Archive for the ‘Drug Crimes’ Category

Dallas Drug Crimes – Is Jail Time Better Than Probation?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Drug crimes come in many shapes and forms depending on the facts of each case, and the likelihood that you may serve time in jail for a particular drug conviction is entirely dependent upon how serious the allegations against you are.  Regardless of how minor or serious a drug charge may be, many convicted individuals wish to serve jail time as opposed to undergoing a long probationary period if they are ultimately found guilty.  This may seem to be a very strange viewpoint, however, some individuals have found that probation is more restricting than simply serving a jail term.  This is especially the case for some misdemeanor and felony drug convictions.

Why Some People Choose Jail Time Over Probation

Some convicted individuals believe that they should not be subjected to long-term probation for making one mistake that will never happen again.  The individuals find long-term probation to be very restrictive.  As such, serving a six month or even one year jail term in lieu of long-term probation seems like a more sensible decision to make for some than for others.  Further, undergoing a probationary period may feel as though each and every move you are making is being watched.  While you are certainly giving up some freedoms while serving a jail term, probation is a little different simply because you do have some amount of freedom, and along with freedom comes the desire for privacy.  Many individuals serving jail time believe it is much worse to be subjected to probation and have very little privacy for the next one to two years than to face a short jail term and get the entire thing over with. 

Additionally, individuals convicted of any given Dallas County drug crime may be required to undergo rehabilitation as part of a probationary period in lieu of jail time.  Even though jail time is one method of punishment, many judges would rather see individuals go through the rehabilitative process as opposed to serving a quick jail term.  Regardless of whether or not you wish to serve jail time as opposed to probation or vice versa, it is essential that you have a strong advocate by your side to represent your rights.  A solid defense will help to minimize the severity of the consequences you face, even if you are required to serve a minimal amount of jail time or undergo a probationary term.  While there may be a way to have your Dallas County drug charge dismissed or reduced so that you can avoid both jail time and probation, it is important to be prepared for any potential consequence that is associated with a drug conviction under Texas law.

 Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

 Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted in Dallas County.  While some drug charges are certainly more serious than others, there is always the potential that jail time or probation may be the ultimate punishment.  As such, it is crucial that you speak with a seasoned Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  Depending on your criminal record and the nature of the drug charge(s) you are facing, there may be alternatives available to you that may keep you out of jail and/or help you to avoid probation.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience prosecuting and defending drug crimes.  Mr. Pettit will thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case to determine what course of action to take that will be in your best benefit.  To speak with Jack Pettit about drug charges that you or a loved one is facing, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Understanding Texas Drug Crimes and the Severity of the Consequences

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Most drug crimes are prosecuted at the state level, however, if a particular drug charge relates to drugs crossing state lines in any way, you could be facing federal drug charges as well.  As the severity of a drug crime increases, the severity of the potential consequences if convicted also increases.  Many people do not take all drug charges very seriously because many people are able to avoid jail time.  However, many people are able to avoid jail time for a variety of reasons that are unique to each individual’s circumstances.

More often than not, those who avoid jail time and undergo probation are individuals charged with drug possession, or a first time offense of delivering or selling a small amount of a controlled substance.  As the drug crime becomes more dangerous and more “big hitters” are involved, the consequences of being convicted of either Texas or federal drug crimes can mean life in prison if the drug crime involves an enormous amount of drugs and the trafficking or distribution of such drugs.  Drug trafficking, and large-scale distribution are drug crimes that involve a large number of people, as large quantities of drugs are being distributed amongst drug users throughout the entire country.  In addition to drug possession, delivery, distribution and trafficking, individuals may face drug manufacturing charges that can also result in very serious consequences.

Having Your Drug Charge Dismissed

As part of reviewing any client’s case, your attorney will evaluate every single fact that is available from the police report, the way in which you were arrested and charged with the crime, whether or not you were interrogated after being arrested, and whether or not such interrogation was conducted lawfully.  The initial arrest process leading up to being charged with a crime involves a series of steps where law enforcement officials must respect your constitutional rights.  If your attorney finds evidence that your constitutional rights have been violated, then your attorney will seek dismissal of your criminal charges, as constitutional violations may result in the suppression of key evidence that was unlawfully obtained.  Regardless of innocence or guilt, if your constitutional rights were violated, and law enforcement officials would not have obtained evidence without violating your constitutional rights, then the prosecution has no case against you.

