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Can a drug charge ruin your life?

An arrest for possession of a controlled substance doesn’t mean your life is ruined, although if convicted, the penalties can be harsh.

Drug charges, for instance, can be dropped or reduced. Some reasons drug charges could be dropped include:

  • Officer didn’t have a valid reason to stop you or search you, your home or vehicle.
  • You didn’t freely or voluntarily give consent to search or the officer exceeded that consent.
  • You can agree to cooperate with law enforcement and you and your attorney can carefully negotiate the charges with prosecutors.
  • Possession can’t be proven by the officer. Drug charges must have evidence to support them.

Even if you are convicted, depending on the seriousness of the charge, it might not ruin your life. Not all charges, for instance, are felony charges.

Answers To Frequently Asked Bail Bond Questions

Is possession of a controlled substance a felony?

A possession of a controlled substance charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. This depends on the type and amount of drug and intent. Usually amounts of 400 grams or more will constitute a felony.

Drug charges and penalties also vary from state to state. In Texas, drugs fall under different categories,  and classifications, such as narcotics and stimulants, and carry penalties accordingly. At minimum, possession charges are Class A or B misdemeanors, with up to 1 year of jail time and $4,000 in fines.

Additionally, there are three main penalty groups, Penalty Groups 1, 2, and 3, and some drugs like opioids fall under two different penalty groups. Heroin, for instance, falls under Penalty Group 1, while other opioids not listed under that penalty group fall into Penalty Group 3.

Penalty Group 1 carries the severest punishments, with two years of minimum jail time and fines of $10,000 to a maximum of life and fines up to $250,000 for possession of 400 grams or more.

Marijuana, however, falls under its own penalty group. Possession of marijuana of 2 ounces or less at minimum results in probation and mandatory drug treatment, along with the possibility of 180 days in jail and fines of up to $2,000.

What percentage of crimes are drug-related?

According to Bureau of Justice statistics, 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal prisoners reported they committed crimes to get money for drugs. About a quarter of all inmates in local jails, who had been convicted of property crimes, said they had committed their offense for money to buy drugs.

Additionally, FBI statistics show that almost 4% of all homicides are drug-related. As many as 70% of offenders on probation reported past drug use. Marijuana was the most commonly reported drug used.

What are the charges for possession of drugs?

While drug laws vary state to state, possession of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, drugs like ecstacy and in some states, including Texas, marijuana is still illegal. Depending on the amount possessed and the intent of use—either for personal use or to distribute—a person can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. In some cases, federal charges can be brought up.

Penalties for such charges will also vary from state to state and on other convictions a person might have. If a person has several guilty convictions they could face a lifetime in either a state or federal prison.

Along with drugs like heroin or cocaine, prescription drugs are illegal to possess, use, and distribute if the person in possession of the the drug does not have a legal prescription from a licensed medical professional for that drug.

Because of an increase of illicit prescription drug use, especially of opiate-based painkillers, penalties in many states have increased.

In some states like Texas, it is also illegal to possess drug-related paraphernalia including scales to weigh drugs, drug purity testing equipment, any substance or material used to dilute a drug or packaging like baggies or balloons used to sell and distribute drugs.

What drug is considered a controlled substance?

Both illegal drugs and legal prescription drugs are controlled substances federally classified in five categories or schedules:

  • Schedule I: Drugs in this category are considered to have no medical uses and potential for high abuse. Heroin and LSD fall into this category, as does marijuana, although the DEA is considering downgrading marijuana into a different schedule because potential for medical applications.
  • Schedule II: These are drugs that have a high potential for abuse. Cocaine, methamphetamine, opium and controlled prescription drugs like morphine and oxycodone fall under this category.
  • Schedule III: Drugs in this category tend to have less potential for abuse and more uses medically. In this category are drugs like anabolic steroids, painkillers like Vicodin and some products that contain codeine.
  • Schedule IV: Includes primarily prescription drugs with wide medical use and a lower potential for abuse. Under this category are drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.
  • Schedule V: Primarily drugs with a wide medical use and low potential for abuse. Often drugs with small amounts of codeine in them are placed in this category.

Will a possession charge show up on a background check?

