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Possession or Distribution of Controlled Substances

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If you are arrested or charged with possession of a controlled substance, or the distribution or manufacture of an illegal drug, you need to find a Texas criminal defense attorney that is familiar with drug offenses and knows how a particular county feels about drug offenses (some counties are more conservative than others).

Case handles a full range of drug charges, from possession of a controlled substance in Texas (such as marijuana), to serious felony drug cases like possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

If you’ve been arrested for a drug charge and are in need of an experienced attorney for possession of a controlled substance or distribution of a controlled substance, contact Case.

Every day, law enforcement officers overreach and intervene in our private lives and private choices.  And, in many cases law enforcement charges good people for drug crimes they did not commit.

Despite the fact that someone may be innocent of a drug crime allegation, there can be numerous forms of severe penalties for those who choose not to fight and instead take a plea deal.  When you contact Case, you will be provided with the assistance that you need to help fight the government’s allegations.

There are many drug crimes that fall under the umbrella of possession of a controlled substance offenses. An arrest for possession of controlled substances requires the assistance of an attorney who is familiar with the drug laws in Texas. The Texas Health and Safety Code classifies drugs according to penalty groups. The punishment range for each penalty group is also set out by the Texas Health and Safety Code.

Within the state of Texas, there are many different illegal drugs and some of the most common include the following:

  • Cocaine,
  • Marijuana,
  • Heroin,
  • Ecstacy (Molly),
  • LSD (Acid),
  • Methamphetamine (Crystal meth),
  • Synthetic marijuana (K2/Spice),
  • Hash oil (dabs),
  • Legalized prescription drugs without a prescription (i.e., hydrocodone, valium, xanax, etc.)

Possession of a Controlled Substance Cases

Case possesses years of experience in the handling  of criminal cases involving these substances.  Case has proven on many occasions that he has the ability to defend clients in drug crime cases.  You should consult Case to learn about your rights if you have been charged with any of the following:

  • Drug possession,
  • Drug manufacturing,
  • Drug paraphernalia possession,
  • Drug delivery or transportation,
  • Drug dealing, trafficking or distribution,
  • Drug cultivation, or
  • Drug DWI.

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of Marijuana is a common drug offense and the level of the offense varies depending on how much marijuana a person has in their possession.  Possession of Drug Paraphernalia usually involves some apparatus associated with marijuana use (though it can be associated with other drugs as well).  Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.  Possession of Marijuana is a Class B Misdemeanor when the amount possessed is less than two ounces.  Possession of two to four ounces of marijuana raises the offense level to a Class A Misdemeanor.  The punishment ranges increase from there.  Also, the level of offense increases if someone is within 1000 feet of a school or other drug-free zone.

Drug Charges Can Jeopardize Your Future

As if being convicted of a crime is not enough, it is important to know that a conviction for a drug offense may trigger other problems.  A drug conviction often results in a driver’s license suspension and driver’s license surcharge in a manner similar to a DWI conviction.  If you are a student, drug convictions (including Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) can interfere with student loans and grants.  You may also have a problem with government assisted housing if you are convicted of a drug offense.

There are numerous drug programs in throughout the Central Texas Area that allow a person to receive drug counseling and will often result in your case being dismissed.  Depending on each client’s particular situation this may be an option.  If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Texas or any other drug offense, please call our office so that we may advise you further.

In addition to the above types of drug crimes, it is also against the law to use legal prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs for any kind of illegal activity.  For example, possessing prescription drugs that a doctor did not prescribe to you or using medications or chemicals to make an illegal substance.

If an individual gets convicted of a drug crime, they can fall victim to the following kinds of legal punishments:

  • Jail/prison sentences,
  • Large amounts of fines,
  • Being placed on probation,
  • Specific amount of time for community service,
  • Treatment for drug use/abuse. This can also mean inpatient treatment, i.e., jail,
  • Permanent criminal record, or
  • Suspension of your driver’s license.

