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Defending a Drug Possession Charge in Dallas, TX

In true Texas fashion, Texas law provides no leniency, and drug possession of any kind—even for marijuana, which is now legal in many states—can and will result in jail time and a fine. For the possession of controlled substances, a person stands to lose 180 days of his or her life to jail time and an additional $2,000 in fines. For many people, a punishment such as this can be devastating to their careers, their relationships, and their futures. At Udeshi Clark & Associates, our Dallas criminal defense attorneys aim to protect the innocent by providing aggressive legal representation in light of criminal charges. If you or a loved one was wrongfully charged with drug possession, do not panic. Reach out to the knowledgeable attorneys at our Dallas criminal defense firm today.

Understand the Charges Brought Against You

As with any other criminal matter in the United States, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For them, that involves proving two things:

  • That you knew the substance in question was an illicit drug or controlled substance; and
  • That you were aware that the substance was in your possession or on your property.

While each of these points can be relatively difficult for the prosecution to prove when pressed for evidence, they can always fall back on the “constructive possession” charge. Constructive possession occurs when an illegal substance is indirectly in a person’s possession. For instance, say that your teenaged child had a stash of marijuana hidden in the basement of your home. Police enter after you place a phone call for suspected burglary and they find the marijuana. You had no idea that it was there, but because it was in your home, you, your son, and your spouse if applicable could be charged with possession. The same principle applies for individuals who had drugs in the trunk of their car but did not know about them. Because the vehicle belongs to them, they could be found guilty of possession.

Obviously, the theory of constructive possession goes against point two—that you knew beyond a reasonable doubt that there were controlled substances on your property—but the law works in convoluted ways. For this reason, it is so important that you have an attorney who fully understands the law to fight on your behalf.

Your Possible Defenses to Drug Possession Charges in Dallas

In order to build a strong defense to the charges brought against you, our Dallas criminal defense lawyers will need to know the specifics surrounding your case. For example, if the drugs were not yours but were merely in your vehicle, we could be able to establish that the drugs in question did not belong to you and that you were unaware of their presence. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs in question were yours, but by disputing that fact, you can plant the seed of doubt, which is often all you need to do to have the charges dropped.

Another defense route you may have is to prove that the manner in which the drugs were found was against the law. If the drugs were found during an illegal search and seizure, all evidence gathered is inadmissible, even including the drugs. Without evidence, there is no charge. If your vehicle was stopped for no apparent reason—you were not speeding, you did not have a taillight out, and your plates were good—and then you were searched during that stop, this may be another reason to have all charges dropped.

If you or a loved one was charged with drug possession in Dallas, Texas, we understand that you may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and scared. These are normal things to feel in the face of a criminal charge. However, the best thing you can do at this stage is to remain calm and contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney such as those at Udeshi Clark & Associates. To schedule your free consultation, call 469-906-2226 today.

(image courtesy of Shane Rounce)

Five Costly Mistakes People Make Following a Car Accident

Car accidents can be devastating both financially and emotionally, but there are some things that people do that can make them even more so. At Udeshi Clark & Associates, we help accident victims fight for the compensation they need to recover in comfort following a car crash. While we do everything we can to ensure that accident victims walk away with a fair settlement, there are some actions that victims take prior to meeting with us—or even afterwards—that sabotage their chances of winning. To prevent that from happening to you, our knowledgeable Dallas car accident lawyers want to share with you five crucial missteps to avoid after you are involved in a Dallas car accident.

#1: Failing to Seek Medical Care

Too many accident victims assume that their injuries “are not that bad,” and so they fail to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Unfortunately, without an accident medical report, it can be nearly impossible for you to recover compensation for any latent injuries. If you do try to claim injuries later on, the insurance company or judge might say that the injuries occurred sometime after the fact, such as when you hit the beach the following weekend, or when you decided to go rock-climbing the next month.

#2: Posting to Social Media

Speaking of hitting the beach and going rock climbing…

Social media has proven to be extremely detrimental to victims’ cases as people share way too much information about their everyday lives online. Some victims may say to family and friends, “Don’t worry about me – I’m doing fine!” a statement which the insurance companies will use to mean that you really are fine and so must not need a settlement. Additionally, if you claim to have back pain because of the accident, have internal injuries, or suffer from chronic pain, but then you go and post a bunch of photos of your rock climbing trip, even the judge will begin to question your sincerity.

