How do criminal defense attorneys defend the passenger in a vehicle where illegal drugs are found? If someone is arrested while being the passenger in a vehicle where illegal drugs are found, do they have to plead guilty? A high quality aggressive criminal defense attorney can use the facts of a drug possession case to get a person’s case dismissed.
If a passenger is charged with possession it presents a number of legal issues that need to be examined by a board certified criminal defense attorney. The passenger charged with possession needs to find his/her own defense attorney to represent their interests. It may be tempting to hire the same lawyer as the driver of the vehicle, but don’t do it. You have conflicting interests and you should have separate attorneys.
A passenger can be charged with possession of an illegal drug if drugs are found in the vehicle. In Texas, the determination is made based on whether or not you have care, custody and control of the contraband in question. If two people share a space, then the state has to show that the contraband in question has an affirmative link to one or both of those people in order to get a conviction on the case.
For example, if drugs are found in the glove box or the center console of a vehicle and both people in the vehicle admit to having known that the substance was there, then both individuals might have an affirmative link to the drugs and could therefore both be charged. If the same scenario occurs with the exception that both the driver and passenger deny having had any knowledge of the drugs being in the car, then the driver is in a little bit of a worse position. Since the driver is considered to have control of the vehicle, the state could argue that the vehicle belongs to him, and that’s enough of an affirmative link. However, the state may not have enough evidence to establish an affirmative link between the passenger and the contraband. In those circumstances, the passenger’s case could be dismissed, or else we could try the case and blame the driver for the contraband.
If officers want to search a home that belongs to you, then you have the right to require that they obtain a warrant for the search. If the home does not belong to you, then you do not have standing, so it doesn’t matter whether or not you consent to the search. However, the state would still have to prove an affirmative link between you and whatever contraband they found.
The federal court system does not recognize the affirmative link defense. Conspiracies (which are defined as two or more people working together to achieve an illegal act) are dealt with much more frequently in federal court than they are in state court. For example, if drugs are found in a home while a guest was staying at the home, then the prosecutor could argue that the guest was conspiring with the owner of the house. In those cases, we would argue that the guest did not willingly or knowingly participate in the conspiracy, which is something that the state would have to prove.
Are There Any Alternative Programs Available For First Time Drug Offenders In Texas?
If a person receives a charge in Bexar County and they have no criminal record, then they can apply for a pre-trial diversion program. We help our clients complete whatever is necessary in order for them to qualify for the pre-trial diversion program. Successful completion of the program will allow a person to get their case dismissed and be eligible for an expunction. There is also the option of community supervision (which is also known as probation), as well as deferred adjudication for drug crimes that do not involve deadly weapons. However, these options result in convictions, and that is what we try to avoid.
The San Antonio drug courts are notoriously strict. Before we get someone qualified for drug court, we want to make sure that they’re ready to go. One of the conversations that I have with my drug crime clients has to do with the drug issue at hand. It’s important for people to realize that even if they don’t think they have a drug issue, everyone will believe they do once they have been arrested for a drug crime. I discuss the need for them to stop using drugs, as well as the options that will help them to do so.
Once a person has been arrested, they can either address the drug issue themselves, or they can have it addressed for them. If it is addressed for them, it is usually done through the court system in an in-custody treatment program called Safety to Substance Abuse Prevention. During the time that a person is in this program, they are in custody and removed from their friends and family.
For more information on Being Charged With A Drug Offense, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (210) 361-3113 today.