Possessing a controlled substance is a charge that has serious consequences. Drug charges may cost an individual his career, his personal relationships, and, of course, his reputation. Even if an individual is absolved of drug charges, the negative implications of the charges often linger. However, with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you will protect your legal rights and will reduce the negative impact the charges may have on your life. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to examine the facts that led to your arrest and determine whether you may raise any defenses.
In Texas, there are five schedules of controlled substances. The penalties for possessing these substances are divided into four Penalty Groups.
Punishments for possessing controlled substances in Texas vary depending on the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and the defendant’s criminal history. A first time offender will generally face fewer penalties than someone with several convictions on his criminal record.
Penalty Group 1 includes substances such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Substances in Penalty Group 1 have no known medical uses in the United States.
Possessing between 1 and 4 grams of a Penalty Group 1 substance is a felony. A defendant faces between 2 and 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
Penalty Group 2 substances include substances that have a high risk of abuse but have some medical benefits. Penalty Group 2 substances include ecstasy and MDMA (“Molly”). Possessing a Penalty Group 2 substance is also a felony that may result in a prison sentence of between 2 and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possessing Penalty Group 3 substances, such as Xanax, may result in misdemeanor charges so long as the defendant possessed no more than 28 grams. The defendant may face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
The possession of a Penalty Group 4 substance, such as drugs containing codeine, may also result in misdemeanor charges if the defendant possessed no more than 28 grams. A conviction may result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Defenses to drug possession charges
If you have been charged with drug possession, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Simple statements you make to law enforcement or prosecutors may damage your case. Therefore, you should seek legal counsel immediately so that your attorney will be able to communicate on your behalf. In addition, the sooner you hire an attorney, the better your chances are of raising defenses.
For example, in most cases, law enforcement officers must have a warrant to search a home or vehicle. In addition, police officers cannot simply search individuals walking down the street because they want to. If a law enforcement officer conducts a search that violates these constitutional rights, any evidence obtained from the search is said to be tainted and cannot be used as evidence. Therefore, your drug charges may be significantly reduced or even dismissed if the search was improper. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to pinpoint any defenses you may be able to raise in your case
Contact the Hampton Eppes Law Group to schedule a free consultation
Jeff Hampton and Brian Eppes are former prosecutors who possesses a deep understanding of the Texas criminal justice system. He is experienced in various drug charges. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5200 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.