A possession charge, even a misdemeanor charge, if convicted, could show up on a background check, depending upon how extensive the background check is. Governmental background checks will often be more extensive than an employer’s background check.

In Texas, background checks fall under a “seven-year” rule, which keeps background check companies from reporting any conviction, felony or misdemeanor, older than seven years. There are exceptions to the rule. It doesn’t apply for employers offering salaries of $75,000 or more annually.

Other states with the seven-year rule in place are California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, and Washington.

If you have been charged and jailed for possession of a controlled substance, the professionals at Rodriguez Bail Bonds in Weslaco, TX. Give us a call if you need our help for this or other problems. You might also find our frequently asked bail questions useful regarding other issues of bail.

Weapons Offenses and Their Consequences

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives its citizens the right to bear arms. With different state laws regulating what weapons are permissible and others aren’t, it can be a bit tricky to understand what counts as a weapons offense, and what counts as legal. Before carrying a weapon out in public, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Definition of Weapon Violation

A weapon violation is the breaking of laws or ordinances that deal with Weapon Offenses, such as the manufacture or sale of a deadly weapon, giving a weapon to a minor, aliens in possession of deadly weapons, and the attempt of even doing any of the before mentioned. Weapons violation is a serious crime and can lead you to pay heavy fines and/or doing jail time.

What Falls Under the Category of Weapons Violation?

Weapons that can cause mass destruction and are more commonly used in the military are all considered to be deadly weapons, this includes but is not limited to:

  • Explosives
  • Clubs
  • Knives with blades over five and a half inches long
  • Shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches
  • Rifles with barrels less than 16 inches
  • Altered Rifles or Shotguns whose length are less than 26 inches
  • Machine Guns
  • Zip Guns
  • Firearm silencer
  • Chemical Dispensing Device

Weapons violations can lead to hefty fines and jail time.

Possession and Use

Being charged with a weapons violation is serious and it falls under two categories, possession and use.

Possession refers to being found in the ownership or control of a deadly weapon on your person, in your car, or at your home. You can be charged with illegal weapon possession even if you have not shown, used, or threatened anyone with the weapon. Federal and State laws state that deadly weapons cannot be owned or used by civilians. (Note: You can also be charged with illegal possession, even if it is a weapon that is technically legal to be owned if you do not have a weapons permit. If you are going to carry, you must have a permit first.)

Use refers to being found using or brandishing a weapon during the act of another crime. A person does not need to be injured, nor does the gun necessarily have to go off, for illegal use to be charged. For example, if a person decides to rob a bank, but tries to do it with no weapon, they would be charged with robbery. Add a gun or a knife into the mix and now the charge gets upgraded into an aggravated robbery. The term aggravated is only used when a weapon is involved in the crime.

Consequences for Firearm Misuse

The consequences of being found in the possession of an illegal firearm are steep and have far more reaching consequences than just jail time. Being found with a pair of brass knuckles can lead you to have a Class A misdemeanor, which will result in jail time for up to a year as well as a $4,000 fine.

Jail time is given for both Class A misdemeanor and a 3rd-degree felony.

For more serious offenses, such as being in possession of explosives or a machine gun, you could be charged with a 3rd-degree felony which brings a sentence between 2-10 years as well as a fine up to $10,000.

These consequences though follow you even after jail time, your privileges, such as the right to vote and the ability to gain state professional licenses would be taken away from you. You would no longer be allowed to practice your 2nd amendment rights legally either, as you would no longer be accepted to own a weapon permit. Finally, you will find that your ability to find jobs would dwindle, as certain fields are not open for people convicted of a felony.

If I Get Accused of Firearm Misuse, Then What Happens?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being accused of possessing a firearm, then you will end up in the Hidalgo County Jail. Here it will be the responsibility of you or a loved one to find a way to pay for bail. If you need help with this, then call Rodriguez Bail Bonds. With our help and your commitment, we will be able to help you get out of jail which allows you the time to find representation before your next court date. The only thing we ask of you is that you come into our office and fill out some paperwork, in which you will agree to show at your court date. We are not concerned in finding out all of the facts of your case, we just want to know the crime and the charges that are being made against you, as that is what the judge uses to determine the amount of money needed for bail. During your next court date is when you will be determined innocent or guilty.   

