Possession of Controlled Substance Charge Dismissed…

In November of 2011, one of my clients was a passenger in a vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 40 through Texas. The driver was stopped in Oldham County for speeding and driving in the left lane while not passing. During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked the driver for consent to search the vehicle. The driver gave consent to search the vehicle. The driver also told the officer there was marijuana in the vehicle. During the search, the officer found approximately 15 grams of marijuana in the luggage belonging to the driver and a little over 10 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (hashish) in a cooler in the backseat of the vehicle.

The driver and my client were arrested and subsequently charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Prior to my involvement in the case, my client had a court-appointed lawyer. The State had made a plea offer for probation and the court-appointed lawyer told my client that he should take the plea offer. My client refused to accept the plea offer and retained my services. After I conducted my investigation of the case, I entered into negotiations with the State to resolve the matter. We were able to get a sworn statement from the driver of the vehicle. The driver took full responsibility for the marijuana and hashish and stated that my client was not aware they were in the vehicle. My client did not have a criminal history, which worked to his benefit. I was able to show the prosecuting attorney there was little, if any evidence, to connect the marijuana or the hashish to my client.

In April of this year, the State dismissed the criminal charges filed against my client.

Money Laundering Charge Dismissed…

In August of 2012, one of my clients was stopped in Carson County for speeding. He was headed west on Interstate 40 to his home in Arizona. During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle. My client gave consent to search. During the course of the search, law enforcement officers found approximately $45,000.00 in United States currency. The money was found inside luggage located in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

My client was arrested and subsequently charged with money laundering. The State also filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to forfeit my client’s vehicle and the $45,000.00 found in the luggage.

In March of this year, the State dismissed the criminal charges and the civil forfeiture action. The vehicle and the $45,000.00 were returned to my client.

Although my client had an extensive criminal history, we were able to show the money was obtained lawfully. Factors that made these cases challenging for the State were: (1) no illegal drugs were found in the vehicle; and (2) there was no attempt to hide the money.

Possession of Marijuana Charge Dismissed…

In April of this year, one of my clients was charged with possession of marijuana in Carson County. She was was stopped for speeding on Interstate 40. During the course of the traffic stop, the passenger in the vehicle gave consent to search the vehicle. Approximately 50 pounds of marijuana was found in luggage located in the vehicle. During negotiations with the State, the passenger took responsibility for the marijuana and claimed that my client had no knowledge of the marijuana. Since there was little evidence linking my client to the marijuana, the State dismissed the criminal charges filed against my client.

Possession of Controlled Substance Charge Dismissed…

In May of 2011, one of my clients was stopped in Hartley County for speeding. He was headed north on US Highway 87. (DPS officers in Hartley County & Dallam County have stepped up their efforts at drug interdiction in the last year or so along Highway 87 which is a major route between the high plains of Texas and Colorado.) During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle. My client denied consent to search his vehicle. The state trooper then called for a drug-sniffing canine to do a free-air search of the vehicle. According to the dog handler, the dog hit on the vehicle. The officers then conducted a search of the vehicle and found edibles containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (hashish) and a few mushrooms containing Psilocybin.

My client was arrested and subsequently charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

We filed a motion to suppress alleging that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to detain my client until a drug dog arrived on the scene. We also challenged the purported hit by the drug dog. After an evidentiary hearing on the motion to suppress, the Court granted our motion and suppressed all evidence in the case. In July of this year, the State dismissed the criminal charges filed against my client.

Money Laundering Charge Dismissed…

In May of 2011, one of my clients was stopped in Carson County for speeding. He was headed east on Interstate 40. During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle. Consent was denied. The state trooper then called for a drug-sniffing canine to do a free-air search of the vehicle. According to the dog handler, the dog hit on the vehicle. The officers then conducted a search of the vehicle. They found a large sum of United States currency inside a backpack located on the front passenger seat. The money was wrapped with rubber bands inside a plastic zip-lock baggie.

