There is nothing worse than being convicted of a crime. That said, people do make mistakes, and sometimes, they’re outright wrongfully charged altogether. That said, one of the most common types of crimes that we see here in Houston, Texas are those involving the possession and sale of drugs. Suppose you are someone who was recently accused of buying, selling, or using drugs here in Texas. In that case, you must continue reading and consider your legal options going forward, as you’re looking at a wide range of serious, potentially life-altering penalties. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions regarding drug crimes in Texas. Read on to learn more.
What Are The Different Types of Drug Crimes in Texas?
The first thing you should understand is that there is a wide range of potential drug crimes a person can face. Just some of the most common drug crimes that we see here in Texas are as follows:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Drug Trafficking
- Prescription Drug Fraud
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Drug Manufacturing
- Possession with Intent to Deliver
What Are The Different Penalty Groups for Drug Charges in Texas?
The state of Texas places certain drug crimes into various penalty groups. They are Penalty Group 1, Penalty Group 2, Penalty Group 2-A, Penalty Group 3, and Penalty Group 4. Penalty Group 1 deals with charges involving what is federally recognized as the most dangerous drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, while Penalty Group 4 deals with charges involving drugs federally recognized as controlled substances but not as potentially dangerous as drugs found in the other penalty groups, such as compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing limited quantities of narcotics.
Regardless of the penalty group your charge falls under, it’s paramount you understand you can face a wide range of penalties, including jail/prison time, high fines, and more.
What Are The Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Texas?
Though many states have decriminalized or even legalized marijuana in more recent years, this is not the case in Texas. That said, the amount of marijuana you’re caught with will significantly impact the severity of the possession charges you’re facing. The penalties for marijuana possession charges in Texas are as follows:
- Possession of two ounces or less: This is a Class B misdemeanor, warranting a potential $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.
- Possession of between two and four ounces: This is a Class A misdemeanor, warranting a potential $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
- Possession of between four ounces and five pounds: This is a felony charge, warranting anywhere between 180 days and two years in jail and a potential $10,000 fine.
- Possession of between five and 50 pounds: This is a felony charge, warranting anywhere between two and ten years of incarceration and a potential $10,000 fine.
- Possession of between 50 and 2,000 pounds: This is a second-degree felony charge, warranting anywhere between two and 20 years of incarceration and a potential $10,000 fine.
- Possession of any more than 2,000 pounds: This is a felony crime, warranting anywhere between five and 99 years of incarceration and a potential $50,000 fine.
What Happens if I’m Convicted of Driving while under the Influence of Drugs in Texas?
Often, when we hear the phrase “driving while under the influence,” we think of a person driving drunk. However, you should note that you can also be arrested and charged with a crime for driving while under the influence of drugs. Note also that it doesn’t matter if the drug was legally prescribed; if an arresting officer can prove that the drug was impacting your ability to drive safely, you can receive DWI charges. In fact, you should note that the penalties for drug DWI charges in Texas are the same as standard DWI charges, meaning you can face a driver’s license suspension, jail time, high fines, and more.
What Happens if I’m Convicted of a Second, Third, or Subsequent Drug Crime in Texas?
Once you’ve been charged with a first drug crime, you will obtain a criminal record. As you accumulate subsequent drug convictions, courts will treat you as a repeat offender and seek to punish you to the fullest extent. For this reason, whether you’re facing a first, second, third, or subsequent drug charge, it’s in your best interests to retain the services of a competent Houston, Texas, drug crime lawyer who can fight tooth and nail to keep you out of jail.
What Are Some Potential Defenses against Drug Charges in Texas?
Though things may seem bleak after receiving a drug charge, you should understand that with an attorney in your corner, you stand a chance of beating your charges or, at the very least, having them significantly mitigated. When you hire a criminal defense attorney, they will assess the circumstances of your charges and your arrest and, from there, determine the best possible defense on your behalf. Just some of the most common defenses against drug charges are as follows:
- Proving you didn’t realize you were in possession of the drug.
- They were proving that the arresting officer conducted an illegal stop or an unlawful search and seizure.
- Proving that the quantity of the drug was insufficient to be charged with a crime.
- Proving that the drug was not intended for human consumption.
- Proving that the drug was prescribed to you.
- Proving that marijuana was used for medicinal purposes.
Of course, as previously mentioned, your attorney will have to analyze your case and determine whether any of the defenses mentioned above are applicable and viable. In some instances, your attorney will choose an entirely different defense, depending on the circumstances of your case. Regardless, you should always proceed with a seasoned attorney on your side.
Contact a Houston Drug Crime Lawyer Today
The bottom line is that if you’ve been accused of the sale, intent to sell, manufacturing, or possession of any illegal drug, you need an attorney who can combat your charges at every turn. The Gonzalez Law Group is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help preserve your freedom.