AFFIRMATIVE LINKS – WHY You Should NOT Plead to Your Friends Drugs!

A common scenario: A driver and two passengers are stopped for a traffic violation. The law enforcement officer thinks he smells the distinct odor of marijuana coming from within your vehicle.  Now, he has all of the passengers on the curb and is tearing apart the inside of your ride.  He finds illegal substances in the vehicle.

Who gets charged when the drugs are found in a vehicle with mutual access?

Good question.  Here’s a lawyer answer: it depends.  (Please read on, regardless…they must be able to affirmatively link you to the controlled substances or other contraband they want to charge you with).

OK…now I’m charged for Drug Possession, BUT THEY’RE NOT MY DRUGS!  How do they prove Possession?

Another good question, you’re on a roll.  Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, possession is defined as “care, custody, control or management,” of the controlled substance at issue.

MANY PEOPLE plead guilty to drugs that cannot be linked to them. 

It is CRUCIAL to consult with an attorney that is an expert in possession.

CALL Attorney Tristan LeGrande of LeGrande Law!

So How do they prove Possession anyway?

Possession– actual care, custody, control, or management.  TX Health & Safety Code Sec. 481.002(a)(38).

  • Driving vehicle where drugs found insufficient – you must prove: “affirmative links“:
    • State must prove the defendant exercised actual care, custody, control, or management over the contraband and (2) knew the object he possessed was contraband. Linton v. State, 15 S.W.3d 615, 619 (Tex.App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, pet. ref’d).
    • Affirmative Links may be proved by circumstantial evidence, such evidence must affirmatively link the defendant to the offense, so that one may reasonably infer the defendant knew of the contraband’s existence and exercised control over it. See McGoldrick v. State, 682 S.W.2d 573, 578 (Tex.Crim.App.1985).
  • Affirmative links between the appellant & contraband include:
    • (1) appellant’s presence when the contraband was discovered;
    • (2) whether the contraband was in plain view;
    • (3) appellant’s proximity to and accessibility of the narcotic;
    • (4) whether the appellant was under the influence of narcotics when arrested;
    • (5) whether appellant possessed other contraband when arrested;
    • (6) whether appellant made incriminating statements when arrested;
    • (7) whether appellant attempted to flee;
    • (8) whether appellant made furtive gestures;
    • (9) whether there was an odor of the contraband;
    • (10) whether other contraband or drug paraphernalia was present;
    • (11) whether the place where the drugs were found was enclosed; and
    • (12) whether appellant owned or had the right to possess the place where the drugs were found.

Chavez v. State, 769 S.W.2d 284, 288-89 (Tex.App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 1989, pet. ref’d).

So what does this mean??  It means you should not even consider pleading  guilty to drug possession charges unless they were your drugs.  Just because you are in the car with someone that is holding, does not mean you can be charged with possession of the drugs they have on them!

If charged with possession of marijuana or possession of a controlled substance, DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY – Instead, contact LeGrande Law…we have a track record of winning drug possession cases!


If you are accused of any drug crime, including Possession of THC Concentrate, or other controlled substances, you need an attorney with a track record of winning drug cases.  Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

Tristan LeGrande – LeGrande Law

Despite Over-Crowding, Harris CO DA Still Pursuing Trace Cases

Many in the general public still do not realize the implications of the current drug-prosecution policy in Harris County, as well as in many counties across the state.  We are filling our prisons with addicts charged with miniscule amounts of drugs.

Get caught with “any detectable amount” of a controlled substance (Penalty Group 1 or 2), no matter how small, and you can be facing felony charges.  Penalty Groups 1 & 2 (or PG1 & PG2) include substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, oxycontin, and even hash oil and bath salts.

Many of you may know that possession of less than a gram of these substances is a felony, but you may not realize how much less than a gram can get you charged with a felony.  Residue scraped out of a pipe, resin in the bottom of a glass bowl, and in some cases, even controlled substances swabbed from the inside of a defendants mouth have been charged as felonies.

It does not even have to be a measurable amount. This means less than 1/100 th of a gram.  For comparison sake, think of 1/100 th of a sugar packet.  Yup, less than that.  If the lab can detect it, they can charge you with it.

Trace case policyIt also goes to reason that drug addicts struggle to stay clean in their addiction.  This can mean multiple arrests and charges for possession of controlled substances.  If any of those arrests resulted in convictions, then the enhancement provisions kick in.  Someone could be facing 20 yrs or more of prison time for one arrest, of RESIDUE of a controlled substance.

This has not always been the case in Harris County.  When Pat Lykos was the District Attorney she implemented a non-prosecution policy for so called “trace-case” drug possession.  The actual text of that policy reads: “residue under .01 grams…will not be prosecuted…as a felony.”  Unfortunately, this put her on the shit list with local law enforcement agencies, that came out in mass against her during the subsequent election cycle.  Once Mike Anderson was elected he reversed the trace case policy put in place by Lykos.  When Mike Anderson’s wife,  and once again here we are.

Many other metropolitan areas, like Dallas and San Antonio, have a policy to no prosecute under .02 of a gram.  These are still small amounts, but imagine how much less can get you a felony in H-town.


If you are accused of an offense involving any drug crime

(including possession of a Controlled Substance)

contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500.

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

Tristan LeGrande – LeGrande Law