In addition to all of these potential punishments, a conviction for a drug crime can affect your life in many other ways, such as losing your job, denial of a housing application, missing out on scholarship money, loss of school/employment opportunities, taking up time having to go to court, and not to mention straining your relationship with family and friends.

Asset Forfeiture or Seizure of your Property

Law enforcement can also seize your property that they consider as contraband or connected with a drug charge and ask a judge to forfeit your property to the government.  Contraband has a broad definition but the most common property seized during a felony arrest for a drug related crime includes vehicles, jewelry and large sums of cash.  Case will work to have your illegally property returned!

Factors to Consider When Charged with Controlled Substances Crimes

Throughout the State of Texas, drug crimes are covered under both state laws and federal laws.  Under these laws the following factors are considered when someone is accused of committing this kind of a crime:

  • The type of drug involved in the case. Under the Controlled Substances Act, drugs are classified into four different penalty groups.  Under these categories, Group 1 is considered to be the most serious of them all.  This is where you will find drugs such as cocaine and heroin.  Group 1-A consists of LSD.  Group 2 includes hallucinogenic mushrooms.  Group 2-A contains synthetic marijuana.  In Group 3 you will find certain prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, valium, and xanax, as well as peyote and steroids.  Finally, Group 4 contains specific narcotic drugs.
  • The amount of drugs the accused had in their possession. Fines and jail time rise depending on the amount of drugs.
  • The purpose of the drug. If the accused is charged with simple possession, typically it holds a less severe penalty than manufacturing or distribution.
  • The location where the offense took place. The severity of the punishment of a drug crime can increase if the person is caught in a drug free zone such as on a school bus or within 1,000 feet of a playground or school.
  • If the drug crime was combined with any other kind of illegal offense. If a violent crime such as robbery or assault also took place involving illegal drugs, the punishments can be much more severe.

If you or someone you know are currently facing any kind of charges relating to illegal drugs or narcotics, don’t hesitate: contact Case today.  With the assistance of an experienced attorney and someone who will fight to defend your rights, the outcome of your case could be very different.

The Law

Controlled Substance Penalty Groups 

Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, controlled substances, including medications, chemicals, medications without prescriptions, prescription pills, street drugs, narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, depressants, man-made substances and natural substances are classified into four different penalty groups.  According to the Texas Health and Safety Code §§ 481.101-105, the following penalty groups are used to establish punishments for criminal drug offenses:

  • Penalty Group I (PG-1) – Examples of substances in this group include, but are not limited to heroin, methamphetamines, codeine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxycontin, uppers, stimulants, speed, hydrocodone, GHB, the date rape drug, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, ketamine, special K and cocaine,
  • Penalty Group I-A (PG-1-A) – The only substance in this group is LSD or Lysergic acid diethylamide,
  • Penalty Group II (PG-2) – Examples of substances in this group are marijuana concentrate/hash oil/dabs, psilocybin, cathinone, magic mushrooms, bath salts, MDMA/ecstasy, and other hallucinogens,
  • Penalty Group III (PG-3) – Examples of substances in the group can include Xanax, Valium, Lysergic acid, zolpidem, ambien, hydrocodone, and drugs containing small amounts of narcotics, or
  • Penalty Group IV (PG-4) – Examples of substances in this penalty group include substances with limited quantities of narcotics but also contain one or more non-narcotic active medical ingredient. 

Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, also known as the Texas Controlled Substance Act, defines all drug crimes and punishments.  Some of the most commonly charged controlled substance offenses can include any of the following:

