If you’ve been accused of a drug crime, you may not be sure about the potential punishments or penalties for those crimes if you’re later convicted. While the best choice is typically to defend yourself against these charges to begin with, knowing the possible penalties can help you plan on ways to negotiate.
For instance, trafficking drugs is illegal due to the Texas Controlled Substance Act. This could lead to a felony with a sentence of 180 days to two years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. In extreme situations, you could face up to 99 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
Do you have defense options to try? Yes. There are several that can work in your favor.
Take for instance this situation. You are a driver for a company, and you think you’re transporting typical goods. When you’re stopped by police, the vehicle is found to be full of marijuana. While illegal, if you can prove that you had no knowledge of what you were transporting, it can work in your favor.
If you transport drugs due to being under duress, you can also use this as a strong defense in court. Here’s an example. A drug dealer contacts you and tells you you’re going to transport his goods. If you don’t, he says he’ll hurt your family or kidnap your children. In that kind of case, not doing the illegal act could put your family in danger, and that can be enough to defend your actions in court. These are just of a few of the defense strategies that may be used when fighting such charges.
Source: FindLaw, “Texas Drug Trafficking/Distribution Laws,” accessed April. 16, 2015