Top Houston Criminal Lawyers
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Drug offenses may be charged against a single individual with just a minimal quantity of marijuana, or perhaps a college student selling ecstasy or an individual trafficking considerable amounts of crack across state lines. Because drug violations cover an extremely wide array of criminal acts, almost no one can avoid the possibility of being found guilty, regardless if they are an upstanding citizen or possibly a career criminal. Anyone that has been charged with a crime should certainly consult the advice and the representation of the Top Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm to help understand the nature of the charge, what defenses are available for the crime, if plea bargains are available, and what could happen if the defendant is convicted of the crime.
Drug offenses range in severity with the possession of a small quantity of marijuana for individual use being a “lesser” drug crime, and operating an entire drug trafficking business being a significantly greater criminal offense. The violations may be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony, based on a number of elements. For instance, the type of drug, quantity and motive are all considered when making an arrest. The prosecution and the judge may also consider whether or not the suspect has a past criminal history, and they’ll examine the circumstances associated with the criminal case. Competent Houston Criminal Lawyers can help you fight for your legal rights and ensure that the more positive aspects of the scenario don’t get go unnoticed by the prosecution. These strategies will help make sure that you aren’t sentenced with more severe consequences than necessary. Drug offenses are taken extremely seriously within the state of Texas and a skilled defense attorney might be the difference between your liberty and a felony conviction.
According to the elements of one’s case, you might discover your self dealing with a jail sentence. More serious cases of sales or sizable amounts of drug possession could put you behind bars. An experienced drug violations attorney can keep you from contending with prison time. Drug offenses fall within the jurisdiction of both federal and state laws, based on the nature of the criminal offense. Smuggling illegal substances and substantial quantity narcotic conspiracy cases are usually prosecuted on the federal level. Some other drug violations, like possession, manufacture and illegal drug trafficking inside state boundaries, are generally prosecuted by the State of Texas. Drug violations criminal charges consist of possession, use, sale or furnishing of any type of unlawful drug or drug paraphernalia that’s prohibited by law, also as the illegal possession of legal drugs (like prescribed pharmaceutical misuse).
Drug offenses in Texas are taken extremely seriously by federal and state prosecutors. When you have been arrested for simple marijuana possession, you could confront elevated criminal charges if you’re caught in possession of 4 oz . or more. If you’re found guilty of violating the Texas Controlled Substance Act, you might lose the privilege of your driver’s license for as much as 6 months. Drug violations are extremely severe in nature and must by no means be taken casually. An individual who’s arrested for a drug offense deals with life-changing legal repercussions. In Texas, drug offenses are prosecuted harshly by law enforcement officials and District Attorneys. Because of a continual growth in drug associated violations, the federal and state government now utilize more rigid drug regulations and legal punishments.
Drug violations may be considered as infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies based on a host of elements which includes:
What types of controlled substances had been involved (for example, heroin and PCP are usually seen as much more “serious” illegal drugs than marijuana).
The quantity of drugs concerned.
Whether or not the drugs had been procured for private use exclusively or to sell to other individuals.
Whether or not the accused was concurrently concerned within the commission of various other felonies or misdemeanors.
The defendant’s prior criminal history, if any exists.
Drug violations consist of numerous activities forbidden by federal or state statute, which includes possession, sale, manufacture, distribution and trafficking, together with prescription fraud and forgery. Drug offenses consist of attempts and conspiracies to commit any type of of these acts. On the federal level, involvement in a continuing criminal enterprise additionally exposes a person to criminal accountability. These offenses are extremely precisely defined, and therefore the government is expected to prove to the court a particular set of facts before a charged individual may be declared guilty of them.
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Additionally, drug cases often involve the issue of whether or not the proof was correctly attained by the authorities. Evidence acquired in violation of an defendant’s constitutional legal rights isn’t admissible in the courtroom. The majority of challenges to the admissibility of evidence are dependent within the Fourth Amendment, that protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Drug courts currently operate or are being structured in virtually all 50 states. Although they differ among states, these specialized courts focus on therapy more than time in jail for defendants with substance abuse problems. Compliance with all the enforced stipulations (e.g., frequent drug screening, participation in a rehabilitation program) could possibly lead to dismissal of criminal charges, or suspended or lowered sentences.
When prison time is required, on the other hand, possible penalties escalate based on the type and amount of the drug at issue and also the defendant’s previous criminal history. Particular crimes are sorted into classes and minimum and maximum sentences of these classes are stipulated based on a defendant’s criminal background. Utilization of these sentencing recommendations in state and federal court have long been debatable; proponents maintain that recommendations make sure uniformity and equity in penalties, although opponents debate that they are not able to provide the flexibility required to take into account a defendant’s specific situations.
When you have Been Charged with a Drug Criminal offense
Drug charges can certainly have significant consequences, such as forfeiture of property and assets and time in jail. Talking to Attorney Charles Johnson, one of the Top Houston Criminal Lawyers, for guidance on how you can proceed is important. If you’re fighting drug criminal charges, a knowledgeable lawyer will assist you with navigating through the problems concerned in this complicated area of legislation.
Charles Johnson |
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As an alternative to sentencing a defendant to a prison term, a judge could possibly choose to sentence a defendant to probation. Probation releases a defendant back into the community, but the defendant does not have the same degree of freedom as a regular citizen. Probation comes with conditions that restrict a probationer’s behavior, and if the probationer violates one of those conditions, the court may very well revoke or modify the probation.
Courts typically grant probation for first-time or low-risk offenders. Statutes determine when probation is practical, nevertheless it is up to the sentencing judge to figure out whether or not to essentially allow probation.
