Houston Drug Crimes Attorney
The war against drugs isn't over. The United States government and local authorities still focus a great deal of attention on going after those they suspect of dealing in illegal drugs. But they don't always follow the rules or go by the book. Too often, the government performs illegal stops or performs invalid searches and seizures in their zeal to get evidence against a particular person. And if that person is you, you want the best criminal defense attorney you can get to handle your case.
At the David A. Breston Law Office, located in Houston, Texas, we defend our clients against all types of drug offenses in the counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Montgomery, Chambers, Liberty, Jefferson, Waller, and Walker. We look for the issues, challenging stops, warrants, searches, seizures, and any other problems that may arise in your case. We will do all we can to help you beat the charges against you or, if that is not possible, lessen the penalties imposed. Call us today to let us start helping you.
Defending clients charged with drug offenses in south Texas.
Drug Charges - An Overview
Drug charges cover a broad range of offenses, from the less severe, such as simple possession of a small amount of certain drugs, to the more serious, such as participation in an ongoing drug-related criminal enterprise or manufacturing and distributing drugs. Even minor charges can be terrifying, however, and carry the risk of serious penalties upon conviction; the more serious charges, of course, can give rise to even graver consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney can take some of the terror out of drug charges by answering questions and guiding an accused offender through the complex legal maze that awaits.
Federal Drug Charges
The United States judicial system is divided into state and federal courts. Whether a person accused of a drug-related crime is prosecuted in the federal or state criminal system depends on what laws were violated and the policies and procedures of each court system. Out of the millions of felony prosecutions filed each year, only about three percent are filed in the federal system. Often a particular criminal behavior will violate both a state and a federal law, and drug charges are no exception. In theory, the offender could be prosecuted in both systems for the same criminal activity, but in practice this rarely happens. Most federal and state prosecutors divide up criminal charges based on availability of resources, which statute most closely fits the criminal conduct, available punishment in each system, and each system's policy considerations. If accused of a drug charge, it is crucial to contact an attorney who understands both systems through long experience.
Searches and Seizures in Drug Cases
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual against unreasonable searches and seizures of his or her person or property. A search may involve an inspection of the person or his or her surroundings or property, and seizure refers to taking the person or property into police custody. Usually, but not always, if a seizure is invalid, it is because the seizure was preceded by an invalid search. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual against unreasonable searches and seizures of his or her person or property. A search may involve an inspection of the person or his or her surroundings or property, and seizure refers to taking the person or property into police custody. Usually, but not always, if a seizure is invalid, it is because the seizure was preceded by an invalid search.
The Role of the Grand Jury in Drug Cases
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution mandates that charges for all capital and "infamous" crimes be brought by an indictment returned by a grand jury. The Amendment has been interpreted to require an indictment to charge all federal felonies, including federal drug charges, unless a defendant waives his or her right to be indicted. The Supreme Court has concluded, however, that states are not bound by this part of the Fifth Amendment. Although legal counsel for the person at the center of the proceedings and for witnesses testifying in front of the grand jury cannot be in the grand jury room, an experienced criminal law attorney can provide advice outside of the presence of the jury and explain the grand jury process, taking some of the mystery and terror out of this procedure.
Why Treatment May Be Better than Incarceration for Drug Offenders
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it costs a national average of over $20,000 per year to incarcerate a criminal offender. With about 150,000 inmates currently incarcerated on drug possession charges, the United States is spending nearly $3,000,000 each year to imprison these people. Research has indicated that every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between four and seven dollars in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. With such impressive savings at stake, more courts are looking at drug treatment versus imprisonment when sentencing drug offenders. Experienced criminal law attorneys can describe the treatment options available to drug offenders in their states and push for those options instead of imprisonment.