Criminal Defense: Defending Against Drug Possession

It is easy to assume that the men and women in blue are the righteous, law-abiding officers that they should be. However, as a great fictional uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

There are some people in positions of power who abuse their titles and don’t necessary uphold the law but, rather exploit their command of it. Such is the defense that can be taken with the criminal charge of drug possession, according to the website of criminal attorney Mark Lassiter. There have been some cases wherein the evidence was illegally seized. You, as a natural person, are protected by your constitutional rights and should the police violate these rights, it is a viable defense for drug possession. However, any criminal defense attorney will tell you that it is sheer folly to defend yourself in a court of law.

It can be quite the brutal battle field, court room debacles, and legal practitioners speak in a language that is all their own and, if you are not properly represented, you could lose everything – and more. Drug possession, in some countries, is taken so seriously that they practice capital punishment and execution when the accused is found guilty. It might not be quite so severe in this part of the world but the consequences of drug possession are life altering all the same – and not in the good way. Educational and professional opportunities will be suddenly closed to you; you must now live with the stigma of the conviction attached to your shadow and even your family’s reputation. Simply paying the fines and believing the conviction to lose its potency on your reputation is a false interpretation of how the world works. It will be a permanent part of your identity and it can never be expunged.

Therefore, it is recommended that should you or someone you know be accused of drug possession, it is of the utmost importance to contact specialized legal help immediately.

Texas Law on Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile offenders are typically treated differently from adult offenders because they are presumed to have an incomplete or inadequate appreciation of the gravity of their actions when they commit a crime. For example, if a 10-year-old hits a playmate during an argument, it is unlikely that the child will be charged with assault.

However, juvenile offenders, especially habitual ones, do not get off with a warning and a slap on the wrist for serious crimes such as theft or sexual assault. In Texas, juvenile offenders between the age of 10 and 16 are turned over to Texas Juvenile Justice Department if it is necessary for the protection of others and to prevent further criminals acts from being carried out by the child. A criminal defense lawyer in Dallas will be quick to point out that children below 10 years old are not held accountable at all.

From this point on, the process becomes much more complicated. While a juvenile is given the same rights as an adult defendant, because it is a child who is being taken into custody, there are restrictions about how they are handled within the system. And while a child may not actually go to prison, their records will show that they have been adjudicated for delinquent conduct or “conduct in need of supervision” which will be reflected in their juvenile records. Some may be remanded to “juvy” homes designed to treat habitual delinquents.

Parents make decisions for that child and have rights of access, and they can choose to fight criminal charges instead of accepting probation or paying a fine. This would be advisable especially if it is a first offense, no matter how minor the charge, because paying a fine or accepting probation indicates an admission of guilt can reflect on the child for a long time after the fact.

When your child is facing charges as a juvenile, don’t think that it will eventually go away. Juvenile records are sealed, but not deleted, so anyone with the proper authority can have access to them which may have undesirable consequences on your child in the future. To avoid the need for fear or expunction, get a criminal defense lawyer to handle the case and help you fight the charges.

Minors and DWI or DUI Charges

It’s tough being a minor if you have a penchant for alcohol. While 21 is the legal age for drinking alcohol, a minor can drink if on private premises or in a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol as long as they are chaperoned by an adult i.e. parent, spouse, or guardian.

There was a time when the legal drinking age was 18. After all, the legal voting age in the US is 18, so if you can vote for the people who will run the country, surely you should be considered responsible enough to drink a couple of beers. But when the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984 in reaction to the increase in drunk driving fatalities, it stipulated that the federal drinking age was 21. Several states followed suit in the same year, but with the previously mentioned exceptions.

When charged with drunk driving, the age is important because it can spell the difference between a driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI or DUII). DWI typically carries heavier penalties than DUI, and DUIs are reserved for defendants who are under the age of 21. However, even less serious offenses are still serious and should not be taken lightly. Furthermore, a minor can still be charged with DWI/DUII if they are indeed impaired while driving when apprehended.

According to the website of an experienced attorney Ian Inglis, a DUI charge is typically given when a minor has any detectable alcohol in the system, meaning you can be charged even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit of .08 if you are a minor. BUT, it is also an offense to merely have possession of alcohol in the vehicle even if you are not driving or drinking.

If charged with DUI or DWI, you could be facing a suspension of your license for a minimum of 30 days, fines, and a black mark on your record. Consult with a lawyer in the area specializing in criminal defense of alcohol-related offenses to handle your case.