No corner of the country has been untouched by the ravages of the opioid epidemic. In 2016, more than 42,000 Americans died due to overdoses of heroin and powerful opiate drugs, including painkillers such as OxyContin®, fentanyl, Vicodin®, and Percocet®. Here in Texas, 1,375 lives were lost because of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the number of annual heroin-related deaths in Texas has doubled since 2010.
These drugs are not only deadly but also highly addictive. The hold that these drugs have on those struggling with opioid abuse and addiction can and does cause good people to make bad decisions, including engaging in deceptive and criminal conduct to obtain the substances their brains and bodies tell them they need. In turn, this creates a lucrative market for those who see financial gain in manufacturing, selling, and distributing heroin and prescription opiates.
Given the carnage left by opiate drugs, it is no surprise that Texas law establishes severe penalties for those caught possessing or distributing these substances. Law enforcement and prosecutors see themselves on the front lines of the fight against opioids and will aggressively pursue convictions for those who violate the law.
Tenacious Defense and Compassionate Counsel for All Opiate Charges
At the Law Office of Case J. Darwin, we provide compassionate counsel and tenacious defense representation for those charged with opiate possession and distribution crimes. We understand that addiction can cloud judgment and lead to poor decisions. But we also know that police often make mistakes and prosecutors can and do file unwarranted charges. No matter the circumstances, we will be by your side, working tirelessly to achieve the optimal result, including obtaining an acquittal or a sentence more focused on recovery than incarceration.
Illegal Possession of Opiates in Texas
Texas law classifies all forms of opiates, whether legal prescription medication or illegal drugs like heroin, as the most dangerous types of controlled substances. As such, the penalties for possession or distribution are also the harshest.
While prescription painkillers may be “legal,” they are only legal for those who hold valid prescriptions for them. If you don’t have a prescription from a licensed Texas physician, your possession of even the smallest number of pills is illegal. You can be charged and convicted for illegal possession of prescription opiates for obtaining them in any number of ways, including:
- Taking medication from a friend or family member, with their knowledge or not.
- Stealing prescription pads.
- Forgery or alteration of prescriptions.
- Impersonating a physician.
- Using someone else’s ID to obtain medication.
- “Doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions.
- Purchasing from the black market.
Penalties for Texas Opiate Crimes
All drug offenses involving opiates and heroin are felonies classified as Penalty Group 1 offenses, which means that the penalties are the most severe. The actual severity largely depends on the kind and amount of drugs involved, with penalties increasing to up to 99 years in prison for crimes involving large amounts. Even possession of small amounts – less than one gram – can send you to prison for up to two years.
For those caught distributing heroin or prescription opiates, the penalties are even worse, as is the case if the crime was committed near a school or involved injury or death.
Call Today for Your Free Consultation With a Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
Quite simply, there is no such thing as a “minor” offense involving heroin or other opioids. If you are facing San Marcos opiate possession or distribution charges, you need to call an experienced drug crimes defense lawyer immediately. Your future and your freedom are at risk. You shouldn’t face this ordeal alone – and you don’t have to.
Call the Law Office of Case J. Darwin today at (210) 630-4780 or contact us online to arrange for your free initial consultation.