There are many ways for people to run afoul of Texas controlled substance laws. Simply possessing or being under the influence of certain substances could lead to an individual’s prosecution for a possession offense. Transferring medication to other people, even if someone had a prescription for the drug, could also lead to criminal charges.
Those facing prosecution for drug charges in Texas often make a major mistake when they choose to plead guilty right away out of fear of what would happen if they went to trial. A guilty plea does eliminate the need for a trial, but it does not protect someone from the long-term consequences of a drug conviction.
How much influence can a drug offense have on someone’s future?
It can trigger immediate consequences
After a guilty plea or conviction, the defendant faces sentencing. Depending on the type of drug, the weight of the drug and someone’s criminal record, there could be serious penalties imposed by the judge. Their sentence typically reflects Texas state law and may include a lengthy period of incarceration in some cases.
It may limit career opportunities
Contrary to what many people expect, even simple possession charges in Texas could be felony offenses. Some employers do not consider individuals for a job or a promotion if they fail a background check. Even those who may overlook misdemeanors may take issue with a felony criminal record. Improving one’s opportunities through education can also be more challenging after a drug conviction. Educational institutions and private scholarship organizations often look at criminal records when deciding who to enroll or offer financial support.
It may cause lasting social stigma
Depending on where someone lives and the community to which they belong, a single drug conviction could affect their reputation for the rest of their life. Even without a background check, people may talk about a conviction. The only way to prevent both the lingering consequences of a criminal record and the social stigma of a conviction is to fight back against criminal allegations.
Those accused of drug offenses in Texas could employ a variety of different strategies to defend against allegations at trial. In some cases, they might also be eligible for drug court proceedings that limit the criminal consequences the state imposes. As such, mounting a thoughtful response to allegations of a drug offense can make all the difference for the accused.