Houston Criminal Law Blog

EXPERIENCED. AGGRESSIVE. HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

The State Must Establish Affirmative Links to a Defendant

When the State charges a suspect with a possession crime, such as possession of a controlled substance or possession of a prohibited weapon, then it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had care, custody, control or management of the contraband. In order to prove care, custody, control or management the State must affirmatively link the contraband to the defendant. If the State fails to sufficiently link contraband to a defendant then they cannot, as a matter of law, obtain a conviction against the defendant.

The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp, with assistance from attorney Stephen Howard, recently tried a felony drug case in the 263rd District Criminal Court in Harris County, Texas where the issues at trial were whether the officer saw their client possess illegal drugs. The trial lasted two days and resulted in an acquittal our client.

The State put on an undercover narcotics officer who testified that she observed the defendant engage in a narcotics transaction with an unidentified vehicle. She then testified that she called in uniformed officers to make an arrest. One of the uniformed officers then said they saw something drop from the defendant’s hands “out of the corner of his eye” and that when he collected it, it turned out to be drugs. However, when presented with the drug evidence in trial the uniformed officer could not recall if those were the drugs he collected. Nor could the officer say exactly where he found the drugs. Nor could he accurately recall the total number of people in the area, or why they were all allowed to leave.

During the presentation of our evidence our witnesses testified that the drugs were found twelve feet away from the defendant and underneath a neighbor’s car. Our defendant was also not immediately arrested, which would be normal for someone who was seen throwing down drugs, but rather, he was detained until they discovered he had outstanding traffic warrants from 2007.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before coming back with a verdict of “not guilty.” They concluded that the State failed to meet its burden beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the officers’ testimony lacked precision.

No lawyer can guarantee an outcome to any criminal proceeding. However, when the facts simply do not add up to guilt a defense attorney must make every attempt to discredit the allegations against a defendant. The jury weighs the facts and renders their verdict. If the State cannot meet its burden of proof then the jury must acquit the defendant.

If you have been charged with a crime involving possession you need a defense attorney that will fight for your rights, investigate the facts, and challenge the State’s evidence. Your choice in a criminal defense attorney should not be based on who is the most affordable, but who will work the hardest to protect you from the State’s allegations. You cannot expect the State to dismiss a case based purely on a question of fact. Your attorney must research the law, investigate the facts, and prepare to advocate your case before a jury.

At the law office of The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp we will work diligently to protect your legal rights in the face of prosecution. While we cannot guarantee any outcome to any case we will dedicate ourselves to your cause and present a defense to the best of our ability. Call today for a free consultation.

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