We are the name you can trust when it comes to making sure that your bond is set immediately, so that you may meet with your lawyer and your family to plan out your next action.

How Do Theft Charges Work

A Picture of a Thief Stealing a Cellphone From a Woman On a Bench

Theft Charges Will Depend On a Variety of Factors.

If a family member or friend of yours has been arrested with a theft charge, it’s important to know how these types of charges are going to work. First off, when someone is charged with something, it means that they are accused of something, but that doesn’t mean that they will be convicted or sentenced for that particular charge. In the case of theft charges, there are a couple of factors that determine how they will work. The judge will need to look at these types of factors–what was stolen, what is the value of the stolen property, what is the person’s history with theft, and what their general criminal history. Depending on those factors, will determine whether the theft charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. There is always the question of, “How much jail time can you get for theft?” and it really does depend on those listed factors above.

While it will definitely affect you in the present time, people who have theft charges also need to know how it will affect their future. If convicted and sentenced with a theft charge will have it on their permanent record. That means when they are looking for a job and they go through a backyard check, the theft charges will show up. This can really impact a person’s ability to secure a job, even if the theft charge was minor.

Theft Vs Larceny

A Shoplifter is Stealing a Chocolate Bar From a Grocery Store

Larceny is a Type of Theft Crime.

When we see the terms theft and larceny, we tend to think that they are interchangeable words. However, it’s important to know that theft and larceny are two different things. In fact, theft itself is sort of umbrella term to categorize common types of theft. Theft itself is when someone steals any kind of object from a car to a pencil, but there are different types of theft, which include robbery and larceny. Both larceny and robbery are theft crimes, but they are very different. Larceny is when someone steals another person’s property with the intention of never giving it back; robbery is when someone steals from another person using force or threat while the person is present, while also having no intention of giving the said property back. Robbery is considered a more serious crime than larceny because the robber is using force and threats to steal the property, so it is always considered felony theft. Another type of crime that always gets lumped in as a theft crime is burglary. While people commit burglary to steal things, they can also break and enter a property with the sole intention of hurting someone and not stealing a thing. So when people use theft and larceny, know that theft is the encompassing term of different types of theft, whereas larceny is theft that includes stealing property and never giving it back.

What Are the Different Types of Theft Charges?

A Man Is Stealing a Bottle of Wine From a Grocery Store By Putting it in His Jacket

There Are Different Classifications for Misdemeanor and Felony Theft.

When discussing the types of theft charges there are, there are always the questions of, “How much jail time can you get for felony theft?” “What type of theft is considered a misdemeanor?” Because there are many types of theft, the charges are going to depend on the severity of the crime, the value of the property, as well as the past criminal history of the perpetrator. However, we can always divide charges into misdemeanor and felonies, so knowing what the penalties for misdemeanors and felonies can help you out regardless of what theft crime was committed. The most common types of theft are embezzlement, fraud, shoplifting, grand theft auto, carjacking, robbery, and identity theft, with all of those having the potential to be a misdemeanor or a felony.

So, how much theft is a felony? In the state of Texas, the amount of property that would have to be stolen would be over $1,500.  It’s important to note that sometimes felony theft is referred to as grand theft, but it’s not the most accurate term because some types of misdemeanor theft are considered grand theft. Basically, for it to be grand theft, the amount of stolen property has to be over $950. There are four different types of felony charges for theft in Texas.

  • State Jail Felony: State jail felony is when you steal more than $1,500 but less than $20,000 in stolen property or items. the penalty for a state jail felony is 180 days to two years in state jail, with a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third Degree Felony: A third-degree felony is when someone steals more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 of stolen property or items. With a third-degree felony, the penalty will be two to 10 years in prison and a fee of up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree Felony: This is when someone steals more than $100,000 but less than $200,000 in stolen property and items. The punishment for this type of felony is two to 20 years in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000.
  • First Degree Felony: With a first-degree felony, someone would have to steal up to $200,000 or more in property and items. The punishment for these theft charges is five to 99 years in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000.