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Even though sentencing judges have this latitude, they must still remain within the statutory limits when allowing probation. By way of example, a judge can’t impose probation for a period longer than the maximum sentence prescribed by statute.
Probation has three primary goals:
- To rehabilitate the defendant
- To protect society from further criminal conduct by the defendant
- To protect the rights of the victims
Once a judge has granted probation, the matter moves into the jurisdiction of probation officers, who monitor the probationer’s compliance with the terms of the probation.
Conditions are an inherent part of probation. Judges set conditions in order to meet the goals for probation stated above. A probationer needs to comply with these conditions or else the court may possibly impose a jail sentence or add more restrictive conditions to their probation.
Courts in most cases have a good deal of discretion when setting probation conditions, nevertheless that doesn’t mean that judges can set whatever terms they want. Probation conditions must be reasonable. This means that the conditions can never be vindictive, vague, overbroad or arbitrary. In addition, the conditions must be related to the protection of the public. Also, in cases where a judge wishes to impose special conditions, those conditions must relate to the nature of the transgression that the probationer committed.
Judges set the conditions, nevertheless probation officers enforce them. Any time a probation officer finds probable cause to believe that the probationer has violated the terms of the probation, the judge will likely either change the terms of the probation or revoke the probation and impose a prison sentence.
Because the probationer’s freedom is at stake, however, the probationer has to receive some procedural due process before a court revokes their probation. While the verdict to revoke probation, just like the ruling to grant probation, is at the court’s discretion, the court has to go through a number of procedural requirements before revoking probation. The probationer dealing with revocation doesn’t have as many legal rights during revocation proceedings as they do through the original criminal trial, however.
In order to revoke probation, a court has to provide the probationer with notice of the proposed revocation and conduct a hearing on the matter. The probationer has a right to testify at the hearing, present supporting witnesses, and confront the witnesses against them. The probationer also has a right to a neutral hearing body, and needs to receive a written statement containing the reasons for revoking probation.
If there is sufficient evidence, a violation of even a single condition is able to bring about revocation of probation. The violated condition has to be valid, however. In cases where a condition is later found to be unreasonable then violation of that condition will not constitute grounds for revocation.
Houston Probation: Hire the Most Qualified Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are accused of violating the terms of your parole or probation or have questions regarding a potential probation offense, make sure you call the Most Respected Houston Criminal Defense Attorney the instant for a free of charge initial consultation.
Charles Johnson |
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Depending on the seriousness of the crime(s), sentencing may involve 1 or a combination of punishments. Besides prison or jail time, alternative sentencing may incorporate a suspended sentence, probation, a fine, restitution, community service, or diversion. In most criminal instances, unless it truly is a capital case decided by a jury, the judge will determine the punishment by taking into consideration factors like the defendant’s age, the impact of the crime on the victims, along with the defendant’s level of remorse.
Types of Criminal Sentencing
A Texas judge can decree a sentence that’s determinate. A determinate sentence is a fixed-term regulated by state statute. A judge will establish the length of a sentence by applying sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimum sentencing, and applicable enhanced sentencing for a variety of crimes.
As an alternative to imprisonment, a judge can suspend a prison or jail sentence. This is generally employed in instances involving less serious crimes or for first-time offenders. A suspended sentence may be unconditional or conditional. An unconditional suspended sentence allows the judge to abstain from imposing the proscribed punishment. Nevertheless, the conviction is still a matter of public record.
If the suspended sentence is conditional, the judge can hold off from imposing the punishment for so long as the defendant fulfills the condition of the suspension. Typical conditions may incorporate not committing other crimes or enrolling in a substance abuse program. If a defendant violates the terms of a conditional suspension, the judge can impose the original punishment.
A judge may order probation instead of imposing jail or prison time. Probation will require the offender to follow specific conditions. Standard probation will compel the offender to regularly report to a probation officer, even though an additional, much more invasive type of probation could involve GPS monitoring or house detention. Although on probation, the offender should generally keep a job, not relocate to another state with out permission, undergo drug testing, and keep existing with obligated payments, for example fines or restitution.
An offender that violates any of the conditions could have probation revoked. A prosecutor can decide to file a complaint asking the judge to revoke probation. Upon the determination that the offender violated probation, the judge can impose the original jail or prison sentence, can reinstate probation, or can order far more severe conditions of probation.
As an option to incarceration, a judge might impose a fine. A fine is normally employed in instances involving less severe crimes or those involving first-time offenders. A judge may also impose a fine in conjunction with other varieties of punishments, such as incarceration and probation.
A judge, in conjunction with another type of punishment, might order the offender to pay the victim for the personal injury or the property damage sustained. Restitution is meant to restore the victim and to ensure that the offender is not unjustly enriched. Consequently, a court might order the offender to pay for expenses like medical bills and counseling.
As punishment, a judge can order an offender to perform unpaid community service work. This punishment is often utilised in misdemeanor cases as a way to ensure that the offender repays society for the crime. Community service may involve picking up garbage in a park, clearing brush, or giving lectures about the dangers of the criminal activity. The goals of community service are punishment, reparation, restitution, and rehabilitation.
Rather than impose incarceration in less severe offenses involving misdemeanors, a judge may possibly divert a case. This means that upon the defendant’s completion of a condition, like the completion a treatment or rehabilitation program, a judge may possibly drop the criminal charges. Commonly, these kinds of circumstances involve drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence.
Houston Criminal Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
If you are accused of violating the terms of your parole or probation or have questions regarding a potential probation offense, please call at anytime for a free initial consultation.
Charles Johnson |
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