Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

What defenses are there to drug manufacturing charges?

The manufacture and cultivation of illegal drugs is aggressively prosecuted in Texas. These offenses are generally charged as felonies, and the consequences of a conviction can include prison time and stiff fines. Any Texan charged with felony drug manufacturing or cultivation needs an aggressive defense.

Although the following information is for general purposes only and the laws vary between states, in general an individual can be charged with drug manufacturing or cultivation if they participated in any stage of the process. These stages can include building, selling or setting up specialized equipment, possessing or selling precursor chemicals used to make the drug or actually manufacturing the drug.

There are a number of defenses that can be asserted in drug manufacturing cases, depending on the factual circumstances. Many of the precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs also have legitimate, legal purposes. For example, pseudoephedrine is used to manufacture meth, but it is also a popular cold remedy. Other precursor chemicals may require a permit to own legally; the possession of such a permit would serve as a strong defense to a drug manufacturing charge.

Similarly, the equipment used in drug manufacturing or cultivation can also have legitimate uses. Possession of grow lamps, for example, is not illegal. They are often used by gardeners to cultivate legal plants indoors. Possession of multiple grow lamps plus marijuana seeds, however, could lead to a cultivation charge.

Other defenses are available. Challenging the constitutionality of the search that led to discovery of the evidence can lead to exclusion of that evidence and ultimately a dismissal of the charges. Incorrect identification of the suspect can also be a defense. In some circumstances, if the manufacturing was taking place in a house that an individual owned, for example, but that individual rented it out to another person and had no knowledge of the activities taking place there, then the charges may be dismissed.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation," accessed Jan. 16, 2015