If your attorney is not able to seek dismissal of your criminal charges based on constitutional grounds, then your attorney will look for other evidentiary issues and seek a resolution of your criminal matter with the goal of reaching a result that does not involve the imposition of jail time.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Any drug-related criminal charge in Texas (whether a state or federal charge) can prove to be devastating if you are convicted and required to serve jail time.  Even as the world view on drugs such as marijuana continues to change in favor of acceptance, Texas law enforcement officials and the federal government treat marijuana-related drug charges just as seriously as cocaine, heroin and other very dangerous drugs.  Whether you have been charged with simple drug possession of a very small amount of a controlled substance, or if you have been charged with drug trafficking, among other drug charges, you need to seek legal representation right away.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than three decades of experience both prosecuting and defending drug-related criminal charges.  With the help of Jack Pettit, you will be aware of what options you have for fighting the drug charges against you, and what the potential consequences are if you are convicted.  To speak with Jack Pettit, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer : Texas Lawmakers Push Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Last year was a great year for supporters of the legalization of marijuana, with both Colorado and Washington legalizing and planning to regulate the recreational use of marijuana.  Although Texas is considered to be one of the more conservative states in this country, two lawmakers are advocating for the legalization of marijuana.  These two Democratic state representatives are planning to re-introduce marijuana legislation that will mirror much of the same legislation that was passed in Colorado and Washington.  These Texas lawmakers plan to keep pushing even though their proposal will likely not be looked upon favorably by most Texas lawmakers.

The viewpoint of these Texas state representatives is also shared by a majority of Texas citizens, with 58 percent of the Texas population supporting the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana use for adults.  Further, 61 percent of Texas citizens support the decriminalization of marijuana.  It may take Texas quite a while to join the ranks of Colorado and Washington, however, Texans who support the legalization of marijuana feel confident that one day Texas will be another state that follows the trend that is expected to flock to many other states in the next few years.

While the legalization of marijuana might not be too far off for Texans, the law as it stands treats marijuana possession fairly seriously.  Texas citizens should not assume that law enforcement officials will be lenient when it comes to marijuana possession simply because the trend in other states has pushed for legalization.  Until Texas law changes, you are at risk for criminal penalties for even the smallest amount of marijuana.

With Colorado not being too far from Texas, the influx of marijuana into Texas territory may increase as access to marijuana is easier for many Texas marijuana users.  Law enforcement officials are well aware of this possibility and are likely to crack down on the import of marijuana from Colorado and other states.  Therefore, if you are a marijuana user, you should expect that Texas law may be enforced to the fullest extent for a marijuana charge.

If you are charged with marijuana possession and do not have adequate legal representation, you could be facing jail time, hefty fines, probation and a blemish on your criminal record.  You may have trouble getting a job or being admitted to a college or university.  The negative effects of a marijuana possession charge can last for years to come.  While many employers may not take a marijuana possession charge or conviction too seriously, it is still cumbersome and stressful to know that such a charge or conviction may pop up on any background check.  To increase your chances of being able to avoid a blemished criminal record, you should seek the advice of a highly experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney who specializes in drug possession charges.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you have been charged with marijuana possession, or are facing any other drug possession charge, you need the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to fight to keep you out of jail.  While you may be able to avoid jail time and keep a marijuana charge off your record in the long run through a diversion or deferred adjudication program, you will need an attorney who has the ability to negotiate this type of arrangement.  Attorney Jack Pettit has been practicing law for over 30 years and has helped hundreds of clients avoid jail time and put drug possession charges behind them.  Mr. Pettit has the experienced required to fight your marijuana possession charge.  To speak with Mr. Pettit about your case, contact our office today at (214) 521-4567.  Mr. Pettit provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish.  We also accept major credit cards.

Texas Pretrial Diversion Program for Drug Charges

Friday, November 1st, 2013

When you are charged with drug possession, you feel as though your life has been crushed, especially if you have been caught with a very small amount of marijuana or a small amount of a controlled substance.  You have made a mistake and are unsure of just how serious the consequences may be.  You could be facing significant fines and possible jail time.  However, Texas law requires that counties with populations of 200,000 or more people establish drug court programs as a way to rehabilitate drug users as opposed to punishing them with jail time.

In Dallas, the drug court program is known as DIVERT, which means Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment.  The program allows certain individuals to go through a program that educates them about drug abuse, assists individuals in other education and employment services, and helps transition individuals into a drug-free environment.  For first time drug offenders, this option may be considered the best way out of a potentially devastating situation where you may be left with a criminal record.

What Crimes Are Eligible for Dallas County’s DIVERT Program?

Dallas County’s drug court program covers the following drug-related charges:

  • Possession of Marijuana (between five ounces and five pounds);
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (less than one gram) – this includes cocaine, ecstasy, meth-amphetamine, narcotics, etc.; and
  • Controlled Substances Obtained by Fraud (for example, if you have obtained narcotic pain medication by false means)

If you have been convicted of a prior drug offense, no matter how small, you may not be eligible for the DIVERT program, however, an attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor who charged you in order to show that there are other reasons why you should be eligible for the DIVERT program.

What Crimes Are NOT Eligible for Dallas County’s DIVERT Program?

If you have been charged with distribution or delivery of a controlled substance, a DWI offense, assault or any other prior criminal charge, you may not be eligible for the DIVERT program.  This is why it is extremely important to get stay clean after your first offense, because otherwise, you may be facing serious jail time.

What Happens After I Complete the DIVERT Program?

If you have successfully completed the DIVERT program, the charge against you, whether it was for possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance, or a small amount of marijuana, will be dismissed and will not be on your criminal record.  However, if you do not successfully complete the program, the prosecutor will pursue the original charge against you.  While a lot is at state in the DIVERT program, the process allows offenders to get their lives back on track and walk away from the program with a clean slate.

