Drug Crimes

What Constitute Drug Crimes In Houston, Texas?

Houston Drug Charge Attorney

The state of Texas prosecutes drug crimes under the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

A conviction for possession of a controlled substance in Texas requires that a prosecutor prove that a defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled drug for which the defendant did not have a valid prescription at the time of the arrest.

A conviction for the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Texas requires proof that a defendant transferred or offered to transfer a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or a counterfeit controlled substance to another person (“delivery”), or produced or prepared a controlled substance by any process or packaging (“manufacture”).

Texas law sets out four different classes of drugs, each with separate classifications and scheduled penalties for possession, manufacture, or delivery of the drug.

Marijuana has a separate classification from other drugs under Texas law.

Depending on the schedule and amount of drug possessed, manufactured, or delivered, prior convictions, and possession of money or other drug paraphernalia, penalties can range from maximum fines between $500 and $300,000 and a maximum prison term of 99 years.

There are also various other crimes under Texas law, including prescription fraud, committing separate drug crimes in the presence of children or delivering drugs to children, and transporting and dealing in chemical substances and equipment used in manufacturing drugs.

How Are Different Drugs Classified Under Texas State Law?

There are four drug classifications under Texas law, excluding marijuana, which is classified separately.

Penalty Group 1 drugs include substances that have a high potential for addiction and/or abuse and no known or accepted medical use in the United States. Some examples of Penalty Group 1 drugs are cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, hydrocodone, ketamine, and LSD.

Penalty Group 2 drugs include substances that can have a high potential for addiction and/or abuse but may have some medical purpose. Some examples of Penalty Group 2 drugs are psilocybin, mushrooms, ecstasy, PCP, THC Oil, and MDMA (or “Molly”)

Penalty Group 3 drugs include substances with a lower risk of abuse that have common medical uses in the United States under certain circumstances. Some examples of Penalty Group 3 drugs are Valium, Ritalin, lorazepam, anabolic steroids, and Xanax.

Penalty Group 4 drugs include substances with low risk of abuse that have common medical uses in the United States. Examples of Penalty Group 4 drugs include codeine and opium compounds.

What Defenses Are Available To Drug Crime Charges?

In possession cases, potential defenses can involve challenging whether the defendant was actually in possession of or had control over the alleged drug. Challenges to the actions of law enforcement’s actions in conducting traffic stops or other investigative techniques can lead to arguments to exclude incriminating evidence from a defendant’s trial.

Delivery and manufacturing cases can additionally involve challenges of the state’s identifying witnesses and confidential informants.

Challenging whether a defendant was acting knowingly and intentionally in possessing, delivering, or manufacturing a controlled substance can also act as a defense to a drug crime charge.

What Type Of Penalties Do I Face If Convicted?

Potential penalties for drug crimes are also scheduled and controlled by the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

There is a complex and detailed schedule for punishments for drug crimes depending on the schedule of the drug and the amount in possession or manufactured or delivered.

Possession of marijuana carries the following penalties:

  • Less than two ounces: Maximum 180 day sentence and $2,000 fine
  • Less than two and four ounces: Maximum one year sentence and $4,000 fine
  • Between four ounces and five pounds: Prison term of 180 days to 2 years and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between five and 50 pounds: Prison term of 2 to 10 years and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between 50 and 2,000 pounds: Prison term of 2 to 20 years and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • More than 2,000 pounds: Prison term of 5 to 99 years or life and a maximum $10,000 fine

Delivery of marijuana carries the following penalties:

  • Less than ¼ ounce and no payment: Maximum 180 day sentence and $2,000 fine
  • Less than ¼ ounce and received payment: Maximum one year sentence and $4,000 fine
  • Between ¼ ounce and five pounds: Prison term of 180 days to 2 years and amaximum $10,000 fine
  • Between five and 50 pounds: Prison term of 2 to 10 years and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Between 50 and 2,000 pounds: Prison term of 2 to 20 years and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • More than 2,000 pounds: Prison term of 5 to 99 years or life and a maximum $10,000 fine

Penalty Group 3 and Penalty Group 4 drug possession, manufacturing, or delivery penalties range from a maximum prison sentence of two years for possession, delivery, or manufacture of less than 28 grams to a prison term of 10 to 99 years for possession, delivery, or manufacture of more than 400 grams, with varying ranges for amounts in between the two limits.

Penalty Group 1 and Penalty Group 2 drug possession, manufacturing, or delivery penalties range from a maximum prison sentence of two years for possession, delivery, or manufacture of less than one gram to a prison term of 10 to 99 years for possession, delivery, or manufacture of more than 400 grams, with varying ranges for amounts in between the two limits. LSD is a special Penalty Group 1 drug with separate weight schedules.

There are also various penalty enhancements for prior offenses and other aggravating factors.

Contact An Experienced Houston Trial Attorney If You Are Facing A Drug Crime Case

If you’ve been charged with or arrested on a drug crime charge in Texas, contact the Law Firm of Aaron W. Perry, PLLC. We can protect your rights and help you obtain the best possible outcome. You can reach us by phone at (713) 393-7788 or via our online contact form.

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4545 Bissonnet
Suite 202
Bellaire, TX 77401
Phone: (713) 393-7788
Email: aaron@aaronperrylawfirm.com