty, your lawyer may be able to help you avoid jail time. First time offenders may qualify for alternative sentencing. Some programs allow first time drug offenders to attend a drug treatment program instead of being sentenced to jail time and usually include mandatory drug counseling sessions, regular drug testing and scheduled appearances before a judge.
Get Help from a Houston Cocaine Possession Defense Attorney
You might not know what to expect if you have been arrested for possession of cocaine in Houston, but drug crime attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss does. With extensive experience as both a criminal defense lawyer and DA, Lisa possesses the skills and expertise to deliver her clients the best defense possible. She understands that everyone makes mistakes and has dedicated her practice to defending clients who are facing life-changing drug possession charges.
If you have been arrested for cocaine charges in Houston, call Lisa Shapiro Strauss today at (713) 449-9922 or contact her online to schedule a free consultation.