In Plano, conviction on drug possession charges can disrupt your life today but, more importantly, it can put your future at risk. Prosecutors in Texas take a hard stance against drug possession, regularly assessing the maximum penalties upon conviction. And, because our state has habitual offender laws, the penalties can become more serious with every offense.
If you face drug charges, consulting a drug possession lawyer in Plano is the first step toward protecting yourself and your legal rights. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to discuss your case with us: 214-696-9253.
What constitutes drug possession in Texas?
The State of Texas defines drug possession in the Texas Controlled Substances Act (TCSA).
In Texas, possession simply means that you intentionally or knowingly had a controlled substance on your person, in your school locker, in a backpack, purse or briefcase, in your home, or in your car.
In this context, a controlled substance means any drug or substance listed in any penalty group in the statute. In certain cases, if you are arrested while in possession of chemicals or substances that may be used in the creation of a controlled substance, you could face drug manufacturing charges.
Likewise, if you transport or give drugs to someone else, the police can charge you with a more serious drug delivery offense.
What are the penalties for drug possession in Plano?
Texas drug possession charges range from a Class B misdemeanor to a first-degree felony, depending on the type and quantity of the drug in your possession.
Note: Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor.
For example, an arrest for possessing less than two ounces of marijuana will bring Class B misdemeanor charges. Possessing up to than one gram of cocaine is a state jail felony. Possessing up to 28 grams of Xanax or Adderall (without a valid prescription) is a Class A misdemeanor.
Penalties for each type of offense are as follows:
|Class C Misdemeanor||up to a $500 monetary fine|
|Class B Misdemeanor||$2,000 monetary fine and up to 6 months in jail|
|Class A Misdemeanor||$4,000 monetary fine and up to 1 year in jail|
|State Jail Felony||$10,000 monetary fine and 6 months to 2 years in jail or state prison|
|Third-Degree Felony||$10,000 monetary fine and 2 to 10 years in prison|
|Second-Degree Felony||$10,000 monetary fine and 2 to 20 years in prison|
|First-Degree Felony||$10,000 monetary fine and 5 to 99 years or life in prison|
Certain circumstances, such as possession in a school zone or previous convictions, can lead to enhanced penalties.
What types of drugs are illegal to possess in Plano?
The TCSA establishes a detailed breakdown of controlled substances, based on four main classes of drugs. The penalty groups and examples of drugs included in the groups are as follows:
Penalty Group 1: Opiates and opium derivatives including codeine compounds, morphine compounds, heroin, poppy straws, cocaine, Rohypnol, methamphetamine, PCP, GHB and Ketamine
Penalty Group 1-A: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
Penalty Group 2: Hallucinogens including DMT, synthetic THC, MDMA, BZP, psilocybin, mescaline, phenylacetone, Vyvanse, Quaaludes, MDPV and mephedrone
Penalty Group 2-A: Synthetic marijuana (K2, spice)
Penalty Group 3: Stimulants (e.g., Ritalin, Preludin), depressants (e.g., Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin), Nalorphine, codeine, morphine, barbiturates, peyote, appetite suppressants, and non-exempted anabolic steroids
Penalty Group 4: Compounds of narcotics containing nonnarcotic ingredients, compounds of Buprenorphine and Butorphanol, compounds of pyrovalerone
Note that cannabinoids (marijuana, marijuana derivatives, and marijuana edibles) are not in any penalty group. The TCSA addresses these substances individually.
Does Plano have a first offense drug possession program?
If your arrest occurred in Collin County, you may have the option of participating in the county’s drug court program.
Drug court is a diversionary option for first- or second-time offenders facing misdemeanor possession charges. Successful completion of the Collin County drug court program allows you to petition for a dismissal of charges.
If your arrest took place in Denton County, you may also have the option of participating in the county’s drug diversion program.
A Plano drug possession lawyer can explain these programs to you and help you determine whether you may qualify for participation. If so, your attorney can assist you in the application process and, upon completion, prepare any necessary documentation to petition for a dismissal of your charges.
Can I fight a Plano drug possession charge?
Yes, you can always fight drug possession charges. Pleading guilty to drug possession will cost a lot now, but even more later. A permanent criminal record can disqualify you for employment in many cases and it may even affect where you can rent an apartment or house.
You can choose to fight your charges in court. However, if you hire a Plano drug possession lawyer, that may not be necessary. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or even a dismissal of all charges.
How can a Plano drug possession lawyer help?
The most important role of a drug possession attorney is to protect your rights under the law.
By evaluating the circumstances of your case, your attorney may be able to identify flaws in the prosecution’s case. For example, if the arresting officers did not conduct a legal search, and that illegal search found drugs, the evidence may be inadmissible in court. We can also argue that you did not know about the drugs (e.g., your friend left them in your car) or that you knew about the drugs but they are not yours (e.g., your roommate does drugs but you do not).
Rather than risk your future by taking on your criminal charges alone, talk to an attorney to can better understand your options. For a free, no-obligation case review, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg: 214-696-9253.