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List Of Drug Charges And Sentences In Texas

By: Mark Diaz May 29, 2023 no comments

List Of Drug Charges And Sentences In Texas

When you are charged with a drug crime in Texas, having as much information as possible is essential. Texas treats drug charges seriously and the Galveston County prosecutor will work tirelessly to convict you. One recent estimate is that about 88,650 Texans are charged with drug crimes yearly, with drug possession being the most common. However, if you have been accused of a drug crime, our Galveston County drug crime attorneys at Mark Diaz & Associates will fiercely defend you.

How Does Texas Classify Drug Crimes?

Texas drug laws are classified by drug type and resemble the federal drug classification system. Texas law outlines several illegal drug classifications in a numbered system. When the number is lower, the controlled substance is more dangerous and less likely to have a legitimate medical purpose. The categories are:

  • Groups 1 and 1-A: Heroin, LSD, cocaine, codeine, crystal meth, Oxycodone
  • Group 2: Ecstasy, PCP, mushrooms
  • Group 3: Ritalin, Xanax, Valium
  • Group 4: anabolic steroids and benzodiazepines
  • Marijuana: In its own category; cannabis possession is still illegal in Texas, although medical marijuana is allowed for certain conditions

Other Factors That Control Texas Drug Charges And Sentences

The type of drug involved in the crime is a significant factor in how it is charged. Also important are these factors:

Drug Amount

The police will check how much of the drug you have in your possession or control when you are arrested. The more that you have, the more serious the charge may be. For instance, if you have only ½ an ounce of marijuana, you might only be charged with possession. But if you have 10 kilograms of weed in your trunk, you could face a drug trafficking charge.

Type Of Crime

Drug possession in Texas is generally considered a more minor drug crime than manufacturing or delivering because it usually only affects the person arrested. However, if you are caught in possession of more significant amounts of drugs that could be for resale, you may be charged with manufacturing or trafficking, which are serious offenses.

Drug Possession Penalties In Texas

How severely you are punished for drug possession in Texas depends on many factors. One of the most significant factors is the type of drug that was involved:

  • Group 1 and 1-A: Any amount of possession is a felony. Includes serious drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, and the penalties begin at six months to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. However, if you have more than 400 grams of heroin or cocaine, you could receive 10 to 99 years in prison and a fine as high as $100,000.
  • Group 2: Also charged as a felony. Includes PCP and ecstasy, punishable by six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 if you have less than a gram. If you have more than 400 grams, you can get five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000.
  • Group 3: Possession of small amounts is a misdemeanor. Includes Valium and Ritalin, and punishable starting at up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. For larger quantities over 400 grams, you can get up to 99 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
  • Group 4: A Class B misdemeanor for less than 28 grams. This penalty group includes morphine and opium. You can receive up to six months in jail without a prescription and a $2,000 fine. Larger quantities also can be punished by five to 99 years in prison and a max $50,000 fine.

Marijuana Possession

Many states have decriminalized some forms of marijuana possession, but Texas is slow to the game. Possessing marijuana is still a crime, although medical marijuana has been legalized for some conditions and under limited circumstances. You still can be charged with a misdemeanor for possessing small amounts of marijuana – less than two ounces is a Class B misdemeanor. But if you have large quantities of marijuana above 2,000 pounds, it is a first-degree felony charge, punishable by up to 99 years in prison and a max $50,000 fine.

Sentences for Manufacturing, Trafficking, And Distributing

Drug possession in Texas is one thing, but if you are arrested with large amounts of drugs, this suggests your intent is manufacturing and distributing, which are much more severe charges. Texas statutes refer to ‘delivery,’ which means trafficking. It is against Texas law to deliver or transfer an illegal drug, paraphernalia, or other illegal narcotic materials. It also is against the law to offer to sell them, even if you do not complete the transaction.

Also, drug manufacturing means any act involved in cultivation, production, growing, compounding, or processing. It also involves labeling and packaging. Any drug manufacturing, distributing, or trafficking case is a felony in most cases.

Texas Drug Charge FAQ

You probably have many questions if you were charged with a drug crime in Galveston County. Here are some common questions and answers:

Is Cannabis Possession Legal In Texas?

No. You still can be charged with marijuana possession, but some jurisdictions may not prosecute you for having small amounts of cannabis on you. In addition, the state does now allow low-THC cannabis to be used for specific medical conditions.

Do I Need A Lawyer For A Drug Possession Charge?

Yes, a drug possession charge is serious with serious ramifications as this article has discussed. When you are in court on a criminal matter, it could affect your life for years. For example, drug possession is a criminal charge, so you should have an attorney.

What Is The Most Common Drug Charge?

In Texas, drug possession is the most common charge. For many years, marijuana possession was the most frequent charge, but it depends on the area. For example, some counties see more methamphetamine charges; that used to be the case in Galveston County. But what is popular on the streets can change over months and years.

Can I Lose My Driver’s License With A Drug Conviction?

Yes. If you are convicted of a drug crime in Texas, you may lose your license for up to 180 days or more. In addition, you must pay a reinstatement fee that is currently approximately $125 which is due to Texas DPS to get your license back.

How Long Does A Drug Conviction Stay On Your Record?

The drug charge is on your record for life if you are convicted. However, some case outcomes are not convictions, so it depends. As long as it is not a conviction, expunction of the charge can be possible in some situations. If your record is successfully expunged and the judge signs off, you can deny ever being arrested or that the case occurred.

Can My Drug Charges In Texas Be Dropped?

Yes, it is possible in some cases. Your attorney could find something that law enforcement did wrong procedurally that could weaken the case. Or, sometimes there will be a case where the ‘illegal drug’ turns out not to be.

Which Illegal Drugs Get The Highest Penalties?

Group 1 drugs, including meth, cocaine, and fentanyl, get the harshest penalties, but much depends on the amount. For example, if you carry more than 400 grams of a Group 1 drug, you could receive between 10 years to life.

Can I Be Convicted For Having Drugs In My System?

Having drugs in your body is not drug possession. It needs to be in your control or custody for you to be charged with drug possession.

What Is The Lightest Punishment For Drug Possession In Texas?

If it is a small quantity of illegal drugs, some convictions may not result in jail time. This is often the case with a small amount of marijuana. Many people do not go to jail for drug possession in Texas, especially if they do not have a previous criminal record.

What If I Was In A Car And The Drugs Were Not Mine?

You should hire a Galveston County drug possession attorney to contest the charge, but much depends on the circumstances. For example, were the drugs within reach and in plain sight? The state must prove you had possession, but your attorney will do their best to fight the charge on this specific issue.

Is It Possible To Get Probation For Felony Drug Charges?

Yes, but you need an excellent criminal defense attorney to help you. Also, it may be possible to have a felony drug charge dropped to a misdemeanor.

Contact Our Galveston County Drug Crime Attorneys Today

If you have a drug charge in Texas, you could be sent to jail, fined, and be stuck with a criminal record. But it does not have to happen that way. Instead, contact our Galveston County drug crime attorneys at Mark Diaz & Associates today for help at (409) 515-6170.

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