According to Texas law, specific elements can make penalties for drug charges worse.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to know what the prosecuting attorney may do or use to add penalties to your current drug charges.
Where the offense occurred
In Texas, there are “Drug-Free Zones.” These are areas where drug offenses are taken much more seriously. Examples include within 1,000 feet of a school or within 3,000 feet of where children spend time (i.e., playgrounds, arcades, public pools, etc.). If the prosecution proves that you committed a drug offense within a Drug-Free Zone, the potential penalties you face will be more severe.
Drug activities involving children
Another way that your drug charge penalties may be enhanced is if the prosecution can prove a minor child (one under 18) assisted you or took part in the drug offense. Examples of how this may happen include if the child distributed or delivered the drugs. If this is proven, the penalty will increase by one degree. The penalty will increase even further if you get a child’s help through force or threat.
Protecting yourself in these situations
If you are facing drug charges, you should take steps to protect your rights and freedom. It is up to the prosecution to show evidence that your crime involved the elements above to increase the penalties applied to your situation.
Your legal rights and options
Facing criminal drug charges can be an overwhelming situation. However, you have legal rights. Remember, it is not your job to prove your innocence – the prosecution must prove you are guilty. Working with someone who can help build a solid defense for your case is recommended in these situations.