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Felony charges for drug possession or distribution are the most common felonies in criminal law.

If you have been arrested for possession or distribution of cocaine or crack cocaine, the Top Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you in your effort to clear your record. The federal court system is renowned for its incredibly tough sentences for cocaine distribution cases. Most of these cases are prosecuted as conspiracies and, given that sentences are computed on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, lower-level dealers may have their sentences increased substantially according to the quantity of illegal drugs having been dealt by their alleged associates. The federal structure is extremely different in comparison to the state court system within these criminal matters. These cases demand a lawyer who is skilled and knowledgeable about the various trial rules and sentencing guidelines. This expertise provides him a tremendous edge over those attorneys who do not work on a regular basis within federal court. The Top Lawyers In Austin has successfully represented numerous customers facing illegal drug charges in both the State and Federal courts, and he will do the same for you.

Cocaine Distribution in the Houston Area

Houston is among the most significant illegal drugs distribution centers in the United States. It’s a distribution center utilized by many traffickers to supply illicit drugs to main market locations all through the United States as well as to supply dealers located within the Houston HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) region. Cocaine, Crack, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also recognized as Ecstacy) are transshipped from Houston to main market areas such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. As soon as drug shipments are delivered to Houston, they are frequently stored at local stash locations pending further distribution to illegal drug markets. Drug trafficking operations are very susceptible at these stash sites; seizures of unlawful drugs from places where large quantities are stashed typically lead to a much greater loss for DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations).

Houston’s well-developed freeway system, established financial infrastructure, racial and ethnic diversity, and substantial level of worldwide trade contribute to the area’s role as a major transshipment point for illegal drugs headed for American drug markets and illegal drug proceeds headed for Mexico. The significant number of drug-related investigations linked with the city illustrates Houston’s role as an integral national drug distribution and money laundering center.

Drug Trafficking Organizations, Criminal Groups, and Gangs

Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are sophisticated organizations with exceptionally defined command-and-control structures that transport, distribute, and/or produce sizeable quantities of one or more unlawful drugs.

Criminal groups operating in the United States are numerous and consist of limited to moderately sized, loosely knit organizations that disperse one or more illegal drugs at the retail level and midlevel.

Gangs are defined by the National Alliance of Gang Investigators’ Associations as groups or associations of three or more persons with a common identifying sign, symbol, or name, whose members individually or jointly practice criminal activity that produces an atmosphere of intimidation and fear.

Mexican DTOs are probably the most pervasive organizational menace to the Houston region. The proximity of their operations to the U.S.- Mexico border along with their access to major drug market locations throughout the United States have allowed Mexican DTOs to emerge as the predominate traffickers in the region, in most locations along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in many locations of the United States.

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs), Street gangs, and Prison gangs disperse illegal drugs at both the wholesale and retail levels within the Houston region. Virtually all gangs within the region use illegal drug trafficking as their primary source of income. Although most gangs distribute drugs on the retail level, some have developed associations with Mexican DTOs that permit them to obtain wholesale quantities of drugs directly from Mexico. These gangs are most prevalent in urban locations, which include Houston, Corpus Christi, and Beaumont, where violence associated with their drug and gang- related behaviors is a significant threat to general public and law enforcement protection.

As a result of Hurricane Katrina, associations among New Orleans and Houston drug traffickers are reportedly growing. Approximately 150,000 Katrina evacuees relocated in the Houston region as a result of the hurricane. Some of these evacuees had been illegal drug traffickers from high-crime locations of New Orleans and, upon relocating to Houston, developed relationships with illegal drug dealers and gang members. Quite a few of these traffickers then returned home to New Orleans, and the relationships which they built with these Houston-based drug dealers and gang members have provided them the ability to acquire significant quantities of illegal drugs from associations in Houston.

The distribution and use of unlawful drugs in the Houston region places considerable societal and financial burdens on communities and local, state, and federal agencies. Crack cocaine is the major drug of abuse for numerous illegal drug abusers in metropolitan locations of Houston; the drug has had a major influence on the degree of violent and property criminal activity taking place in many communities. However, the quantity of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine seized within the region has decreased in recent years. This reduction may be attributed, to some extent, to a rise in seizures made prior to the drugs being smuggled across the Southwest Border, increased seizures in South Texas counties that border Mexico, and traffickers’ use of alternate routes to smuggle drugs across the Border.

Cocaine Distribution Defense: Hire the Top Austin Attorney

In Texas, Drug distribution charges are 1st degree crimes, and carry the harshest penalties. Possession of the illegal drug or possession with the intent to distribute , is usually a second degree crime, and can lead to steep fines, probation and/or imprisonment. Drug distribution is a serious offense. Even so, like all drug crimes, drug distribution must be placed into the correct context to be able to make sure that charges aren’t excessive. What may appear to be drug distribution may in fact not be, and a expert legal professional will see to it that you are provided a strong defense throughout your criminal arrest.

The quantity of drugs within your possession, how those drugs are prepared, which drugs are discovered to be on your person, and how many kinds of drugs you have are all elements which will be taken into consideration throughout a drug distribution case. For instance, if a variety of packaged drugs are found within your possession, then it could be assumed that you, similar to a store, have a multitude of new items prepared to sell. Furthermore, your past criminal background will also play a factor, as will the place in which you had been arrested. Getting busted in an area known to be visited by drug dealers, for example, will not assist your case.

If an individual is discovered to be in possession of illegal drugs, does not seem to be using the drugs him or herself, and is also acting in a manner that’s indicative of drug distribution, then the police may place that individual under arrest on suspicion of drug distribution. Although other drug charges like possession for sale require that some kind of monetary transaction take place, drug distribution only demands that unlawful drugs are transferred from a single individual to another. Therefore, protection against such charges may be complicated, particularly within the state of Texas. Due to the complexities of Texas law, the most beneficial plan of action taken by an individual charged with drug distribution is retaining the services of a seasoned Attorneys Austin .

The Finest Attorneys In Austin will analyze the circumstances surrounding your case, and will develop the most powerful defense possible given the circumstances. If you stand accused, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Leading Austin Attorney Twenty-four Hours A Day, 7 Days /week to discuss the specifics of your case.

§16 · April 25, 2012 · Journal · · [Print]

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