Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers
Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
San Antonio, Texas
In Texas, depending on the amount in question, accompanying paraphernalia, or the circumstances of the law enforcement contact, possession of scheduled controlled substances or narcotics could lead to a drug trafficking charge. If this happens, your life can change forever the moment you’re arrested.
State and federal laws punish drug offenses harshly, especially when they involve the sale or distribution of drugs for commercial gain. A drug trafficking offense typically involves manufacturing, selling, transporting, or distributing illegal drugs, including but not limited to cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and ecstasy.
If you have been arrested for drug trafficking, contact Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC in San Antonio, Texas. We will meet with you to review the charges you’re facing and any aspects of your case that may be in your favor. We focus our entire practice on criminal defense and know how to fight even the toughest drug charges. Let us strive to achieve the best outcome for you, whether in or outside the courtroom.
What is Drug Trafficking?
For years, Texas has been plagued by drug trafficking due to the constant influx of drugs from Mexico and the many ports in the state. Now in addition to more traditional trafficking offenses, law enforcement is also on the lookout for marijuana and marijuana derived controlled substances coming into Texas from bordering states where they have been legalized. There are significant penalties associated with drug trafficking charges, so you should know how the law defines it.
Texas Drug Trafficking Charges
In Texas, drug trafficking is defined as the deliberate sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or possession of a controlled substance or illegal drug. There is a wide range of punishments for drug trafficking convictions, with the penalties being higher when the drug volume is higher or the substance is considered more dangerous.
- According to Texas Health and Safety Code (481.112), delivering cocaine weighing under one gram is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a sentence of 180 days to two years in prison. A penalty of 15 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000 can be imposed for delivering over 400 grams of cocaine.
- In Texas, trafficking up to seven grams of marijuana in its plant form, is a misdemeanor punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. The sale of seven grams to five pounds is a felony that can send you to prison for one year and result in a $4,000 fine. Selling any amount to a minor is a felony that can result in two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. However, the controlled substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) derived from Marijuana, the plant Cannabis sativa L., is classified as a controlled substance and as such is punishable as a felony in any amount. The punishment increases to a possible term of confinement of 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $50,000 if the amount possessed, including adulterants or dilutants, is 400 grams or more. This can be especially concerning with regards to edibles containing THC when you consider that the typical 5cm x 7cm brownie weighs in at 70 grams.
Under Texas law, to be convicted of drug trafficking, the prosecutor must prove that the person knowingly manufactured, delivered, or possessed with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. A San Antonio Texas drug trafficking defense lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s case with the goal of getting the charges reduced or even dismissed.
Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
For drug crimes, federal penalties are generally harsher than those imposed by states. The penalties for a federal drug trafficking offense can be steep, with even a single charge potentially carrying a multimillion-dollar fine. The following federal sentencing guidelines apply to drug offenses:
- 10 years to life in prison: If you traffic one kilo of heroin, five kilos of cocaine, 50 grams of methamphetamine, 10 grams of LSD, or 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, you may be subject to this sentence.
- Five years to 40 years in prison: If you traffic one gram of LSD, five grams of methamphetamine, 100 grams of heroin, 500 grams of cocaine, or 100 kilos of marijuana, you may be sentenced to decades in prison.
- Up to five years in prison: Even a single marijuana plant, 30 milligrams of Flunitrazepam, or certain Schedule III drugs can bring significant prison time.
Individuals are often charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Under the law of conspiracy, a person may be convicted even though they were not found in possession of the substance, so long as there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they agreed to assist others in the drug trafficking scheme.
Drug trafficking convictions are generally public record, so they can affect your life even after you have served any sentence imposed by the court. A conviction can result in the following collateral issues:
- Having difficulty finding a job
- Exclusion from certain federal benefits
- Having difficulty finding an apartment to rent
- Having trouble getting financing approved
- Your reputation within your community suffers significant damage
If you have been accused of drug trafficking in San Antonio, a criminal defense attorney can assist you. Before you make any statement to the police, call Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC to ensure that your rights are protected.
Are There Any Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges?
Many drug cases occur after the police search a person’s vehicle or home. As such, a strong knowledge of search and seizure law generally originating under the 4th amendment is a requisite for representing people charged with drug trafficking offenses. It’s important to remember that because each case and the facts and factors associated with it are different it is almost impossible to provide hard and fast rules relating to the exact defenses or defensive strategy a defendant should pursue from the outset. However, as an example the following are several defenses a drug trafficking lawyer may want to consider in your case:
An experienced drug trafficking lawyer may also be able to use the following defenses:
- A mistake of fact, you had no idea you possessed illegal drugs
- The drugs were legitimately in your possession (i.e. you had a prescription or were authorized to distribute them)
- The evidence seized was not a controlled substance according to the law
An attorney can be of great help even if there are no legal defenses available. Criminal cases are typically resolved through a plea bargain process, where a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offense or to the original offense for which they were charged in exchange for lenient sentence recommendations from the prosecutor. However, this legal process generally involves negotiation, which is best handled by a San Antonio drug trafficking defense lawyer.
Why Should I Hire Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC for My Drug Trafficking Defense Case?
If you face decades in prison due to drug trafficking charges, you cannot afford to hire a lawyer who lacks experience. An experienced San Antonio drug trafficking defense lawyer understands the intricacies of the criminal justice system as well as the penalties that could apply in your case and uses that knowledge to advocate for the best outcome.
As soon as you hire us, we begin crafting our defense strategy. Our next steps in your case will be:
- Fighting to obtain your release from jail on bail if you are currently in custody
- Carefully investigating your case to identify any holes or discrepancies in the prosecution’s case, and obtaining any exculpatory evidence that can help you
- Taking every possible step to challenge the prosecution’s evidence, including the methods used to obtain physical evidence and the credibility of any witnesses
- Developing an effective defense strategy based on the results of our investigation and our own witnesses
- Protecting your rights at every stage, including in negotiations with the prosecution and at trial
Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC offers our clients both the experience and personalized support they deserve when facing state and federal drug trafficking charges. Get in touch with our offices today for a confidential consultation with a San Antonio Texas drug trafficking defense lawyer who will be by your side throughout the entire criminal process.
Arrested? Call a San Antonio Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer Immediately!
A person who is convicted of drug trafficking may be looking at years in federal or state prison, substantial fines, probation, supervised release, restitution, and a felony record. If you are facing drug trafficking charges, it is of utmost importance that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to put forth the best possible defense to the charges. To schedule a free consultation with a San Antonio Texas drug trafficking defense attorney at Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC, call (210) 202-1076 or contact us online.