Contact Jack Pettit Today to Discuss Your Criminal Matter

If you have been charged with possession of drugs, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Attorney Jack Pettit has the skill and knowledge to seek the best resolution possible for your particular drug charge.  Depending on your criminal history, you may be eligible for programs that do not require jail time.  The worst thing you can do after being charged with a drug possession crime is to not seek the advice of an experienced attorney.  Mr. Pettit is the seasoned attorney you need to ensure you are not being overly punished for a small drug possession crime.  Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Mr. Pettit, by calling 214-521-4567.  We offer services in both English and Spanish, and also accept major credit cards.

The Hidden Legal Repercussions Associated with Facing Marijuana Charges in Texas

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Nowadays, the usage of marijuana and its associated stigma in the United States are certainly fading.  Many people find that marijuana usage should be legalized, or least, the punishments associated therewith to focus on larger-scale offenders such as marijuana farmers.   In fact, there are certain places in the United States where people who are caught with marijuana either receive a slap on the wrist or sometimes, no punishment whatsoever.  In Texas however, while some would argue that our lawmakers have “loosened up” a bit in terms of prosecuting and punishing those arrested for marijuana use, there are a number of hidden legal repercussions associated with the drug that should not be ignored.   Unfortunately, many criminal defense attorneys forget to inform their clients of this fact simply because they are outside of the scope of normal plea negotiations and typically occur months down the road.  With this in mind, it is important to consider the following before accepting a plea offer involving a conviction for marijuana possession in Texas:

  • Pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code, a personal can face an automatic license suspension or flat-out license denial with just one marijuana conviction.  While the length of time of the suspension often depends upon the circumstances, the minimum period in Texas is 180 days.   Keep in mind that Texas law further permits the Department of Public Safety to suspend a person’s license indefinitely until the person has completed a drug offender counseling and education program.
  • Being convicted of marijuana possession may affect one’s eligibility to continue to receive financial aid for school.  Back in the 1990s, Congress aimed to crack down on drug use among loan-borrowing students by prohibiting or restricting those eligible to apply who were convicted of marijuana possession.  However, the government loosened its heavy-handed approach in this regard, which at the time, prevented many qualified students from attending college.  Now, if a person is actually enrolled in school and receiving financial aid to support their education, they could face losing this funding, even with a single drug conviction.
  • When facing a marijuana possession conviction, it can be discoverable by an employer, institution of higher education, or a professional licensing board.  Over the years, I have heard of numerous people who were either denied, or their license was subject to certain probationary requirements, when trying to obtain a law or other type of professional license due to a  previous drug conviction – even one that is 20 or plus years old!  Moreover, it is important to also consider that some jobs and institutions of higher learning (such as law school, medical school, numerous undergraduate schools, etc.) take drug possession convictions more seriously than others.

If you are interested in learning more about the above, or are facing marijuana possession charges in Texas, contact Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at 214-521-4567.  For over three decades, Dallas criminal defense attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals throughout the City and County of Dallas facing all types of drug-related offenses – no matter how challenging or complex.  Don’t wait to obtain the representation you deserve – call our office today for the legal help you need!

Arrests for Marijuana Possession are Increasing in Texas

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Despite the recent legislative push in the United States to legalize marijuana, it seems like everywhere you turn, people are being arrested for the possession of this popular drug.  In fact, the number of people arrested for possession of marijuana in Texas and across the nation is being tracked by the FBI, who has released some startling statistics in this regard.  According to a report issued by the FBI, there were 1.5 million arrests for drug possession in the United States in 2011 with about 750,000 of them involving the possession of marijuana.  Upon further review of these numbers, this amounts to approximately one arrest per every 42 seconds in the U.S.

If you believe that these numbers are alarming, you are certainly not alone.  Critics of the nation’s war against drugs say that the large proportion of marijuana related arrests evince the failure of our current drug policies and laws.  Additionally, advocates for legalizing marijuana in the U.S., including former drug enforcement officers, feel that taxpayers are being unfairly stuck with fronting the bill to lock up low level drug offenders.  Such offenders include those that are caught with and arrested for having minimal amounts of marijuana in their possession.

Although some states have proposed legalizing marijuana, Texas maintains a strong stance against those that use, possess or distribute the drug.   Under Texas law, those arrested for marijuana possession could face harsh monetary fines, the suspension of their driver’s license, and even jail time, depending upon the amount of drugs uncovered.  Moreover, having drug related charges on your record can cause other serious consequences, such as difficulty finding gainful employment, being barred from attending reputable educational institutions and more.  Additionally, Marijuana possession in Texas is at least a misdemeanor criminal charge under the law. Although many minor possession charges can be addressed with minimal consequences, more serious felony level charges that include large quantities of marijuana can be much more severe.

If you are facing drug possession charges in Texas, it is important to work with an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney to help you fight for your rights.  Drug charges are no laughing matter and require the most skilled and sophisticated legal representation available.  For over three decades, attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals dealing with all types of drug related charges.

If you would like to speak to Mr. Pettit about your felony or misdemeanor charges, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567.  We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.