For those who want to know How much jail time can you get for felony theft, it all depends on the amount that is stolen. Moving on to misdemeanors, these types of theft crimes are a lot less severe than felony theft. In some instances, misdemeanor theft is called petty theft, but that is only when the property that is stolen is less than $950. In the state of Texas, there are three types of misdemeanor classifications and penalties.

  • Class C Misdemeanor: When you commit a Class C misdemeanor, it means that property stolen is valued at less than $50. There is no jail time and the fine is of up to $500.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: The property value that needs to be stolen for this type of misdemeanor is more than $50 but less than $500. The penalty is up to 180 days in jail, with a fine payment of up to $2,000.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Stolen property has to be valued at more than $500 and less than $1,500. Jail time for this type of misdemeanor is one year or less and a fine of up to $4,000.

So do first time offenders go to jail? It will all depend on the value of the stolen property.

How To Get Theft Charges Dropped

When you are looking to getting theft charges dropped, it’s going to work a lot like how they decide on what the penalty will be. What is the value of the property, is it a first-time offense, etc. So can petty theft charges be dropped? Typically, yes, if it’s your first time. Petty theft is property stolen that is less than $950, so if it’s your first time being charged, then there may be a way to drop the charges and go through a diversion program. Felonies are a different story, as someone who commits those types of crime might have a prior history or has stolen property over $1,500. But can you just get probation for a felony? It will definitely depend on the circumstances, but its good to know that with probation there will be restrictions, so people with theft charges need to consider that. 

If you have had a warrant served and you need theft bail in Weslaco, TX for a theft charge, please call Rodriguez Bail Bonds at 956-316-2245.

What Misdemeanor Means

Misdemeanor

While Less Serious Than A Felony, A Misdemeanor Can Have Lasting Effects.

Whether you have been arrested or watch crime shows on television, you may have heard the term misdemeanor before but are not quite sure what it means. There are many different legal terms and phrases that categorize or describe an offense. A misdemeanor is actually a category of offense that is less severe than a felony. It can have penalties of up to a year in jail fines and even probation. However, depending on where you are charged, what class of misdemeanor it is, and where you are convicted, the penalties can vary. A few examples of this charge include:

  • Traffic Violations
  • Threats to Another
  • Perjury
  • Theft

Unlike a felony, if you find yourself facing a misdemeanor charge, you will be able to carry out your jail time in the county jail local to where you had your court case.

Is Misdemeanor a Criminal Offence?

While a misdemeanor is, in fact, less severe than a felony it is still a criminal offense. This can have a long-lasting effect on your record. In order to ensure you are able to prepare for your day in court, it is important that you have your freedom. When you need to get out from jail, Rodriguez Bail Bonds is there to help you. We provide quality bail bonds services when you need them. Have questions? We are happy to answer them and help you get through this tough situation. Give us a call today at 956-316-2245 to get started,

What is Sentencing and Appeals?

Appeal Bail Bonds

An Appeal Bail Bonds Can Help You Work On Your Case.

When facing charges, a lot of work goes into building and enacting your defense. While you may be focused on trying to get the best possible outcome for your case, make sure to also do some research into your options if you end up getting the worst. While this sounds morbid, sparing a thought for what could happen if you are convicted can ensure that you are not without hope and keep you from feeling as though you are lost later. In the event you are convicted, you will have to deal with sentencing and may be able to appeal. The sentencing period will occur immediately after a conviction has occurred. The judge will investigate the details to determine the best sentence for you. After the sentence has been laid down, you have a short period of time where you can appeal, or request for a higher court to review your case in the hope they will overturn the lower court’s decision. The higher court can then hear your case and see if the case can have an appeal based on:

  • Legal Errors
  • Factual Errors
  • Harsh Sentencing
  • Another Determination 

How Does an Appeal Bond Work?

As with most situations, there may be a bail option available to you that will allow you your freedom. This means that you can plan for your day before the appeals court with your attorney if you secure appeal bail. It may be up to the judge whether this is an available option. In order to get a bail bond, you must acknowledge that you have indeed lost your first trial but you are seeking an appeal. From there a bondsman can work with you to take care of your bail. You are then free to work with your attorney and meet for your day in appeals court. Need to get started today with an appeal bond or any of our other bail service? Give us a call today at 956-316-2245 for your bail bonds needs in Weslaco, TX.

