Is there a chance my Texas Driver's License might be suspended if I have a POM Possession of marijuana arrest or citation?
When arrested with drugs, the line can be blurred as to whether those drugs were intended for personal use or for sale. It is generally a decision initially made by the arresting officer and ultimately made by the District Attorney based on a variety of factors.
More often than one would think, people arrested for drug sales actually confess to selling or intending to sell drugs, be it marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine. Other people are caught in the act, sometimes during a sting operation or in the middle of a hand-to-hand drug sales transaction. For the rest of cases, indicia or clues of drug sales are needed to prove intent. After all, if an individual isn't caught in the act of selling, or does not admit to selling, how can the prosecution prove they 'intended' on selling drugs?
Whether there are sufficient indicia of sales to prove in open court that you possessed the drugs with the intent to sell, deliver, furnish, or give away, rather than use them all for personal use depends on the indicia of drug sales. Indicia of sales can be thought of as clues. During the arrest, an officer will generally log and report any clues that the drugs were intended to be sold. This can range from the amount of drugs (generally the more drugs, the greater the chance of being charged with sales) and the drug packaging (Whether drugs are prepackaged in several like sized bags).
Other indicia of drug sale includes scales, multiple cell phones or beepers / pagers, empty zip lock baggies or packaging, large amounts of cash, lists of buyers, phone lists, pay owe sheets, electronic versions of buyers lists or pay/owe sheets, weapons, or even location of arrest.
At trial, the prosecution will offer a high ranking law enforcement officer as an expert witness in order to inform the jury that all or some of the above are clues of drug sales. The expert officer would most likely tell the jury that since you had some or all of the clues, you had the intent to sell the drugs rather than use them for personal use.
A major problem with this approach, aside from emphasizing only the indicia present in each case as being the most telling, is that many sellers are quite aware of the law, thereby avoiding to bring scales, prepackaged bags, or carry large amounts of cash on hand. Many drug dealers operate in pairs or more, to break up the drug-selling scheme in an effort to avoid detection. The result is people merely buying drugs for personal use that bring scales and large amounts of money to buy drugs, often get arrested and confused for a drug dealer.
If you've been wrongfully arrest on a drug sales charge, please call us at 512-761-5297. The Law Office of Robert Keates has handled many cases and trial involving drug sales v. personal possession issues.
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