If a Texas police officer pulls you over in traffic and suspects you of driving impairment, he or she might ask you to step out of your vehicle, as well as to consent to a search of your vehicle. A similar situation may arise if you’re at home and police officers knock on your door, wanting to enter and “have a look around.”
In either case, if investigators seize substances or items from your vehicle, home or person that they believe are illegal drugs or equipment used to manufacture or distribute illegal drugs, you could wind up facing federal drug conspiracy charges in court, especially if the investigation involves other people (as suspects) as well. It’s important to know your rights and how to defend them.
What constitutes federal drug conspiracy?
Federal crimes typically carry more severe penalties under conviction than a misdemeanor or state-level crime. Regarding federal drug conspiracy, the following list includes basic issues that might cause a specific drug investigation to fall under this category:
- Prosecutors must prove that you and another person or people shared a specific intent to manufacture or distribute illegal drugs.
- Evidence must demonstrate that you or others involved took action to commit the crime in question.
- The actions you or your so-called co-conspirators committed violated federal drug laws.
Such cases often involve allegations concerning production of illegal drugs, as well as importation of substances from somewhere outside the United States or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it in Texas or elsewhere.
The amount of a substance is a key to the level of criminal charges
If a Texas police officer searches your car and claims to discover a miniscule amount of marijuana, this issue alone would not compel federal drug conspiracy charges. For a crime to face charges at the federal level, there must be a certain amount (or more) of the drugs in question.
Illegally obtained evidence
If you were to face federal drug conspiracy charges in Texas, you would have a lot at stake, including your freedom. It’s understandable that you’d want to mitigate your circumstances in any way possible by exercising whatever defense options may be available. In many cases, it’s possible to challenge evidence or request a case dismissal due to unlawfully obtained evidence.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you against unlawful searches and seizures. If a personal rights violation took place leading up to, during or following your arrest, you may have grounds to submit a challenge. It’s always best to review state and federal laws ahead of time, to determine whether you have sufficient cause to contest certain evidence as inadmissible due to the way it was obtained.