Possession of a dangerous drug in Texas in violation of TX § 481 may result in a felony or misdemeanor depending on the type of drug, how much of it you were holding if there was any drug paraphernalia, and if you also had a large amount of money. Generally, if you are caught with a dangerous drug in an amount that is more than 28 grams, you will be charged with a felony.
Drugs Considered Dangerous in Texas
Under Texas law, the punishment for possession of dangerous drugs falls into four categories. Each group is called a penalty group.
- Penalty Group 1 – Group 1 includes opioids (painkillers such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone), opium derivatives and opiates such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline, and other hallucinogens.
- Penalty Group 2 – Group 2 includes LSD, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine/Ecstasy (MDMA), phencyclidine (PCP), psychedelic mushrooms, and amphetamines.
- Penalty Group 3 – Group 3 includes opioids and opiates not in penalty group 1, benzodiazepine and sedatives such as Valium, anabolic steroids, Ritalin, and other prescription drugs that have a stimulant or depressant effect.
- Penalty Group 4 – Group 4 includes opioids and opiates not included in penalty group 1 and other prescription medications and chemical compounds that have a potential for abuse.
- Marijuana is its own category and has its own penalties. This group also includes synthetic marijuana and drugs such as K2 and Spice.
The punishment for possession of dangerous drugs varies from a class B misdemeanor to a felony with life imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute.
In addition to how much of the drug was in your possession, law enforcement also looks at how you store or conceal the drug, if you have drug paraphernalia with you, such as a scale or small envelopes, if you have a large amount of cash on you, and if you have been convicted of any prior offenses.
Penalties and Fines for Drug Possession in Texas
Because the punishment for drug possession is based on several factors, and regardless of which category of the drug was in your possession, you will need an attorney to help you through a complicated and multi-layered legal system. For example, if you have a small amount of LSD in your possession, you could be facing six months to two years in jail for less than one gram. If you have 400 grams or more, you may be facing life imprisonment and $50,000 in fines.
Even if you have a small amount of marijuana in your possession, your driver’s license can be suspended for six months on top of the other penalties and fines you will have. You may also have to attend mandatory drug addiction treatment.
If you manufactured the drugs, were delivering the drugs, or were in a drug-free zone such as a school, your punishment will be significantly more severe. If you were delivering drugs to a minor under the age of seventeen, you will automatically be charged with a felony in accordance with TX § 12.
You Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Texas is known to have some of the harshest penalties for drug-related offenses. But regardless of the circumstances of your case, you are innocent until you are proven guilty. Finding the right attorney to help you build a defense is the first step to handling drug possession charges.
Your attorney will examine all the facts and evidence in your case to investigate if your constitutional rights were violated in any way. In many drug possession cases, attorneys will advocate for you to receive substance abuse treatment for your addiction as an inpatient or outpatient to avoid incarceration and a conviction for drug possession on your record.
Contact Us Today
Given the charges, fines, and penalties you can incur if you are arrested for dangerous drug possession in Texas, a criminal attorney with over 30 years of experience both as a prosecutor and a judge will know the most effective strategy for helping you with your defense. Call the legal team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free case evaluation and to learn more about how we can help you after being charged with possession of a dangerous drug in Texas at (214) 696-9253.