It’s a scenario that isn’t hard to imagine. You drive to pick up a friend of yours needing a ride, and with the radio blaring, roll through a stop sign. A police officer sees this and immediately pulls over your car. After looking at you and your passenger up and down, he asks you to get out of the car on suspicion of marijuana possession. You know you don’t have anything on you, but you’re not so sure about your friend. Turns out, they have a small bag of marijuana on them. Since marijuana is illegal in Texas, law enforcement puts you in handcuffs and makes an arrest. The San Antonio drug crimes lawyer at The Law Office of Guillermo Lara Jr. explains what steps you should take when police you have been arrested for marijuana, and your defenses if the marijuana was not yours.
Unfortunately, Texas law is unreasonably harsh to those charged with even simple possession of a small amount of a narcotic. Importantly, in cases of drug possession, law enforcement is required to prove intentional or knowing possession of the substance in question. In the example above, police may claim that you picked up your friend with the intention of using marijuana and that the possession of the drug in your car was known and allowed by you. Of course, you know that this is not true.
What Can I Do If I Am Charged With Marijuana Possession?
According to data, in 2010, 97% of the 78,000 people arrested for marijuana were done for marijuana possession. Each of these people faced penalties, including:
- 180 days in jail
- $2,000 fine
- 180-day driver’s license suspension
What about when the drugs are not yours? That’s when you work with an experienced San Antonio criminal attorney. A lawyer like Guillermo Lara Jr. can help show the court that you should not be held accountable for constructive possession. Constructive possession is what the court will accuse you of when you do not physically have control of the drug, but you know that it is on your property or have the ability to control it. However, just because you may be near a drug does not mean that you have the capacity to possess it.
In many instances, it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove constructive possession. Remember, it must be shown that you had knowledge of the drugs being around you, and without that knowledge, you are innocent. When you have been accused of marijuana possession in San Antonio, our lawyer stands by your side. With years of experience fighting for the rights of the accused across Bexar County, The Law Office of Guillermo Lara Jr. is dedicated to supporting you.