Austin Drug Case Defense Lawyer in Georgetown, TX
Whether your Austin drug charges are federal or state, Georgetown, Tx Board Certified Criminal Lawyer Russ Hunt, Jr. has the legal experience necessary to protect your interests and freedom.
Facing drug charges in Travis county is a terrifying and unenviable situation, whether you are being charged by the state or at the federal level. In Austin, Tx, drug charges can be harshly penalized, including jail time, hefty fines, extensive counseling requirements, and routine drug testing, which can be especially difficult for those who are struggling with addiction.
A conviction for a drug offense can seriously affect other, unconnected aspects of your life:
- Potential employers may be hesitant to hire you if you have drug convictions,
- Landlords and others may discriminate against anyone who is perceived to be involved with drugs or who has a conviction on their record,
- You will lose your driver's license if you are convicted of a drug offense
- If you're convicted of a felony offense, you can face added challenges due to your status as a convicted felon
- Under some circumstances a drug conviction can result in loss of federal benefits for a number of years.
For these reasons and many others, it's vital that you trust your drug crimes case to an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Russ Hunt, Jr. Russ has the knowledge and experience required to help you fight your drug charges, whether the charges are with state prosecutors or you've found yourself in federal court. An attorney experienced in defending drug crimes will help maximize your chances of seeing a positive case outcome. Even if you are faced with overwhelming evidence against you, Russ will work with prosecutors and the courts to help you secure a more favorable plea deal or less severe penalties.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Georgetown or the Austin area, Russ can help. Russ is a tough, experienced Georgetown, Tx criminal defense lawyer who has developed a reputation for experience and excellence. To learn if he can put his experience to work for you, please contact Russ today by returning the contact form or by calling 512-930-0860 .
Travis County Drug Charges FAQ's
- How are different drugs classified in Texas criminal laws?
- Is my charge a misdemeanor or felony?
- What is the Texas law defining "possession"?
- What is simple possession vs possession with intent to distribute or deliver?
- Will I lose my driver's license if I get a drug conviction in Texas?
- How will hiring a criminal lawyer help me to reduce or eliminate the drug charges against me?
Drug charges can leave you feeling embarrassed, frightened and uncertain about the future, so it's important to trust your case to an experienced drug crimes attorney who is familiar with the Texas drug laws surrounding cases involving everything from drug possession (including illegal possession of a prescription drug), possession with intent to distribute, drug trafficking or other related offense. Russ works with his clients to answer their questions and address their concerns, and believes that it's important for everyone to understand the legal process. Knowing what to expect reduces the fear and stress involved with the criminal process, So here are answers to some of the most common questions that we have addressed with folks like you.
How Does Texas Classify Drugs?
Russ has experience defending clients who are accused in Travis county of offenses involving the six controlled substance groups, which include a separate group exclusively for marijuana.
The five groups of controlled substances in Texas are:
- Group 1 – This group includes heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine and GHB;
- Group 1A – This group includes LSD;
- Group 2 – This group includes PCP, mescaline, ecstasy, and “cannabis resinous extracts” such as hashish;
- Group 3 – This group includes Valium, Xanax, and Ritalin;
- Group 4 – This group includes anything that contains pyrovalerone, buprenorphine, motofen or dionine.
- Marijuana – Marijuana is classified independently, although “cannabis resinous extracts” are classified separately in Group 2.
Is My Charge a Misdemeanor or Felony?
Travis County drug crimes may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony depending upon factors such as:
- the nature of the substance and its Group classification;
- the amount of the substance;
- the manner in which the substance was packaged; and
- whether paraphernalia, large sums of cash or evidence of sale (or intent to sell) is present.
Misdemeanor drug crimes in State court vary significantly in terms of severity.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia is a class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500.
- Cases involving 28 grams or less of a Group 3 or Group 4 substance, are class A misdemeanor, with up to one year in county jail and a fine up to $4,000.
- Cases involving less than 4 ounces of Marijuana are misdemeanors: a "usable quantity" up to 2 ounces is a class B misdemeanor, with up to six months in jail and between 2 and 4 ounces is a class A misdemeanor.
