On November 17, 2011, police in Houston, Texas arrested 27-year-old Tobaris Robinson and charged him with possession of a controlled substance after a field test was positive for the presence of cocaine.
Four days later, on November 21, Robinson, who had prior convictions for felony drug possession and misdemeanor possession of marijuana, accepted an offer from the Harris County District Attorney’s office to plead guilty and receive a sentence of seven months in jail.
On January 13, 2012, the Houston Police Crime Laboratory tested the substance seized from Robinson and it was negative for the presence of a controlled substance. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office notified Robinson’s defense attorney and supported a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Robinson was released from jail on February 2, 2012.
The trial court recommended the writ be granted and on March 28, 2012, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated the conviction. On April 23, 2012, the prosecution dismissed the charge.
– Maurice Possley