Upon conviction for drug possession in Highland Park, you will face potential jail or prison time, huge fines, and a permanent criminal record. To protect your rights and explore the possibility of challenging your charges, talk to a drug possession lawyer in Highland Park who understands the serious nature of drug crimes.
Randall Isenberg has 30+ years of experience in the Texas criminal justice system, as a judge and prosecutor as well as a criminal defense lawyer. He uses this insight in every case he takes on. Call today for a free consultation at 214-696-9253.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Highland Park
In Texas, drug possession carries potential charges ranging from a Class B misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
The specific nature of your charges will vary depending on the type and quantity of drugs or controlled substances you had in your possession. Potential charges, from mildest to most severe, are as follows:
Class B Misdemeanor Jail term up to 6 months
Fines up to $2,000
Class A Misdemeanor Jail term up to 1 year
Fines up to $4,000
State Jail Felony State jail term of 6 months to 2 years
Fines up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony Prison term of 2 to 10 years
Fines up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony Prison term of 2 to 20 years
Fines up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony Prison term of 5 to 99 years or life
Fines up to $10,000
In addition to the fines and potential jail time, you will also have to pay all court costs and fees. The judge may impose community supervision (supervised probation) and community service hours. The court may also compel you to attend drug-related education courses, counseling, or rehab programs.
Finally, a drug possession conviction remains on your record permanently. This can hinder your ability to get a job, rent a house, or get a student loan or scholarship for college.
Prosecutor Must Prove Actual or Constructive Possession
To get a drug possession conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had drugs (illegal or controlled substances) in your possession voluntarily.
Drug possession typically involves either actual possession or constructive possession.
Actual possession means having drugs on your body, in your backpack, or in your purse or briefcase.
Constructive possession means having drugs in your car, your home, or another location you control.
How Drug Types Affect Penalties
Texas law divides drug crimes into categories, based on the type of drug in question. These categories, known as penalty groups, and examples of the substances contained in each are as follows:
Group 1 – Opiates & Opiate Derivatives
- LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
Group 2 – Hallucinogens & Depressant/Stimulant Compounds
- Bath Salts
- Synthetic marijuana substitutes
Group 3 – Stimulants, Depressants, Narcotics
- Anabolic Steroids
Group 4 – Narcotic Compounds with Non-Narcotic Additives
- Codeine cough syrup
Prosecutors will pursue felony charges for possession of any drug in Group 1. Possession of drugs in groups 2, 2A, 3, and 4 can bring either misdemeanor or felony charges.
Texas classifies the possession of marijuana separately from other illegal substances. Those charges may range from a Class B misdemeanor to a felony depending on the quantity in your possession.
The severity of charges will increase if any of the following conditions apply:
- You have prior drug convictions.
- You had a firearm or another weapon on you.
- You had a minor with you.
- You committed additional crimes.
Potential Legal Defenses for Fighting Drug Possession
To obtain a drug possession conviction in Highland Park, the prosecutor must demonstrate your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the prosecutor can more easily prove that you had actual possession of an illegal substance, proving constructive possession can sometimes prove to be a challenge.
In many cases, the police violate a suspect’s legal rights by conducting an illegal search or by failing to properly document and track the seized evidence.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can evaluate every aspect of your case to identify potential errors or violations of your rights. If we find any such problems, we can use this information to challenge the charges pending against you. This may allow us to negotiate to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Deferral & Diversion Programs for Drug Possession in Highland Park
You may have options for either deferred adjudication or deferral of your drug possession charges in Highland Park.
The Dallas County Initiative for Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment (DIVERT Court) offers programs for offenders the court deems to be substance abusers. These programs aim to help offenders kick their drug or substance abuse habit and avoid repeat offenses.
If you qualify for and get accepted to the DIVERT Court program, you can potentially have your drug possession charges dismissed, and the matter expunged from your record. To accomplish this, however, you must comply with the terms of the program.
We can help you determine if you qualify for DIVERT Court and if so, we can prepare your application and petition the court for your acceptance into the program.
Talk to a Highland Park Drug Possession Lawyer at No Cost
Before you make any decisions, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. Our legal team understands how frightening this experience can be and we are here to fight for you and your future.
Randall Isenberg brings more than 30 of years of experience to his practice, with experience on both sides of the aisle. This background provides essential insight into the Texas criminal justice system and how prosecutors go about building a drug possession case.
We will start by explaining what your charges could mean for your future. We will help you consider all your options and assist you in making the best decision for you. We will work diligently to build your criminal defense with the goal of getting your charges reduced or dismissed. However, if necessary, we will stand ready to represent you at trial.