Like most states, Texas takes drug charges seriously by applying various fines and sentencing to individuals caught with illicit drugs. Even a minor drug charge could prevent a person in Dallas, TX, from working in certain jobs. However, it doesn’t mean that this person has no recourse to fight the charges.
Illegal search and seizure
U.S. citizens get protection from illegal searches under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Officers who wish to search a building, residence, vehicle or premises must provide a warrant from the court. They also need to prove to the court that they had probable cause to search, such as complaints from neighbors about suspicious vehicles.
However, there are some exception to search and seizure law. Officers may seize drugs in “plain view” or any drugs present when they make an arrest.
Not in possession or unwitting possession
A defendant may claim that the drugs didn’t belong to them. The prosecution must show that the defendant had possession of the substance, so this defense places pressure on the prosecution to provide sufficient evidence.
The defendant may claim that they didn’t know the drugs were present, which is known as unwitting possession. An example is when a delivery person delivers a package of illegal substances but does not know the contents.
Texas law defines entrapment as the defendant engaging in conduct because of persuasion or pressure from law enforcement to commit acts they would not have otherwise. While police have the right to plan sting operations, they must do it lawfully. They cannot use flattery, fraud, harassment or threats to make the suspect do something illegal.
The court may apply a subjective standard, which determines whether the person’s criminal history or predisposition makes them more likely to commit criminal offenses. Under an objective standard, the defense must prove that the police tactics used could easily persuade a law-abiding citizen.
Drug charges commonly mean serious penalties for the defendant if convicted. With the help of an attorney, they might be able to fight the charges.