The highest criminal court in Texas recently set aside the judgment of Rolando Garcia, who had been convicted a third degree felony offense of possession of marijuana. Mr. Garcia’s judgment carried with it a prison sentence of three years. However, the only reason Mr. Garcia had pleaded guilty and accepted the plea deal of a three- year sentence was because the prosecutor had charged Mr. Garcia with the offense of felony possession. Despite the charge of felony possession, laboratory testing of the substance involved in Mr. Garcia’s case revealed that the prosecutor could not prove Mr. Garcia actually possessed a felony quantity of marijuana.
As a result of the revelation by the laboratory testing, the parties in this case agreed that Mr. Garcia would not have pleaded guilty in exchange for a three-year sentence if he had known that the prosecutor could only have proven Mr. Garcia possessed merely a misdemeanor quantity of marijuana. Mr. Garcia’s defense argued to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Mr. Garcia’s guilty plea was involuntary because he is actually innocent of the felony offense to which he pleaded guilty.
In response to Mr. Garcia’s argument, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a writ based on actual innocence.
For those who may be facing a charge of marijuana possession, Mr. Garcia’s case demonstrates the great importance of having a defense attorney who will make sure the substance involved in his client’s case is properly tested and weighed. Such proper testing would prevent the prosecutor from charging the accused with a non-provable crime with an unjustly long prison-sentence.
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Gilbert Garcia has been Passionately Pursuing Justice for over 30 years and founded The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm in 2008. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is a boutique law firm, specializing in Criminal Defense. Gilbert represents adults and juveniles accused of a crime and who have with a felony, misdemeanor or record cleaning case. Conveniently located on the courthouse square to serve Montgomery and Walker Counties. Gilbert became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1989. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is located at 220 N. Thompson St., Suite 202, Conroe, TX 77301. www.ggglawfirm.com.
Drug Related Charges may include: Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Dangerous Drug, Manufacturing a Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Delivery or Intent to Deliver Marijuana/Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and many other drug related charges.