My client was arrested and subsequently charged with money laundering. The State also filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to forfeit $32,000.00 found in the backpack.

In May of this year, the State dismissed the criminal charges and the civil forfeiture action. The $32,000.00 was returned to my client.

One factor that was favorable to my client was that he did not have a criminal history. Factors that made these cases challenging for the State were: (1) no illegal drugs were found in the vehicle; (2) the money was not wrapped in a manner to avoid detection by a drug-sniffing canine; and (3) there was no attempt to hide the money.

Possession of Marijuana Charge Dismissed…

In October of 2011 one of my clients was arrested in Carson County and charged with the offense of possession of marijuana. She was a passenger in a pickup belonging to and being driven by her boyfriend. The trooper stopped the pickup for speeding and following too closely. According to the trooper, he smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana when he made contact with the occupants of the vehicle. He also noted in his report that the driver also smelled like burnt marijuana.

The trooper asked the driver to step out of the pickup and go back to the patrol car. While in the patrol car, the trooper told the driver he could smell marijuana in the pickup and then asked the driver if he had been smoking marijuana. The driver admitted he had a small baggie of marijuana in the pickup. The trooper asked the driver if he could search the pickup and the driver denied consent to search.

The trooper then went to the passenger side of the pickup and began to question my client about the purpose of the trip. She told the trooper they had visited her family in Montana. This was the same story the driver told the trooper. My client’s family confirmed this story. The officer then asked my client to step out of the pickup and he began a probable cause search of the pickup. [The trooper had probable to search the vehicle because he smelled burnt marijuana in the vehicle.]

During the course of the search, the trooper found approximately twelve pounds of marijuana in a box in the bed of the pickup. The pickup bed was covered with a locked topper. Both the driver and my client were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. At this time, my client told the trooper she had hidden the small baggie of marijuana in her bra.

The State dismissed the charges against my client in April of this year.

Factors favorable to my client were: (1) she did not have a criminal history and (2) her boyfriend took responsibility for having the marijuana in the back of his pickup. He also stated that my client did not know it was there. One factor that was challenging for the State was the absence of evidence linking my client to the marijuana found in the box located in the pickup bed.

Possession of Marijuana Charge Dismissed…

In March of 2011, one of my clients was charged with possession of marijuana in Oldham County. He was a passenger in a vehicle which was stopped for speeding. During the course of the traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle gave consent to search the vehicle. Approximately 10 pounds of marijuana was found hidden in boxes wrapped as presents. After more than a year of negotiating with the State, the State dismissed the criminal charges filed against my client.

A factor that was beneficial to my client was that he did not have a criminal history. One factor that made this case challenging for the State was that there was little evidence linking my client to the marijuana.

Money Laundering Charge Dismissed…

One of my clients was stopped by in Oldham County in April of 2011 for an alleged traffic violation. During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle. My client consented. During the search of the vehicle, the trooper found a considerable sum of cash. Thereafter, the State of Texas filed money laundering charges against my client and also filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to forfeit $45,000.00 in United States currency.

Just short of one year from the date of the traffic stop, the State dismissed the criminal charges, dismissed the civil forfeiture action and returned $45,000.00 to my client. Needless to say, my client was quite happy.

Factors that made these cases challenging for the State were: (1) my client did not have a criminal history; (2) no illegal drugs were found in the vehicle; (3) the money was not wrapped in a manner to avoid detection by a drug-sniffing canine; and (4) my client was headed east on Interstate 40 [The rule in drug-trafficking is: drugs go east – money goes west].

New Blog Content – Case Dismissed…

Every year I have several cases that are dismissed either through negotiations with the State, as a result of a court suppressing the State’s evidence, or through the appellate process.

I have therefore decided to add a new section to my blog entitled “Case Dismissed” where I will post information on these cases. In each post, I will include factors that were beneficial to my client or that were challenging for the State.