By: Mark Diaz
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Drug Possession Charges in Texas and Their Cost
In Texas, drug possession is a serious criminal offense. Texas has some of the most stringent drug laws in the entire country. If you are arrested on Galveston drug possession charges, you may be facing significant penalties, potentially including jail time. The true cost of a conviction is even higher than most people realize. Here, our Galveston criminal lawyer provides an overview of drug possession charges and their true total cost in Texas.
Texas Drug Possession Laws: What You Need to Know
Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, it is unlawful to possess a banned substance (illegal drug) without valid authorization. In Texas, drug offenses — and drug possession penalties — fall into five (5) broad categories:
- Penalty Group 1: The most serious category, this group includes dangerous and addictive substances such as opioids, heroin, and cocaine.
- Penalty Group 2: For slightly less dangerous drugs, including ecstasy (MDMA) and amphetamines,
- Penalty Group 3: Many depressive and stimulants fall into this group, such as benzodiazepines and Ritalin.
- Penalty Group 4: Finally, the least serious drugs fall into this group, which is the least serious classification in Texas.
- The Exception: Currently, marijuana possession is handled outside of the traditional penalty groups. However, many prosecutors aggressively pursue marijuana possession charges.
The financial costs associated with a drug charge vary based on several factors, the most important being the classification of the drug and the amount that was allegedly possessed by the defendant. Penalty Group 1 substances carry the most severe criminal penalties, including the greatest fines.
Drug Possession Charges in Texas: Know the True Cost of a Conviction
The true cost of a conviction for drug possession in Texas is often far higher than the stated statutory penalty. For example, imagine a defendant was charged with possessing less than one (1) gram of a Penalty Group 1 drug, such as methamphetamine. Under Texas law, the maximum fine for this offense cannot exceed $10,000. In many cases, prosecutors seek lower financial penalties than that.
However, the collateral consequences of a criminal charge can be far higher. You may lose out on job opportunities, have your professional license suspended, lose your clean record, and even spend time behind bars. The long-term costs may far exceed any direct fine imposed by the State of Texas. It is imperative you work with a criminal defense lawyer who will help protect you from the long-term, adverse ramifications of a drug possession offense.
Were You Arrested on Drug Possession Charges in Texas?
Our criminal lawyers can help. Mark A. Diaz is an experienced drug crime defense attorney. If you or your loved one is facing possession charges, we are more than ready to take aggressive action to protect your legal rights. Contact us now for a completely confidential initial case evaluation. With a law office in Galveston, our firm handles drug possession charges in Galveston and throughout all Southeastern Texas.