Getting caught in possession of marijuana can be nerve racking and scary. Drug possession is considered a serious crime in Texas and can carry serious penalties. When faced with serious drug penalties, it is important to understand your rights so you don’t further incriminate yourself. Our experienced Fort Worth drug attorney has composed a list of the three most important steps to take after getting caught with marijuana.
1. Take Note of Whether or Not They Read You Your Miranda Rights
In order for your words to be used against you in a court of law, the police are required to read you what is known as your Miranda Rights. You may have heard these rights read if you are a fan of any popular cop dramas like CSI or Law and Order. The full statement of the Miranda Rights:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
At this point, you should ask for your attorney and let the police officer know you have no intention of speaking with him or her unless your lawyer is present. It is still the police officer’s job to get you to give them information so they will continue to ask you questions whether or not your lawyer is present.
Keep in mind that the police do not need to Mirandize you if they have not yet detained you. Many police officers stop people they may suspect of possession but put off actually detaining them so they can freely gather evidence. If you are stopped by police you should always ask the police officer, “Am I free to go?” If they say yes, then leave as soon as possible. If the police officer says no, then you are being detained. If you have been detained and were never read your Miranda make note of this information and inform your attorney.
2. Remain Silent
If you wish to remain silent, you should communicate to the police officer you intend not to speak unless you are in the presence of your attorney. The police cannot force you to talk unless they get a court order. Also do not speak to anyone you are detained with. The police have been known to deliberately place jailhouse informants in with suspects to try and get information.
3. Contact a Fort Worth Drug Attorney
If you have been arrested for marijuana possession, it is imperative you contact a skilled Fort Worth drug lawyer to assist you during this time. Our attorney, David Sloane, got his start as a police officer so he has extensive experience with the procedures police officers must follow when handling drug possession cases. If you need an assertive, tenacious Fort Worth criminal defense attorney, look no further than the Law Offices of David Sloane.
Ready to build a better defense? --- Call today for a free case evaluation.