Drug Offenses Overview

Illegal Drugs in Texas

The Texas Health and Safety Code sets the possession law, dividing controlled substances into five penalty groups, plus a marijuana category.

It may be tempting to represent yourself on a minor drug charge. But you should think twice.

A conviction for the production, trafficking or possession of drugs can result in severe criminal penalties. Even a minor drug charge conviction can have serious long lasting consequences on your life. A criminal record dealing with illegal drugs will have many implications to a person’s life, including employment, vehicle driving, and international travel.

Drug offenses are complex issues and involve many variables; charges and possible sentences can vary significantly. Some of the potential issues that typically arise in drug sentencing are:

  • The type of drug;
  • Quantity of the substance;
  • Purpose for its possession;
  • Possession of drug with paraphernalia;
  • Amount of planning and deliberation pertaining to the offense;
  • Prior record of the offender; or
  • Whether there was trafficking of other drugs involved.

Substances defined as “hard drugs,” like heroin and cocaine, carry more severe sentences than so-called “soft drugs” like marijuana. Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, Trafficking and Production will result in harsher punishment than just simple Possession.

“Trafficking” is a broad criminal category, and includes anything from transporting, selling to simply giving someone a drug.

“Possession” is another broad criminal charge. While many people believe Possession is personally holding a drug, one may be charged for simply being in the presence of someone with a drug. With Joint Possession, one individual holding a drug with the knowledge, consent, and assisted control of others makes all people in the party guilty of the offense. An individual may also be in Possession of a drug if they have it stored anywhere where the person has a measure of control.

“Production” not only includes the growing of, or production of drugs. It also includes any property owner who knowingly allows others to use their property for its production. Any individual who allows or assists with the production of illegal drugs in Texas can be prosecuted.

Seeking the expertise of a skilled defense lawyer with a track record of defending possession charges to walk you through some of the issues that may significantly impact your sentencing is in the best interest of the accused.

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