What Is Considered “Entrapment” When It Comes to a Drug Crime?

August 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Police officers often rely on undercover work and confidential informants to help gather evidence of potential drug crimes. In some cases, however, these actions may cross the line from a legitimate investigation into what is known as “entrapment.” As defined by the Texas Penal Code, entrapment refers to a situation where a defendant engaged in […]

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When Police Officers Knock on Your Door, What Should You Do?

July 7th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Two police officers knock on your door. When you answer, you notice the officers are wearing bulletproof vests and have their hands on their weapons. They say they just want to “talk” with you. You step outside. The officers remove their hands from their guns. The officer then says they received a report of marijuana […]

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Drug Defendants Face Uphill Battle in Seeking COVID-19 “Compassionate Release”

June 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every part of American society. But prisons are especially vulnerable to outbreaks. Thousands of inmates and prison staff have already tested positive for the virus, and dozens have died as a result of their exposure. In response to this crisis at the federal level, Congress included provisions in the CARES […]

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Texas Appeals Court Throws Out Drug Conviction, 68-Year Sentence, Due to Improper Jury Instruction

April 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

During a traffic stop, a police officer may ask for permission to search your vehicle. You should always refuse permission. If the officer has reason to believe you are hiding evidence of criminal activity, such as violations of Texas drug laws, they can also apply to a judge for a warrant. But once you give […]

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Court of Criminal Appeals Throws Out “Non-Existent” Drug Conspiracy Conviction

March 5th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

There are scenarios where prosecutors elect to treat drug offenses, such as possession with intent to deliver, as part of a larger criminal conspiracy. The Texas Penal Code expressly authorizes prosecutions for “engaging in organized criminal activity,”, which carries potentially harsher jail terms for defendants if convicted. But the mere fact that a person is […]

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How You May Face Drug Charges Even if the Drugs Do Not Belong to You

February 6th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

When it comes to drug crimes, law enforcement need not actually find illegal contraband on your person. If the police execute a valid search warrant for your property and locate illegal drugs, particularly in “plain view,” you can still be arrested, tried, and convicted of drug possession. What matters here is not what is found […]

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Can Police Seize Drugs From Me If They Are in “Plain View”?

January 9th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution normally requires police to obtain a warrant before searching you or your property for potential contraband, such as illegal drugs. But there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, if a police officer observes drugs in “plain view,” the officer can seize that evidence without a warrant. […]

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Can a Judge Revoke My Bail If I Use Drugs?

December 5th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

The U.S. Constitution prohibits courts from imposing “excessive bail” in criminal cases. Among other things, this means that courts should not imprison a person accused of a crime pending trial, unless the charges against them are severe (e.g., murder) or there is credible evidence that the defendant poses a danger to the community if allowed […]

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If I’m on Probation, Can the Police Search Me for Drugs Without a Warrant?

November 6th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Many drug charges in Texas are resolved by a plea bargain where the defendant is placed on community supervision (probation) in lieu of jail time. It is critical to understand, however, that probation is not getting off scot-free. Rather, your freedom is restricted by the terms of your plea agreement, which among other things may […]

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Court of Criminal Appeals: Possession with Intent to Deliver Does Not Support “Organized Crime” Charge

October 14th, 2019 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Drug charges can quickly escalate from allegations of simple possession to participation in “organized crime.” Indeed, the Texas Penal Code describes a specific offense known as “engaging in organized criminal activity.” This applies to a scenario where the defendant participates “in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of […]

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