By: Mark Diaz
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Questions On Drug Manufacturing Charges In Texas
Whatever level of punishment you were at, an enhancement would bump it up to the next level. If you had a third-degree amount, and it was manufacturing & delivery, you’d be bumped up to a second degree.
What does manufacturing drugs mean?
The simplest example is a meth cook. Meth is made from a whole bunch of chemicals. There are all kinds of documentaries out there that show how different people set up different meth labs. That’s drug manufacturing.
The same thing with a marijuana grow house, you’re making the product. Turning cocaine into crack, that’s manufacturing.
Typically what we see is someone will have a quantity of any drug, meth, cocaine, whatever… and they’ll have it stored in individual packages of a certain weight, and they’ll have a lot of those packages.
Many times the state will argue that that’s evidence that the defendant is manufacturing/delivering. If you have a large quantity broken into smaller quantities and you’re caught carrying it around like that, law enforcement likes to say that you have it not for personal use but to sell.
They will try to stick you with manufacturing and delivery enhancement because of the way you stored the drugs.
How long can you go to jail for drug manufacturing?
So it’s the same as anything else, it depends on the quantity, what drug, what level of felony, but all the felony levels apply. First degrees, five to 99, or life, could be 15 to life if you have over 400 grams.
Or it can be a small case and not so severe. Then, of course, as with every other drug crime, you’re always eligible for probation depending upon your criminal history. Whether that be a deferred adjudication or straight probation, you’re going to have that option of probation.
Which drug carries the highest criminal penalties?
All the penalty group one substances, the most common of which are cocaine, meth, heroin, they’re going to have the highest penalties.
Can my house or car be taken if I’m arrested for drug manufacturing?
Yes. We deal with this a lot. I have several right now. In one case, for instance, my client drove his car to a location and sold it to an undercover police officer. That’s what initiated the investigation. Since he used that vehicle in the commission of a felony, which was the delivery of the narcotics, the state has now filed a separate action, which is a civil case, but it’s a forfeiture case, to seize his vehicle.
This is becoming more and more common and abused by the state in my opinion, and we’ll get to that in a second. In the civil action the state, because it’s a civil suit, not a criminal case, has a lower burden of proof in those cases where they try to seize your car, your house, money, there are all kinds of things that they’ll try to seize.
In that case, I was just talking about, they’re trying to seize my client’s car because he used it in the commission of a felony, which was the delivery of drugs to an undercover police officer. That case is separate from our criminal case.
Typically what happens is the civil case is abated, or stopped, until we resolve the criminal case. Generally, dependent on how we resolve the criminal case, we still go ahead and do the civil hearing to fight the forfeiture.
In many cases, I believe the state overreaches. I have a client right now, drugs were found at his home. Based solely upon that, the state is trying to seize his home. He owned his home outright, he did not have a mortgage. So they’re trying to seize his home because drugs were found.
It’s my position that the state cannot prove that he purchased his home with illegal proceeds. I know how he purchased this home and it was legal, and we have proof of that. Nevertheless, the state wants to go forward with the forfeiture of his home because drugs were found. This is rare. Once that case eventually gets litigated I can let you all know what happens. I don’t think the state will be successful in that case.
That’s what I meant when I said I think the state sometimes overreaches on the seizures because they just tried to apply the law as broadly as possible so they can try and take people’s property. It just seems fundamentally unfair to me, but we’ll see what the court thinks in that case. So the answer is yes. Your house or car can be taken.
What makes drug manufacturing sentences harsher?
Well, because it’s an enhancement that heightens the punishment. The reasoning behind that, as far as the state is concerned, is they want to discourage drug dealers, and drug manufacturers, because those are the people putting drugs out on the street.
What drugs are most people caught manufacturing in the Galveston area?
This changes. Right now, the top two as far as I can tell from the cases we’ve been getting, are gonna be methamphetamine and heroin. Cocaine has sort of fallen off in the Galveston area. Meth and heroin have taken over the streets.
Are minors given leeway on drug manufacturing charges?
The juvenile system is set up more towards rehab. When I say rehab, I don’t mean sending them to a facility. Everyone involved in the system likes to try and help young people. We want to see younger people get on the right path and succeed.
So is there leeway? Yeah, the whole juvenile system is sort of set up to not be punishing juveniles as adults. However, there’s no specific leeway just for manufacturing. For juveniles, we want to see them get on the right path and go forward and lead a successful life.
Is it true that you can get up to life for a drug manufacturing charge?
Yes. Any first-degree felony carries a possible five to 99 or life and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Life in a first-degree felony usually means 30 years, meaning, if you get life, you’ll be eligible for parole in 30 years.
Now, that’s distinguishable from capital life, which is something you see in a capital murder case. You can get life or capital life. Capital life means life without parole, which means you will never be eligible for parole. Regular, non-capital life, means that you would be eligible for parole in 30 years.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Galveston or the surrounding area, contact our Galveston drug crime lawyers online or call us at (409) 572-8095