If you were to survey Texas residents to find out approximately how many have, at some point in their lives, faced some type of legal problems, the results (if participants were to be completely honest) would likely be high for those who answer affirmatively. Some would probably say they'd had a traffic ticket or two; others perhaps have dealt with more serious matters.
You yourself might currently be facing criminal charges of some kind, maybe drug-related or a DUI, and are feeling a bit overwhelmed or alone as you prepare for what lies ahead. It's always good to remember that you are definitely not the first, and most probably will not be the last, person in this or any other state to face charges in court. However, understanding that it's no small matter, you'll be doing yourself a favor if you seek clarification of your rights and possible defense strategies ahead of time.
Addiction is not a defense but other issues might be
If you are one of thousands in the nation who are struggling with a substance abuse problem, there are many support resources available to help you. Reaching out for help is always good; in fact, it may even help you overcome your legal troubles. The following list includes possible defense strategies concerning drug charges, which may apply to your particular situation:
- Perhaps police officers arrested you for drug possession but a doctor prescribed the drug you were carrying at the time. The drug in question may have been an opioid prescription for a chronic pain condition or medical marijuana. If you have proof that a doctor recommended you taking the drug, it may help you avoid conviction.
- You may be one of many people who were not even aware that you were in possession of drugs when police placed you under arrest. Maybe you borrowed a friend's car or jacket to wear when an officer pulled you over in a traffic stop then searched your person or vehicle. If he or she claims to have found drugs inside a car or article of clothing that did not belong to you, this may be your best option for a strong defense.
- There are a lot of substances that look like illegal drugs; for instance, if you were carrying a white powdery substance in a small baggie, a police officer might assume it is cocaine. In such situations, you are presumed innocent unless proved otherwise, and the burden would be on prosecutors to prove that the substance you had with you was actually cocaine.
From the moment a police officer approaches you to the moment a judge hands down a decision in your case, it's always best to try to remain calm and to cooperate as much as possible throughout the adjudication process. You do not, however, have to sit back and do nothing if you believe someone has violated your rights.
There are definite steps to take and people who can help you address such matters. In fact, many Texas residents have avoided convictions in drug-related situations by challenging evidence as inadmissible because of rights violations associated with their arrests.