Texas Plays Hard Ball on Drug Crimes

By Brock Benjamin
Founding Attorney

Q: Does a prior offense impact a subsequent drug-related arrest?

Being charged with a drug-related crime in Texas is serious whether the charges are on the state or federal level because the potential penalties upon conviction are generally severe and the prosecutors are ever vigilant. It doesn’t matter if you are poor or a wealthy baseball player. This is especially true if there is a prior record.

Retaining a skilled El Paso criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between an acquittal and life in prison, or something in between, depending on the particular case. 

Types of drug-related charges in Texas

Drug-related criminal charges include possessing, distributing, growing, manufacturing or selling various types of dangerous controlled substances. There are at least nine different categories of intoxicating, sedating, hallucinogenic or stimulating substances with new varieties being created on an ongoing basis. For example, cocaine and methamphetamine are categorized as stimulants, while heroin and oxycodone are opioids.

Criminal defense law regarding drug possession is particularly complex. Sentences vary based on the type and quantity of the drug and whether you’re being prosecuted on the state or federal level. For example, the potential sentences for a state-based simple possession will vary from a federal case of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance–with the latter being punishable by up to life in prison.

Hiring a Board-certified criminal lawyer recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization–with former prosecutor experience and a track record of success–may be your best bet at the most favorable outcome for your situation.

Reasons to hire a drug criminal defense attorney quickly 

Things move quickly in drug arrests and without a skilled attorney in your corner immediately, certain defense opportunities may be lost and your case could be jeopardized. Examples of early actions a defense attorney may take under certain circumstances include:

  • challenging bond recommendations to gain insight into the strength of the case against you; 
  • filing motions to suppress evidence obtained unlawfully through traffic stops, drug sniffing dogs, improper search warrants, wiretaps and more;
  • addressing and evaluating prior criminal history that might enhance penalties upon conviction of the current charges.

After reportedly being convicted of reckless driving following a 2006 drunk driving arrest and receiving a three-year probationary sentence, a major league baseball player whose career spanned 14 years and over a half dozen teams (including a stint in Texas) found himself in trouble with the law again. 

In 2018 after reportedly being under surveillance near the Mexican border, he was pulled over and subject to drug dog sniffing, after which a search warrant was executed for a house that he was en route to at the time he was stopped and that was rented in his name. Reportedly, “20 packages of cocaine were found in a car in the garage”. After a reported plea agreement, he is “serving three years in prison for felony cocaine possession with intent to distribute” and will be deported to his native Mexico upon release. 

If you have been arrested or expect to be charged with a crime, the criminal defense experts at the Benjamin Law Firm can help you. Contact us today for a consultation. 

From our office in El Paso, we provide first-rate legal representation to clients throughout Texas including El Paso County, Anthony, Clinton, Horizon, and San Elizario.

About the Author
Brock Benjamin is board-certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  His practice is primarily state and federal criminal law and appeals.Brock 

Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense