Can I be charged with drug trafficking based on text messages? 48 Answers as of May 28, 2013

I was pulled over leaving my house about a week ago by an undercover detective. Apparently they received a tip that I was selling marijuana. The police searched my car without my permission and claimed the drug dog smelled something, yet they found no drugs in my car. Somehow they obtained a search warrant for my house and found a small bag of marijuana, which was my roommate's, and a scale in the kitchen. They also took my gun and my cash I had in my safe as well as my cell phone. They told me they could charge me with trafficking over 8 ounces based on the text messages on my phone. They did not find but maybe a couple grams of actual marijuana. They haven't filed any charges yet but I have a feeling they will try to. Can I be charged with trafficking over 8 ounces based on the text messages?

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Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
The States's Attorney determines what charges to file based upon the evidence that police present.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/20/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
I do not feel that you could be charged with trafficking based on a text message and without the police securing the marijuana. You could possibly be charged with conspiracy which is just as bad, along with actual possession for what they found in the residence. Additionally, drugs found with a gun could go federal and the feds could try to prosecute you on the gun charge. The punishment for a gun possession dealing with drugs is five years consecutive (to serve). Hire a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/20/2012
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
They will need evidence of the marijuana to prove the amount. They are trying to scare you and get you to admit to something. Do not me fooled. Hire a lawyer and DO NOT speak with the police unless your lawyer specifically advises you to do so with him/her present.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 8/20/2012
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Depends upon what the text messages say, but yes, those text messages could be used against you to support the crime charged.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
They can charge you with a crime, but hey still have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. You should retain a good criminal lawyer to try and have the evidence suppressed. The text messages may not be enough to charge you with Criminal Sale of Marijuana, but if they find the people you sold to on your phone and they admit that they bought pot from you it could be a problem. If you want to smoke pot in your home that is one thing, but selling it is a serious crime that can get you jail time.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/15/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes, if the messages and other evidence from search prove involvement in criminal activity. When threatened or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to police or anyone about the case except with and through an attorney, if it is not already too late for the warning. Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, program, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Not likely but it sounds like you will need a good attorney if only to get your property back.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Just because a messaage says that you were trafficking over a certain amount does not make it true. Also the search warrant may be able to be attacked depending on the facts they used to get it. You need a good attorney. Get one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    I seriously doubt that you will be charged with 8 ounces, but probably will be charged with the 2 ounces actually recovered. They would need witnesses and more proof to establish the sale of the 8 grams, not mere text messages.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Good luck proving you actually had, sold, transported or trafficked anything based just only on text messages. There is no proof that you ever actually possessed marijuana, let alone sold it. But this is worth sitting down with a local criminal defense attorney to discuss this in much greater detail though. Based on the messages, scale and actual weed found, they could try to trump this up to possession for sales with a gun enhancement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Yes, the question would be do they have proof of possession for sale. If you offered drugs to another person that can be used as proof of why you possessed the drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    You can be arrested and charged with a crime if the DA believes they have sufficient evidence (probable cause) to believe you committed the drug trafficking offense. This is not the same standard as proving you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which would be required if you went to trial. At this point, if the DA has some evidence it believes shows there is probable cause to believe you committed the crime, you will have an opportunity to challenge the evidence at a hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    The cops'll go to ANY lenghts to prosecute citizens!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    You can be charged, but that doesn't mean a jury will find you guilty. Depending on what the text messages say, it may be difficult to convict you. Hire a talented attorney, and whatever you do, do not make any statements to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    They can TRY and charge you with anything, but that won't stick. You just need to hire a good drug trial attorney and fight it.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Possibly but not likely. What will usually seal your fate is your mouth. You should exercise your right to remain silent. Only speak to an attorney and nobody else. Anyone else you speak to becomes a witness to your incriminating statements.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You may certainly be charged. The real question is whether you can effectively challenge the basis for the search warrant of your home. To do so would require careful review of the facts and the identity of the alleged informant. You should consult with legal counsel. It is likely law enforcement will contact you and attempt to have you turn in your supplier and/or cooperate by assisting police with other dealers. In general, after your assistance has been exhausted, you may still be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    If you are charged, you need to consult with an attorney to protect your rights and determine whether you have any defenses.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Charged and convicted are not the same thing. Say no more to cops. Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    You may be charged as long as there is reason to believe that you committed a crime. At trial the prosecution may introduce all of the evidence, including the text messages, in an effort to persuade the jury that all of the evidence shows a crime. It's important to look at the big picture. Consider how a jury might view all of the evidence, instead of bits and pieces.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    Charges could be filed if there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed and probable cause to believe you committed it. It will be up to the prosecuting attorney to review the information the police have and determine if any charges will be filed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    Without knowing the content of the text, it is not possible to determine if there is any basis for the charge but not having a substantial amount in your possession will make the case really weak. Generally a prosecutor will decline to file regardless of what the cops say without having the actual substance in hand.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Aaron Black Law
    Aaron Black Law | Aaron Black
    They can definitely charge you. However, it may not be enough to convict you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Lee Law Group | Ernest Lee
    Yes it is possible that they can charge you, but it appears that they are primarily attempting to rattle you and make your "Sing". Furthermore, the cops can charge anybody. The key from their standpoint is getting you convicted. REMEMBER THIS! Bottom line, they can charge you with anything except they do not like to charge people they can't convict. The problem is convicting you. If you keep your mouth shut, and I mean DO NOT SAY A WORD TO THE POLICE they will have a hard time convicting you without more than text messages. If they attempt to speak to, or question you, you must tell them (1) " I do not want to speak with you or answer any question, period. And (2) I do not want you attempting to speak with me or ask me question unless my lawyer is present . Can I call my or an, attorney". By law they must cease any attempts at interrogation, and they must not attempt to reinitiate communication with you until your lawyer is present. If you don't help them and if all they have are text messages they do not have enough. However, if they can corroborate the incriminating statements in the text messages they may be able to convict. For example they may interview some person you sent text messages to who may confirm he bought drugs from you. You need an attorney both to stop the police from interrogating you and to try to prevent your conviction, if you are charged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    Yes but law is complicated on the admissibility of text messages. Speak to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg
    The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg | Michael Berg
    Absolutely! A drug trafficking charge can be proven in numerous ways, such as phone calls, direct transactions with an undercover agent or informant, surveillance or text messages found in your cell phone. If the text messages relate to drug trafficking they can definitely be used against you, assuming they were legally obtained.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Law Offices of Stephen L. Richards | Stephen L. Richards
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Of course, they CAN charge you, but there are some seriuous search and seizure constitutional questions which they must deal with.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    No because there is a corpus delecti problem. Your testing statement must be proven by the actual quantity.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    You can be charged with either possession of a controlled substance or possession with intent to distribute. Both are felonies. The circumstances of the stop/search raises issues in every case like this and it's important to determine exactly what the basis was for both.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    The text message may bring you a conspiracy charge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    I doubt they'll bother. They were probably trying to scare you. This is a common tactic that they use to get informants. With narcotics investigations, they're always after the bigger fish. By scaring you, they're hoping to get some good intel out of you. That's my guess anyway. If charges are even filed, make sure you hire an attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    The answer is perhaps. One would have to know all of the facts and read any police reports and warrants in this case, as well as numerous search and seizure cases, in order to determine if the evidence can be suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Probably not by text messages alone. You may have a valid motion to suppress.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    The State has the option to use whatever evidence it has available to prove someone guilty (unless police violated the constitution). Yes, in theory they can use the text messages. This matter is complex, and an attorney defending you would need to investigate all aspects of it.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can be charged with almost anything. The issue is can you be convicted. It sounds like a very weak case. You should get an attorney and do not talk to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 5/28/2013
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