A Texas drug crime conviction can land you in prison for years. The Lone Star State does not take drug crimes lightly and, given the opportunity, will assess the most serious charges and the maximum penalties.
Because these charges can significantly affect your life — and that of your family — you should not face this struggle alone. If you face charges for drug possession, delivery, or manufacturing, get a drug crime lawyer in Plano to assist you.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can protect your legal rights and fight on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today: 214-696-9253.
How does Texas define drug crimes?
The Texas Controlled Substances Act (TCSA), a part of the Texas Health and Safety Code, details the various drug crimes that the prosecution can charge you with.
Drug crimes in Texas fall into three basic categories: drug possession, manufacturing, and delivery.
In Texas, you face drug possession charges if you intentionally or knowingly possess a controlled substance. The law interprets possession as having a controlled substance on your physical body, in your purse or briefcase, in your car, or in your home. In fact, if the substance is anywhere under your control, such as in a work or school locker or a storage unit, the state can charge you with drug possession.
To charge you with drug manufacturing in Texas, the state must establish that you were preparing, producing, or growing a banned substance. You may also face charges if you are arrested while in possession of the components or ingredients needed to produce a controlled substance.
In Texas, you can face drug delivery charges if you knowingly or intentionally sell, distribute, transfer, or give a banned substance to someone else. You may also face drug delivery charges if you are in possession of a quantity of drugs packaged for individual sale.
We can go over your case and explain how the statutes apply to your charges.
What factors determine my charges?
To determine what charges to file, the state considers these three essential elements:
- The type of drug or substance you possessed
- How much of the drug you possessed
- The situation and conditions of your arrest
In addition, the prosecutor will also review your criminal history. If you have past convictions, you may face a more serious level of charges.
You may also face more serious charges if you committed a drug crime in a posted drug-free zone, in a school zone, or if a minor child was present when you violated the law.
What type of drugs can I face charges for possessing?
The TCSA names hundreds of illegal and controlled substances that fall under the umbrella of Texas drug crimes.
In some cases, possession of a legal substance may lead to drug charges. For example, possessing a prescription medication that a doctor did not prescribe to you is illegal.
Texas law details four groups of drugs, organized based on the penalty level they carry. Although not all of the listed substances are noted here, this presents a basic outline of the substances most commonly associated with criminal charges.
Penalty Group 1: Opiates such as crack cocaine, ketamine, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, hydrocodone (>300 mg), and oxycodone
Penalty Group 1-A: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
Penalty Group 2: Hallucinogens and compounds of stimulants and depressants such as MDMA, molly, Adderall, PCP, bath salts, ecstasy, mescaline, psilocybin (i.e., mushrooms), flakka, and so-called designer drug compounds
Penalty Group 2-A: Synthetic marijuana (sold as K2 or spice)
Penalty Group 3: Stimulants, depressants and some narcotics drugs, such as codeine, alprazolam, clonazepam, lorazepam, Ritalin, valium, hydrocodone (< 300 mg), diazepam, human growth hormone, and illegal testosterone
Penalty Group 4: Narcotic compounds also containing nonnarcotic ingredients, such as opium, pyrovalerone, morphine, and buprenorphine
None of these penalty groups contain marijuana, marijuana derivatives, and “edibles.”
What are the penalties for Texas drug crime convictions?
After a Texas drug crime conviction, the judge will determine your sentence based on the type and quantity of drug(s) you had in your possession. You may face as little as 6 months or as much 99 years to life behind bars.
Some drug crimes do not carry fines. For the most severe charges, fines can be as much as $100,000.
Marijuana possession (less than two ounces) is a class B misdemeanor. A conviction on this charge carries up to 6 months in jail and a $2,000 fine. The penalties increase in accordance with the quantity you possessed at the time of your arrest.
Possessing at least four but not more than 200 grams of Group 1 or 2 substance carries second-degree felony charges. Possessing 28 grams or less from Group 3 or 4 carries misdemeanor charges.
For drug manufacturing and delivery charges, you can expect to face penalties that are significantly harsher.
Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, manufacture, and delivery crimes may carry federal drug crime charges.
Can I go through a drug court program?
The answer to this question depends on where in Plano your arrest took place.
If your crime occurred in the portion of Plano located in Denton County, the county’s drug court program only recently launched. Approved by Denton County Commissioners in October of 2016, the program is currently administered as a part of the 211th District Court in Denton County. The court provides no detailed information about the program, which is currently overseen by Judge Brody Shanklin after his regular court docket is complete for the day.
Collin County does offers diversionary drug court program for first-or second-time offenders charged with misdemeanor possession. If you complete the program successfully, the court will potentially dismiss your charges. The Collin County program also facilitates obtaining an occupational driver’s license.
We can help you determine if you qualify for one of these drug court programs and, if so, assist with the application process.
What options do I have after being charged with a drug crime in Plano?
We can help you determine the best course of action for your case. However, you have four basic options when facing drug crimes charges.
- Plead guilty to current charges
- Pleading guilty to lesser charges
- Dismissal of all charges
- Fight your case in court
A Plano drug crimes attorney can work to build a strong case for your defense and potentially negotiate with the prosecution for dismissal or lesser charges. Or, if necessary, your attorney can challenge your charges in court.
Ultimately, whatever option you choose, we can help ensure the best outcome and protect your legal rights throughout the criminal process. We will investigate your arrest and determine whether we can exploit any mistakes during the process (e.g., unlawful search).
How can I find the right Plano drug crime lawyer for me?
If you face criminal charges for drugs, seek out a local attorney who handles cases like yours. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg assist clients in Plano, including both Collin and Denton Counties. And, for your convenience, we provide free consultations and case reviews for drug possession, manufacturing, and delivery charges. Call us today to speak with a drug crime lawyer in Plano: 214-696-9253.