Each year, many Texans are arrested for possessing drugs. While the Department of Justice has announced a renewed focus on drug crimes, arrests had not fallen off before the current administration. One consistent theme with drug possession arrests is that they do not help to curb drug abuse and actually cause more social problems.
According to the FBI, 1.57 million drug arrests were made around the country in 2016, which was an increase of 5.63 percent over the previous year. Of the drug arrests, 41 percent involved marijuana and 84.6 percent were simple possession offenses.
The Drug Policy Alliance reports that more and more experts are recognizing that prosecuting people for simple drug possession crimes does not work. Arresting people simply removes them from their families and their ability to provide support. When they complete their sentences, drug offenders may have trouble finding housing and jobs, and they may be ineligible for federal financial aid for college. Drug crimes are also disparately enforced. For instance, blacks and whites use drugs at roughly equal rates. However, despite the fact that black people make up just 13 percent of the population, they account for 29 percent of the drug arrests.
Drug charges can bring severe penalties if people are convicted. People who have been charged with drug crimes might want to get help from criminal defense lawyers who are experienced in handling drug cases as soon as possible. Lawyers may get the help of investigators to determine what happened and to interview witnesses. They may also review the police reports and any video to determine if the stops, searches and seizures were conducted properly. If the lawyers identify problems, they may file motions requesting that the courts suppress the evidence against their clients.