Drug Possession Offenses in Texas

To be accused, arrested, and charged with drug possession by law enforcement is a situation that carries a lot of weight. The possibilities available for punishment vary greatly from probation, on up to a sentence of anywhere from 20 – 99 years incarceration. Generally, the time that you will face if caught with drugs in your possession (and convicted) will vary greatly depending on the quantity of the controlled substance in your possession at time of arrest.

If you are charged with possession, it means that the State of Texas has probable cause to arrest you for possession of a controlled substance. However, any Houston criminal charge defense lawyer you hire will operate under the preface of you being innocent until proven guilty as should the criminal justice system per the United States Constitution.

Drugs Commonly Involved with Possession Arrests

If you are found by a police agency to be in possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, meth, PCP, crack, or any other drug deemed to be a controlled substance according to Texas law, a conviction will result in a 6 month suspension of your Texas Drivers License. For this reason alone, meeting with a drug crimes attorney will give you an opportunity to fight against the suspension of your drivers license in Texas.

Drug possession penalties involving small amounts of marijuana are often classified as misdemeanor criminal offenses, however, any amount of cocaine, heroin, or meth will result in a felony charge by law enforcement. If you are convicted of such a crime, you may be able to avoid jail time by getting a deferred adjudication ruling or probation with intent to have the criminal charge removed, or expunged, from you background.

Possession Charges

A person can be charged with the possession of a controlled substance if the police find drugs on your person, or in place that you control or have easy access to. A good example of a place could be your vehicle, locker, home, apartment, bags, your pockets, or any other area that could control or have unobstructed access to. Even being in a location outside your home, say on a couch or a bench, with drug in your immediate proximity, could result in the police having probable cause to initiate a drug arrest.

If you are convicted of possession of narcotics you are likely looking at jail time, monetary fines, and a criminal record that follow you for the rest of your life. Going to jail has a way of putting a strain on inmates, and a strain on the families of the imprisoned. Once released from jail, it will be impossible to get some professional licenses or to hold some employment positions.

Controlled Substances in Texas

Penalty Group Drug Deemed to Be Controlled Substances
1 Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, ketamine, oxycodone and hydrocodone.
1A LSD
2 Ecstasy (MMDA), PCP, mescaline, (resinous extractives of Cannabis that aren’t marihuana, e.g. hashish)
3 Valium, Xanax and Ritalin.
4 Compounds containing Dionine, Motofen, Buprenorphine or Pryovalerone

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas

Penalty Group 1

Weight Classification Penalty
Less than one gram State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
1 gram or more, less than 4 grams Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
4 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams First-degree felony 5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
400 grams or more Enhanced first-degree felony 10 to 99 years and a fine of not more than $100,000

Penalty Group 1A

Amount Classification Penalty
Fewer than 20 units State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
20 or more units, but less than 80 units Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
80 units or more, but less than 4,000 units Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
4,000 units or more, but less than 8,000 units First-degree felony 5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
8,000 units or more Enhanced first-degree felony 15 to 99 years in a state prison and a fine of not more than $250,000

Penalty Group 2

Weight Classification Penalty
Less than one gram State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 1 gram, less than 4 grams Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 4 grams, less than 400 grams Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
400 grams or more Enhanced first-degree felony 5 to 99 years and a fine of not more than $50,000

Penalty Groups 3 and 4

Weight Classification Penalty
Less than 28 grams Class A misdemeanor Not more than 1 year – county jail and/or a fine of not more than $4,000
28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years – state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years – state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
400 grams or more Enhanced first-degree felony 5 to 99 years – fine up to $50,000

Talk With a Qualified Texas Drug Crimes Attorney

As you can see in the Texas drug crime penalty chart above, criminal penalties for drug crimes range from a few days in county jail and a small fine on up to 99 years in jail with a criminal fines of up to 50,000.00.

If you have a criminal case pending and have not yet decided on how you want to handle it, talk with a board certified criminal defense attorney with experience fighting the state of Texas on drug crime charges. Even if you intend to plead guilty, talk with a smart lawyer in Houston and you will probably get through the situation without having to serve time in jail if this is a first offense drug charge.

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