The possession of a controlled substance is a serious crime in Texas. If convicted, one may face jail time, fines, or community service. In addition, drug convictions carry a stigma that is often damaging to the defendant’s professional and personal life. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, however, you will ensure that your legal rights are protected. Your charges may be reduced or dismissed, depending on the individual facts of your case.
What is a controlled substance in Texas?
A controlled substance is a drug or other substance that is listed as a Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V substance according to state laws.
Each schedule lists dozens of different substances. For example, heroin is a Schedule I substance. Cocaine is a Schedule II substance. Schedule III includes morphine and steroids. Schedule IV includes alprazolam, which is sold as Xanax. Schedule V includes certain amounts of opium or codeine.
Penalties for possessing a controlled substance
Although there are five schedules of controlled substances in Texas, the punishments for possessing these substances is divided into four Penalty Groups.
Penalty Group 1 governs the possession of substances that have no medical use in the United States. Heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are examples of Penalty Group 1 substances.
If someone is arrested for possessing under one gram of a Penalty 1 substance, that individual faces between 180 days and 2 years in prison, as well as up to a $10,000 fine.
In Penalty Group 2, substances may have some type of medical use in the United States but have a high risk of abuse. Mushrooms, MDMA, and ecstasy are included in this group.
Possession of under one gram of a Penalty Group 2 substance may also result in a two-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
Penalty Group 3 includes substances that have a lower risk of abuse and are commonly used in medical treatment. Examples include steroids, Xanax, and Ritalin.
Possessing under 28 grams of a Penalty Group 3 substance is a misdemeanor that may result in up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Finally, Penalty Group 4 includes substances with the lowest risk of abuse that have common medical uses. These include substances with small amounts of opium or codeine.
A conviction for possessing under 28 grams of a Penalty Group 4 substance may result in a 180 day jail sentence and a $2,000 fine.
Are there any defenses to possession of controlled substances charges?
With a criminal defense attorney, you will be able to raise any proper defenses. These may include constitutional violations, the fact that the drugs were not yours, or crime lab issues.
For example, if your car, home, or person was illegally searched, and that search resulted in charges, you may be able to have your charges completely dismissed because your constitutional rights were violated.
You may also be able to argue that the drugs were not yours if they truly belonged to someone else. Your attorney will be able to present evidence to establish this defense.
There are many substances that look like illegal drugs. Law enforcement must prove that the substance you were arrested for possessing was indeed what you possessed.
Contact the Hampton Eppes Law Group today for a free consultation
If you were arrested for possessing a controlled substance, you must act quickly to protect your legal rights. Jeff Hampton and Brian Eppes are former prosecutors experienced in all types of drug claims. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5201 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.