What are Texas Bail Bond Conditions?

Conditions of Bail

For Drug Possession Cases, Conditions of Bail Often Include Mandatory Drug Tests.

While bail may not feel like a privilege when the defendant is paying it, it does allow a person accused of a crime to remain free while they await their trial. This free time represents valuable wages and uninterrupted consultation access with your lawyer. However, certain conditions may apply to your bail bond that could cause it to be revoked if you aren’t careful. If you’ve been accused of a crime and have agreed to pay, make sure you also pay attention to conditions of bail set by the judge!

These conditions are set prior to a suspect’s release by a judge or magistrate. Typically, conditions impose a set of guidelines and restrictions on the accused which are designed to maximize the likelihood that the accused will appear at their trial. It also protects victims of the crime and harshly penalizes any relapse in behavior. Some of the most common types of bail conditions include:

  • Not consuming any substances forbidden by law (or court official)
  • Reporting to a probation officer for regular checkups
  • Submitting to a drug or alcohol test
  • (Until the trial) remaining in the state of Texas
  • Remaining a certain distance away from the crime victim

More information about bail conditions can be found in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Conditions usually reflect the nature of the crime. For instance, someone caught in possession of marijuana or a controlled substance will probably be ordered to submit to a drug test. Failure to follow the conditions of bail can lead to harsh penalties, bail revocation, and forfeiture of bail.

When is Bail Revoked?

It’s important to note that there is very little grace given for a defendant found in violation of bail conditions. In most cases, when a suspect violates any condition of their bail, the judge will have the defendant’s bail bond revoked and they are immediately returned to jail until the date of their trial. Any bail already paid may also be permanently lost. That is why it is so important to pay close attention to the conditions set by the judge or magistrate and take steps to carefully follow them.

Local Bail Bondsman

If you have been accused of a crime and are in need of a bail bondsman, our team at Rodriguez Bail Bonds are readily available to everyone in Weslaco, TX and the surrounding communities. If you’d like additional information about conditions of bail, feel free to contact our team by calling 956-316-2245!

Celebrities Arrested For Marijuana Possession

Even the famous have been caught with weed, from a few ounces, to pounds of it! They too have paid for their crime, with public humiliation, hefty fines, and sometimes jail time. Here are some of the most notorious celebrity marijuana arrests:

Wonder If These Celebrities Had Marijuana Possession Bail? You Will When You Call Us!

Bill Murray

In 1970, 20-year-old Bill Murray was trying to smuggle 2 pounds of weed through the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. He might have succeeded had he not joked that he was carrying a bomb in his bag, with a ticket agent overhearing. He was arrested and put on 5 years probation.

Matthew McConaughey

The great 1999 bongos incident. All McConaughey wanted to do was smoke up and play the bongos naked in the sanctity of his own home. Apparently he got a little too passionate and played too loud, with neighbors calling police with a noise complaint. When police arrived, they arrested McConaughey on suspicion of drug possession. After 9 hours in the Austin county jail and $1,000 bail, he only got a $50 noise ordinance fine since no marijuana was found without a warrant.

Nicole Richie

In prime ‘The Simple Life’ days where paparazzi followed every move of Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, the heiresses were known for partying and drugs. In 2006, Richie was pulled over after entering the highway into oncoming traffic. After failing a sobriety test, Richie admitted to smoking marijuana and taking a Vicodin. She was arrested for driving under the influence and infamously served 82 hours in L.A. county jail due to overcrowding.

If you need marijuana possession bail in Edinburg , TX or the surrounding areas, call Rodriguez Bail Bonds at (956) 316-2245 today.

Drug Penalties in the State of Texas

Drug Penalties in the State of Texas

Know The Drug Penalties in the State of Texas.

Each state has their own penalties for drugs, but Texas has some of the most severe penalties. If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug-related crime, it’s important to know what kind of repercussions there are. Depending on the type of drug, the quantity of the drug, past convictions, and other factors will determine the penalty. It’s also important to note that marijuana and other controlled substances are in different types of classes, so they will be treated differently. Below are some of the alcohol and drug penalties in the state of Texas.

