Imagine you were renting a room in a home you thought was perfectly legitimate in a typical Texas neighborhood. One day, the police came knocking on your door with a warrant to search the premises.
You weren’t concerned, but after the police checked the backyard, they started pulling out marijuana plant after marijuana plant. Little did you know that the owner of your house was running a marijuana growing operation.
The next thing you know, the police were arresting you. They took you to jail and charged you with being part of a drug manufacturing conspiracy. You’re completely innocent of the crimes, but conviction and a long-term jail sentence are possible.
Elements of a drug manufacturing crime
In order for the prosecution to convict you of a drug manufacturing crime, they will need to prove two primary elements:
— First, that you were in possession of the tools and components of a marijuana growing operation.
— Second, that you intended to use those components to grow marijuana.
Finding marijuana on your landlord’s property alone should not be enough to satisfy both elements of a drug manufacturing crime. It may be enough to arrest you, but the court may eventually find that your landlord had the intention to manufacture, not you.
Defenses against marijuana cultivation crimes
The prosecution might try to prove your intent to grow marijuana if it finds that you were in possession of gardening equipment. However, you might be able to show that you were using such equipment for legitimate purposes.
For example, were you using a shovel and trowel for recreational gardening? Perhaps, during your criminal court proceedings, you can show that you had no intention to grow or sell marijuana.
A criminal defense lawyer can help defend your innocence
Texas courts will assume that all accused persons are innocent until — and only if — they are proved to be otherwise. Until that moment, you will have every right to defend yourself against your charges with the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will review the facts of your case and develop a defense strategy that seeks to reduce your chances of conviction and/or the severity of your punishments.
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