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Category Archives: Drug Crime

Drugs3

Drug Possession Defense In Texas: Understanding Your Legal Rights

By Keith B. French Law |

Despite changing public attitudes toward possession of certain drugs, particularly marijuana, law enforcement and prosecutors still take these crimes seriously in Texas. Each year, over 100,000 arrests are made in Texas for drug possession crimes – almost half of those for marijuana alone. Nationwide, more people are arrested for drug possession crimes each year… Read More »

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Arrested5

Can A Judge “Infer” Evidence Was False Based On A State Actor’s History Of Misconduct?

By Keith B. French Law |

There was a major scandal in the Texas criminal justice system back in 2012, when it was discovered that a lab technician at the state’s Department of Public Safety had been falsifying reports in drug cases. Essentially, the lab technician had been using samples from one case to generate data in another case. This… Read More »

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Police2

How Police Use Traffic Stops As A Pretext To Gather Evidence Of Other Possible Crimes

By Keith B. French Law |

Traffic stops are often a pretext used by police because they suspect the driver may be guilty of a more serious offense, such as drunk driving or possession of a controlled substance. Even when the traffic stop is a pretext, however, there must still be an actual traffic violation. Put another way, if the… Read More »

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Scales

Can A Texas Judge Reject A Plea Bargain?

By Keith B. French Law |

Most criminal cases in Texas do not go to trial. Instead, the district attorney and the defendant negotiate a plea agreement. With a plea bargain, the defendant normally agrees to plead guilty (or “no contest”) to a specified charge. In exchange, the district attorney agrees to a recommended sentence. The final agreement is then… Read More »

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Judge

Can Judges “Stack” Sentences For Multiple Crimes Tried Together?

By Keith B. French Law |

It is fairly common for prosecutors to charge a defendant with multiple criminal offenses arising from the same act or “episode.” Under Texas law, when the defendant is tried and convicted of multiple offenses in a single trial, the sentences must normally run concurrently. This rule also applied to situations where the defendant was… Read More »

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CriminalDefense

Why The Location Of A Drug Crime Is Often A Critical Detail

By Keith B. French Law |

Sometimes where an alleged crime takes place is just as important as the crime itself. There are many criminal statutes that provide enhanced penalties based on location–or, more precisely, the proximity of a crime to a specific type of building or facility. For example, a person convicted of possessing a controlled substance (illegal drugs)… Read More »

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Crime3

Court Of Criminal Appeals Tosses Drug Conviction Due To State’s Botching Of The Evidence

By Keith B. French Law |

Texas has very complex drug laws. Basically, state law divides all controlled substances into different penalty groups. Penalty Group 1 is the most serious group and results in longer sentences than substances in the lower groups. On top of that, a given substance may fall within a different penalty group based on its use… Read More »

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CrimDef10

How The “Plain View Doctrine” Helps Police In Drug Cases

By Keith B. French Law |

A police officer does not always need a search warrant to look for and seize evidence of a possible crime. Under a judicial rule known as the “plain view doctrine,” an officer who is lawfully present at a location may seize an item that is in plain view–i.e., it is not hidden or concealed–and… Read More »

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DrugCrime2

What Is The “Plain View” Exception?

By Keith B. French Law |

In most situations, the police are not allowed to search your property–including your vehicle–without first obtaining your consent or a warrant. There are, however, circumstances where the courts permit warrantless searches. Or to put it another way, there are cases where evidence against you may be admissible in a criminal trial even though the… Read More »

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Drugs3

Does Mental Illness Render A Defendant Incompetent To Stand Trial?

By Keith B. French Law |

There is sometimes a misconception regarding a person’s “mental competency” to stand trial for a criminal offense. In Texas, the legal standard is that a person is incompetent if they lack “sufficient present ability to consult with [their] counsel with a reasonable degree of understanding, or a rational as well as factual understanding of… Read More »

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