Felony drug crimes in state court are classified depending on the amount and type of drugs involved:
- The most serious drug charges – such as a drug possession case involving 8,000+ units of a substance classified in Group 1A would be an enhanced first-degree felony. This type of conviction would carry a maximum sentence of 15 to 99 years in state prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000.
- The least serious felony drug possession charges may carry mandatory probation sentences.
Federal drug crimes are punished very differently:
- Simple possession of even hard drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail or five years' probation.
- Federal laws have a multitude of different drug distribution-related charges, which can be punished very harshly
- Federal sentencing is based on guidelines that required the judge to take into account factors like leadership, drug quantities, use of weapons, and typically results in harsh punishment
Whether you're being charged in state or federal court, it's imperative to trust your defense to an experienced drug defense lawyer.
What is Texas Law on Drug Possession?
According to Texas law, drug possession is defined as being in "care, custody or control" of a drug.
Many different actions can be construed as possession, but the evidence still must link you to the drugs somehow. These actions will probably result in a drug charge:
- Physically holding the drug in your hand;
- Having the drug in your pocket;
- Keeping a drug in your purse or backpack; or
- Having control and access to an area where drugs are discovered.
Remember though that there still has to be evidence of "affirmative links" to tie you to the drugs. Merely being present in a place where drugs may be located is not enough for conviction. Examples of these links are:
- Having the drugs in your wallet with your ID
- Having the drugs in your backpack which also contains documents in your name
- The drugs being in open view and within your reach
It is also possible for multiple people to possess the same drugs at the same time, or for a person to be in "constructive possession" of drugs that someone else is holding for them.
How does Simple Possession Differ from Possession With Intent to Sell?
Possession of drugs with intent to sell increases the base possession offense to the next higher punishment category. This is because the courts recognize that individuals who have drug use problems may be victims of their circumstances to some extent, and the system wants to reach those people and treat their addiction or use problems. On the other hand, people categorized as "drug dealers" are seen as being the source of the problem. Many people who sell drugs also have drug problems themselves and may be selling in order to fuel their own habits, which is a factor that an experienced criminal defense attorney may use to try and mitigate the punishment in a given case.
"Simple Possession" refers to relatively small, "personal use" amounts of a drug. A number of factors may convince the police or prosecutors that a larger quantity was for sale rather than personal use, such as:
- Substantial quantity of drugs
- Possession of packaging materials such as multiple small baggies
- Possession of large sums of cash, especially in small denominations
- Possession of sales paraphernalia like digital scales
- Possession of documents appearing to be "drug ledgers" which list quantities and amounts of often unspecified or code-talk items are very suspicious to investigators.
First-time offenders possessing relatively small amounts of drugs for personal use will generally be able to get probation or an alternative sentence including drug treatment and counseling, but individuals who are convicted of possession with intent to sell will almost always face far harsher penalties, which will probably include county or state jail time or possibly prison.
Will I Lose My Driver's License If I Get a Drug Conviction?
Any individual who is convicted of any drug crime will lose their driver's license for 180 days. In order to get their license back they will be required to complete a 15-hour Drug Education Program.
Also importantly, possession of drug paraphernalia carries a driver's license suspension.
How will hiring a criminal defense lawyer help eliminate or decrease drug charges?
Drug charges can range from a minor misdemeanor, fine-only offense all the way up to a serious felony with penalties that include jail or prison time, fines, and probation. With the help a criminal defense lawyer, you can receive legal advice and possibly avoid conviction. An experienced attorney will defend you in court and provide you options to ensure the best results.
A drug possession conviction can prevent future employment opportunities and interfere with many aspects of your life. Get the legal help you need to help you avoid the severe penalties associated with drug convictions.
Russ can also help you find other resources, like rehab or counseling programs, which may help convince the judge and prosecutor that you don't need to be prosecuted in the criminal justice system.
Georgetown, Tx Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Russ Hunt Jr. Will Protect Your Freedom
If you or someone you love has been charged with a state or federal drug related offense in Travis county, it is essential that you discuss your case in detail with an experienced defense attorney.
Russ Hunt, Jr. is known for creative and understanding representation.
Schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation.
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