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Houston Texas Criminal Defense Blog

Drugs worth $4.8 million discovered during traffic stop

Media outlets in Texas have reported that officers from the Austin Police Department discovered 50 pounds of methamphetamine, six pounds of heroin and 82 pounds of cocaine during a routine traffic stop in Travis County on the afternoon of July 10. The drugs are said to have a street value of about $4.8 million. A 43-year-old Weslaco man was taken into custody in connection with the narcotics haul. The man has been charged with three first-degree felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance and faces decades in prison if convicted. Reports indicate that he was transported to the Travis County Jail for processing and his bail has been set at $300,000.

According to a police report, the man's pickup truck was traveling northbound on Interstate 35 in the vicinity of the Onion Creek Parkway when an APD officer pulled it over after noticing that it did not have a front license plate. The officer says that he became suspicious when the man behind the wheel produced an expired Tennessee driver's license and made contradictory statements about his travel plans. The man is then said to have consented to a search of his vehicle.

When can you refuse to answer police questioning?

Interacting with police is not always simple to navigate, especially in the current social climate where civilians and police are often at great odds. Additionally, many civilians are unclear exactly what the law has to say about protecting individual rights when interacting with law enforcement, particularly when it comes to answering questions or remaining silent.

We are probably all familiar with the general concept of "pleading the Fifth" and remaining silent when questioned in a courtroom scenario, as this aspect of individual rights is well represented in pop culture, from sketch comedy to police procedurals, and everything in between. What many civilians do not know, however, is that they generally enjoy the right to refuse to speak to police in most instances.

Drug-induced homicide laws becoming more common

As the country's opioid crisis becomes more widespread, many states, such as Texas, are starting to blame others when an opioid overdose death occurs. This means that the drug dealer who sold the user the drugs that resulted in the overdose, the user's friends and even his or her relatives could face legal consequences following a fatal overdose.

Drug-induced homicide laws in some states allow authorities to hold someone responsible for an overdose death. Although the laws in most states were designed to just hold the drug dealer responsible, some law enforcement agencies are beginning to bring charges against other users who might have been sharing drugs with the person who died. When an overdose death occurs, many law enforcement agencies treat the scene as a crime scene by recording any potential evidence of criminal activity.

Texas Republican platform endorses decriminalization of marijuana

The Republican party of Texas has given its support to the decriminalization of marijuana by voting to include it in its official platform. In addition to supporting the decriminalization of marijuana, the party also voted to expand support for medical cannabis and support industrial hemp. The vote came at the Texas Republican convention on June 16.

The party's new position on marijuana reform includes changing possession of less than 1 ounce from a criminal offense to a civil offense with no jail time. Additionally, the party supports expanding an existing state law that gives patients access to medical cannabis and removing cannabis from the federal Class 1 drug classification. The party platform also endorses industrial hemp as a valuable commodity.

Man arrested after trespassing, crawling into homeowners' bed

A Texas man is facing multiple charges after being found inside a stranger's home on June 2. The incident took place in Nacogdoches at approximately 1:45 a.m.

The Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department said that the defendant, age 38, entered a residence on CR 805, made his way to the master bedroom and crawled into bed with the owners of the home. The owners woke up and called the authorities. A deputy arrived at the scene and tried to coax the defendant out of the house. However, he allegedly became combative and began to struggle. At that point, he was placed under arrest.

Up to 6 percent of convicted prisoners could be innocent

Texas readers would like to believe that the U.S. justice system always gets convictions right. However, a new study suggests that around 6 percent of all prisoners could be innocent of the crimes they were accused of. The study was published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology in April.

Two researchers at Penn State University noted that DNA evidence eventually exonerates between 3 and 5 percent of those convicted of capital crimes like rape and murder, but there was no estimate available for how many people were wrongly convicted of less serious crimes. To rectify the gap in information, the pair surveyed almost 3,000 state prisoners in Pennsylvania. The survey asked a range of questions, including the prisoner's age, their feelings about the crime they were convicted of committing and whether they felt they were wrongfully convicted.

Defending against domestic violence charges

When you face domestic violence charges, you must choose your response very carefully. Domestic violence convictions not only affect your freedoms, they may also impact your reputation in devastating ways.

It is crucial to choose your defense carefully. The legal grounds you can use for your defense may vary greatly depending on the nature of the allegations against you, but it is necessary to begin building this defense as soon as you can, to protect your rights and freedoms.

Texas couple charged after traffic stop

Two officers in Ballinger pulled over a vehicle at about 12:45 a.m. on May 7. The vehicle was occupied by a couple who said that they were returning home from Colorado. When officers approached the vehicle, they claimed that there was an odor of marijuana coming from it. This prompted them to conduct a search of the vehicle, and they reportedly discovered a cooler that had more than 1.3 kilograms of THC in it.

In addition, the couple allegedly had 13 ounces of marijuana in their possession at the time of the traffic stop. As a result of the traffic stop, the couple each faces two felony counts. One is a first-degree count of possessing more than 400 grams of a controlled substance while the other is a possession of marijuana charge. Each individual received bond of $200,000. Local police say that those going to Colorado should remember that the laws are different there than they are in Texas.

Former high school principal charged with drug possession

Police in Texas have reported that one of the suspects taken into custody on drug charges during the early morning hours of April 24 is a former Moore County high school principal. The 51-year-old man has been charged with possessing more than four ounces but less than 5 pounds of marijuana. A 44-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were also taken into custody on drug manufacturing, possession and delivery charges. Reports indicate that all of the individuals taken into custody were booked and processed at the Potter County Detention Center.

According to an Amarillo Police Department report, officers were dispatched to a hotel on Western Plaza Drive at about 2:30 a.m. after guests complained about noise and unruly behavior. When officers entered the room in question, they claim to have observed three individuals surrounded by drug paraphernalia and what appeared to be sizable quantities of marijuana and methamphetamine. Reports suggest that the drugs and drug paraphernalia were in plain sight.

Houston residents arrested with enough fentanyl to “kill everyone in Toledo”

If you drive northeast of Houston for a full night and a full day – 24 hours straight – you will find yourself in Toledo, Ohio. The city sits at the western end of Lake Erie – a nice enough spot, but probably not high on the vacation destination list for most of us in this corner of Texas.

Houston and Toledo were recently linked in a Chronicle news story about three Houston residents recently arrested on serious drug charges in Toledo. The three face federal charges of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. According to law enforcement officials, the three recently tried to ship a kilo of the powerful opioid fentanyl through the post office.

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