Drug Possession

Depending on the drug and how much is on your person, the possession of drugs can either be a Class B misdemeanor or a felony. The minimum sentence you can get is up to two years in jail with a fine of up to $2,000, with the maximum sentence being held in the prison for 99 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Drug Manufacturing and Delivery

The drug penalties in the state of Texas for manufacturing or delivering carry a minimum of up to two years in jail with a fine of up to $10,000 and the maximum is 99 years in prison, but not less than 15, with a fine of up to $250,000.

Marijuana Possession

Because marijuana and other controlled substances are treated differently, they will have different penalties. The minimum you can serve is 180 days to two years in jail with a fine of up to $2,000. The maximum you can get for marijuana possession is 99 years in prison with a fine up to $50,000.

Marijuana Delivery

Marijuana delivery has a minimum penalty of 180 to two years in jail with a fine that doesn’t exceed $2,000 and the maximum sentence is 99 years in prison, with a fine up to $100, 000.

If you interested in marijuana possession bail or possession of a controlled substance bail in Weslaco, TX, call Rodriguez Bail Bonds today at 956-316-2245.

 

Getting Arrested For a DUI

There are so many situations that people get arrested for but the main one that we see over and over is getting arrested for a DUI. This is something that is completely avoidable and will end up costing you way more money than you even think. Not only that, but it is extremely dangerous to drink and drive. Here are a few things that you can do that will help you to avoid this kind of problem in the future.

Avoid Drinking And Driving

DUI

Be the DD – Offering to be the designated driver when you go out with your friends to drink may seem like a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. This way you know what you are doing and you can get you and your friends home safe at the end of the night. By doing this, you will also avoid the hangover that comes along with a night of drinking and a potential DUI charge on your record. You thought the drinks at the bar were expensive, try paying for a DUI.

Call a Cab – With all the different car services out there today, it is important that you remember to use them as much as possible when you go out to drink. This way you can get home safe and you and your friends can always split the price of it to save some money.

Stay Where You Are – Going out to drink can be a great time and if it ends up getting too great, you can always find a hotel to crash at for the night if the night doesn’t go as planned.

So many times we hear that the person didn’t plan to drink and drive, that they just got stuck there or drank more than they anticipated. There is no excuse for drinking and driving, but if you find yourself in the situation where you need to be bailed out of jail, call Rodriguez Bail Bonds at (956) 316-2245 and let us help you.

How to Prepare for Jail

 

How to Prepare for Jail

You Can Make a Stay in Jail More Bearable with Adherence to a Few Tip.

No one looks forward to a stay in jail. As an element of punishment, few things can surpass the total restriction of personal freedom. If you have an impending sentence and have never been to jail, you are likely very worried. In order to reduce the stress of your stay, you should know how to prepare for jail. Though nothing can make the experience pleasant, attention to these tips will at least ensure a more bearable stay.

Take Care of Obligations

The first thing you should do is take care of your outside obligations. For example, you will need to tell your employer about an impending absence. Financial matters represent another area for attention. Place your cellular service on hold, and call your credit card companies to let them know your issue.

Gain Information

You will also need to acquire some general information about your jail. Call beforehand to learn about visitation details, and how money works while inside. You should also ask about what constitutes good behavior. If you behave along these lines, you can often have your sentence reduced.

Act Appropriately

This single-most valuable piece of advice for how to prepare for jail is this: do not stand out. You should never pretend to toughness, yell, or act out in any way. If you draw too much attention, you can expect rough treatment from guards and prisoners alike. You should try to have positive associations that avoid obligation and indebtedness. In other words, act friendly, but avoid the acquisition of friends.

Additional tips for how to prepare for jail can make your stay somewhat more bearable. Make sure to eat, regardless of how unappetizing the food, and supplement your meals with items from the commissary. Also, make sure you understand your sentence and reason for imprisonment. If you are held on bail in , TX, you can always contact Rodriguez Bail Bonds for help. Call today, and we’ll have you out of jail fast.