  • An individual can be charged with possession of a controlled substance (POCS) under sections 481.115 through 481.118 of the Texas Health and Safety Code if they knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance without prescription from an individual licenses to practice medicine in the State. Penalties for this offense depend on the amount of the substance in the alleged offender’s possession and the type of substance.
  • According to Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.112, an individual can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia if they knowingly or intentionally use or possess with the intent to use drug paraphernalia for planting, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, testing, analyzing, storing, restoring, containing or concealing a controlled substance, or to introduce the substance into the human body. This offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor.
  • As defined in sections 481.112 through 481.114 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, an individual can be charged with possession of drugs with the intent to distribute if they knowingly possess any controlled substance listed in Penalty Groups I through IV with the intent to intent to a deliver or distribute the substance.  The penalties for this offense can vary, depending on the amount of the substance possessed by the alleged offender and the penalty group the substance is classified in.
  • According to sections 481.112 through 481.114 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and individual can be charged with drug manufacturing if they knowingly manufacture a controlled substance listed in Penalty Groups I through IV. The penalties for this offense can vary depending on the penalty group the substance is classified in and the amount of the substance manufactured.
  • An individual can be charged with drug trafficking, according to the Texas Health and Safety Code §§ 481.112-.114, if they knowingly traffic a substance classified in Penalty Groups I through IV. This offense usually involves a large quantity of drugs and a number of controlled substance offenses, such as drug manufacturing, drug delivery or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.  The penalties for this offense can vary depending on the amount of the substance trafficked and the penalty group the drug is classified under.

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code defines the basic penalties for drug crimes.  However, these penalties can increase, depending on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Whether the alleged offender carried a weapon during the commission of the offense,
  • Whether the offense involved a child under the age of 18,
  • The quantity of the substance,
  • What penalty group the substance was classified under,
  • Whether the offense caused death or serious bodily injury to another person, or
  • Whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal history.

The statutory provided penalties for misdemeanor and felony drug offenses in Texas are as follows:

  • A Class B misdemeanor drug conviction can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine not more than $2,000.
  • A Class A misdemeanor drug conviction can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • A state jail felony drug conviction can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • A felony of the third degree drug conviction can result in a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A felony of the second degree drug conviction can result in a two to 20 year prison sentence and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • A felony of the first degree drug conviction can result in a prison sentence from five years to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine not more than $10,000.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.115, the following list defines the penalties for drug possession in Penalty Group 1:

  • An individual can be charged with a state jail felony drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than one gram. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the third degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is more than one gram but less than four grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is more than four grams but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the first degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can lead to imprisonment from 5 to 99 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more of a substance in their possession can receive 10 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.116, the following list defines the penalties for drug possession in Penalty Group 2:

  • An individual can be charged with a state jail felony drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than one gram. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the third degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is more than one gram but less than four grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is more than four grams but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more of a substance in their possession can receive 5 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 3 

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.117, the following list defines the penalties for drug possession in Penalty Group III:

  • An individual can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than 28 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year and/or a fine not more than $4,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the third degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is at least 28 grams but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual in possession of 400 grams or more of a substance can receive a term of five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 4

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.118, the following list defines the penalties for drug possession in Penalty Group 4:

  • An individual can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than 28 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine not more than $2,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the third degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in imprisonment from 2 to 10 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from of 2 to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual in possession of 400 grams or more of a substance can receive a term of 5 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Penalties for Manufacturing or Delivery of a Controlled Substances in Penalty Group 1 

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.112, the following list defines the penalties for manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1:

  • An individual can be charged with a state jail felony offense if the amount of the substance distributed is less than one gram. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree if the amount of the substance distributed is more than one gram but less than four grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the first degree if the amount distributed is more than four grams but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the first degree drug if the amount distributed is 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can lead to imprisonment from 10 to 99 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more distributed can receive a term of 15 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.

Penalties for Manufacturing or Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.113, the following list defines the penalties for manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2:

  • An individual can be charged with a state jail felony if the amount distributed is less than one gram. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree if the amount distributed is more than one gram but less than four grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the first degree if the amount distributed is more than four grams but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more distributed can receive a term of 10 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Penalties for Manufacturing or Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4 

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.114, the following list defines the penalties for manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4:

  • An individual can be charged with a state-jail felony if the amount distributed is less than 28 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug if the amount distributed is at least 28 grams but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the first degree if the amount distributed is 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more distributed can receive a term of 10 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Call For Help

If you or a loved one has been charged with possession or distribution of a controlled substance, call the Law Office of Case J. Darwin today.

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