The state of Texas takes drug possession and other related crimes seriously. Even for first time offenders, drug charges may land an offender in prison for years. A single drug charge may cost an offender his reputation and his career. Fortunately, criminal defense attorneys experienced in drug charges can help those accused of drug-related crimes. With the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, many individuals charged with drug-related crimes may have their charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the individual circumstances of the case.
Texas has divided controlled substances into five schedules. In addition, there are four categories of Penalty Groups. Punishments for drug-related crimes vary depending on which Penalty Group the illegal substance falls into. The amount of illegal substance recovered, as well as the offender’s own criminal record, are also factors in criminal penalties in Texas.
Penalty Group 1 includes heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Penalty Group 1 substances have no known medical benefits and possess highly addictive qualities.
An offender convicted of possessing between 4 and 200 grams of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance is guilty of a second degree felony. These charges may result in between 2 and 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Penalty Group 2 substances include MDMA (“Molly”) and ecstasy. These substances have some medical benefits, but are also highly addictive.
A conviction for possessing between 4 and 200 grams of a Penalty Group 2 controlled substance is also a second degree felony. Those convicted face up to a $10,000 fine and between 2 and 20 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
Penalty Group 3 substances include prescription medications such as Xanax and certain amounts of hydrocodone. Steroids are also a Penalty Group 3 substance. These controlled substances also have a potential for abuse.
Penalty Group 4 includes morphine and certain opioids. These substances are widely used in the medical field and have a lesser risk of being abused as compared to those in the other penalty groups.
Punishments for possessing Penalty Groups 3 and 4 drugs are categorized a bit differently. If the possession is under 28 grams, the offender may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and face up to a $4,000 fine and a maximum of six months in jail. If the offender is convicted of possessing more than 28 grams of a Penalty Group 3 or 4 substance, however, the offender is guilty of a felony. Possessing between 28 grams to 200 grams is a third degree felony, with a prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000 possible. Possessing between 200 grams and 400 grams may result in a prison sentence of between 2 and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
How can I defend myself against possession charges in Texas?
If you have been arrested for drug-related charges, the first thing you need to do is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. These attorneys are able to study the facts of your claim and determine whether your charges are proper. For example, did the officer have reasonable suspicion to stop you, or probable cause to search you? If not, your charges may be reduced or dismissed.
Contact the Hampton Eppes Law Group today to fight your charges
Brian Eppes and Jeff Hampton spent much of their legal career as prosecutors. With his experience and expertise, you will be able to present a strong defense in your case. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5200 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.