Here are some frequently asked questions that we receive about drug-related charges.
I got arrested for misdemeanor drug possession. What’s going to happen next?
The answer depends upon several factors. You may be required to report to someone while you wait to go to court. You need to follow your conditions of bail until your case is final. Your initial court date, if your case is filed when you go, is called arraignment. Arraignment is when you are identified as the person charged, get formal notification of your charge, enter a plea, and, if you qualify as indigent, get a court-appointed attorney. Your next court dates are likely to be for pretrial motions, docket call, and trial. These dates can change, and your attorney will have an opportunity to assess your case and possibly negotiate for a plea bargain or prepare for trial.
I was in a car with friends, and cops found drugs in the car and arrested all of us. The drugs weren’t mine. What should I do?
Hire an attorney with experience in matters like this. Corpus Christi drug possession defense lawyer Phillip W. Goff has more than 20 years of experience with defending people from drug charges. When determining the strength or weakness of cases like yours, important facts need to be developed. Where were the drugs found? Where were you? Were the drugs within your reach? Were the drugs in plain sight? Were the drugs in a container owned by you? Was the car owned by you? Were you the driver of the car? Was there an odor of drugs in the car? Did you have any drug paraphernalia in your possession? What were the circumstances of your trip? What are the answers to these questions as to the other people in the car? This list of questions is not exhaustive. Depending upon your case, many other questions could arise. If you were not in actual possession of the drugs, the state must prove constructive possession by way of “affirmative links” between you and the drugs.
If I get convicted of possessing drugs, what will happen to me?
Many things could happen to you, including going to jail (misdemeanors) or prison (felonies), having to report to probation, having to pay fines, court costs, and other fees. Most people are already aware of those issues. Many people don’t realize they may lose their driver license for 6 months for having any amount of marijuana, for example. Felonies are worse than misdemeanors, of course, and more collateral consequences attach to felony convictions. Conviction can lead to being unable to vote, unable to possess a firearm for many years, being ineligible for some public offices, losing your driver license, losing your professional license, becoming ineligible for obtaining some licenses, being ineligible for some public benefits like educational and housing, as well as facing discrimination in housing and employment for the rest of your life and many other negative effects. It’s critical for you to hire an attorney experienced in defending drug cases. Nueces County attorney Phillip W. Goff has been defending people against drug cases for more than 20 years.
How much will I have to pay an attorney to defend me on my drug case?
The answer is it can vary greatly and depends upon your case, your criminal history, the level of the charge, and the attorney. Many attorneys in Nueces County take drug cases. No two attorneys are equal. You’ll have to decide for yourself who to hire. In making your hiring decision, keep in mind your case can affect you for the rest of your life. Some lawyers will charge you much less than others. Some young lawyers may charge under $1,000. Expect to spend thousands of dollars for most experienced attorneys, especially if your case ultimately goes to trial. Drug defense lawyer Phillip W. Goff has over 20 years of experience.