#3: Failing to Call the Police

The police report is just as important as the medical report, as the police report should indicate who was at fault for the accident. While police reports are not always accurate, they usually contain enough information for a judge and jury to surmise the cause of the accident.

#4: Waiting too Long to Act

In all states, there is a time period in which you must file a claim if you want it to be heard. If you do no take action within that time period, which is two years in the state of Texas, then you forfeit your rights to compensation entirely. However, you should really take action immediately, as the longer you take to do anything, the less likely you will be to obtain a successful outcome. Think about it: If you wait too long to get medical care, you are not able to document the full extent of your injuries. If you wait too long to investigate the cause of the accident, crucial pieces of evidence could disappear. If you wait too long to hire a lawyer, you may find it difficult to find one who will be willing to take on your case. If you want to ensure the greatest chance of success, you need to act now.

#5: You Admitted Fault

The very worst thing you can do following a car accident is admit fault. While this seems like a no-brainer, you would be surprised by how many people admitted fault in a roundabout way directly after an accident simply because they were disoriented and did not know how to properly explain what happened. These types of statements can be detrimental to any case, no matter how airtight one may seem.

Work With an Experienced Dallas Car Accident Lawyer

At Udeshi Clark & Associates, our goal is to help car accident victims obtain the compensation they need to recover in financial comfort. While we do everything in our power to help you, there are certain steps you can take to help us help you—and certain things you should avoid doing. If you were recently in a car accident that left you injured, with extensive medical bills, and unable to work, heed the advice above and then contact our Dallas car accident attorneys. Call 469-906-2226 to schedule your free consultation today.

(image courtesy of Dayne Topkin)

Under Investigation? Keep Calm and Hire a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney

It can be nerve wracking and a bit terrifying to be under investigation for a crime, and while it can be tempting to hide out and do nothing, that may be the worst thing you do. As an American citizen, you have substantial rights that protect you from unfair investigative practices, and it is important that you understand what those rights are so that you can exercise them when necessary. At Udeshi Clark & Associates, we help individuals through a variety of legal situations, including criminal investigations. If you are under investigation, keep reading to learn more about your basic rights and how you can exercise them for the best possible outcome.

Your Basic Rights

First and foremost, it is important that you understand what rights you actually have. When under investigation, there are four basic rights that you can and should exercise:

  • The right to counsel;
  • The right to leave;
  • The right to remain silent; and
  • The right to privacy.

Most people are familiar with the right to remain silent, as that is a commonly quoted Miranda warning that is not only cited by law enforcement, but that is also cited by Hollywood actors and actresses on a regular basis. However, not many people are familiar with the others. Each is explained more in depth below.

The Right to Counsel

If you are the suspect in a crime, immediately request legal counsel. The arresting officer is legally obligated to immediately make arrangements to get you a Dallas criminal defense attorney. While there is no promise that the lawyer will show up instantly, you can rest easy knowing that one is on his or her way. In the meantime, exercise your right to remain silent, as anything you say from the moment of arrest can be used against you in the court of law.

The Right to Leave

Most people are unfamiliar with this right and assume that once they are brought in for questioning or stopped by an officer, they are under arrest. This is not the case. Unless an officer specifically states that you are under arrest, you are free to leave at your will. If you are unsure, simply ask an officer. If the answer is no, you do not have to stick around.

The Right to Remain Silent

Just because an officer arrests you does not mean that you have to talk. In fact, it is best that you do not talk, period. Even if you are innocent, you may say the wrong thing and shoot yourself in the foot (figuratively speaking, of course). Be aware that once you are arrested, anything you say to anyone can be used against you. Your phone calls at this point are recorded, and your conversations listened to for any telling information. Keep quiet about your case and your conversations limited to “Can I get a glass of water?” and “How’s the weather?”

The Right to Privacy

Whether an officer pulls you over and asks to search your vehicle or they show up at your home and request to take a look around, you do not have to grant them entry unless they produce a warrant. If the police do not have a warrant and search your property without your permission, any evidence they find is inadmissible in the court of law. This right is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

Consult a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer for Immediate Legal Assistance

By far the best thing you can do if you are under investigation is to contact an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney. Do not wait until you are arrested to seek legal help, as a knowledgeable lawyer can advise you on what and what not to do to ensure the best possible outcome. If you are under investigation, reach out to the legal team at Udeshi Clark & Associates for unparalleled legal representation today. Call 469-906-2226 to schedule a private consultation now.

(image courtesy of Ashton Bingham)