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Drug Crimes in Texas: Here’s Everything You Need to Know!


Richmond Drug Crimes Attorney


Drug crimes have attracted lots of attention in the past decade. Both federal laws and state laws in Texas prohibit the possession, manufacture, and sale of certain controlled substances like ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin. The estimated cost of drug abuse in the United States—including illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol—is more than $740 billion a year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

If you’re facing drug offenses, it is important that you seek the help of a Richmond drug crimes attorney right away. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Richmond can defend you in court.

In this article, we’re going to discuss basic information about different drug crimes in Texas. We’re going through important details so you can be aware of the possible penalties, verdicts, and what is considered illegal in Texas.

  • What is a Drug Crime in Texas?
  • Illegal Drugs vs. Legal Drugs
  • Other Possible Drug Crime Punishments
  • Seek Help from Our Richmond Drug Crimes Attorney Today!

What is a Drug Crime in Texas?

There are different drug acts that can be considered crimes in Texas. However, the most common drug crimes are drug trafficking, drug possession and drug-using. The penalties and fines for these different drug crimes vary on the severity of the action, type of illegal drugs used or confiscated, as well as the amount of drugs involved. Some drug crimes can result in misdemeanor cases and some can even lead to felony charges. 

While the State of Texas has several drug criminal laws that may not apply to other states, Texas considers drug offenses as grave  crimes. Federal offenses on drug crimes are regulated by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, and the Controlled Substances Act covers nearly or almost all offense that occurs within Texas.

Texas Drug law also categorizes illegal drugs into several categories. This classification process involves taking into account the drug’s addictiveness and its relative medical use. Some of the most commonly used drugs in Texas include methampethamine, cannabis, and cocaine.  Both federal laws and state laws in Texas prohibit the possession, manufacture, and sale of certain controlled substances like ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin.

It is considered to be a felony offense if the defendant is found guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt to possess illegal drugs for the purpose of selling. 

In this case, the prosecutor does not need to prove that there was an exchange between the defendant and another person. An individual can be convicted of a drug crime if the state proves that there is a clear intention to sell illegal drugs. 

Drug crimes with aggravating circumstances can lead to more serious and bigger punishments. Often this type of case can go up to federal drug charges with much longer prison or jail sentence. Aggravated circumstances are those acts that happened at the time of the arrest, in addition to the drug offenses. Such examples are robbery, burglary, assault, murder, rape, homicide, and much more.

If you are convicted of either of these charges, it is very important to contact your trusted and experienced drug defense law attorney for your legal representation. Your criminal defense best lawyers will create and set a good legal defense to minimize penalties, fines, and/or even drop the case against you. 

Illegal Drugs vs. Legal Drugs

The legality of a drug would often depend on what it is being used for, and how it is being used. For example, barbiturates can be used to alleviate feelings of anxiety, amphetamines can be used to treat ADHD, and marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes to help cancer patients. 

However, if you use certain substances without a proper prescription, you can present a threat to yourself, and to society in general. 

Types of Drug Crimes

In Texas, drug crimes are grouped into four main categories:

  • possession,
  • sale,
  • paraphernalia, and
  • manufacturing of controlled substances

The different types of drug crimes are covered under federal and state laws. For federal crime drug charges, the sentence may be longer, while for state drug charges, the sentence may be shorter. Sometimes, you may even end up only receiving probation.

However, having any kind of record of drug conviction may have severe consequences, no matter the type of drug crime is involved. So if you are facing wrongful drug-crime allegations, it is important to seek the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer in Texas with long legal experience. Here’s an overview of some of the common drug crimes in Texas:

Possession

In federal law and Texas state law, it is a crime to possess any illicit controlled substances like cocaine, marijuana, or heroin. If you’re in possession of any illegal drugs, you may be charged either with simple possession or with possession with intent to distribute depending on your case. If you’re only caught with small amounts of drugs, then you will be charged with simple possession. But if you’re caught with a large number of drugs, then you may be charged with possession with intent to distribute and other harsher penalties. Drug paraphernalia may be included in your charges as well.

Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia generally describes any material or equipment used to make, inhale, inject, or hide illegal drugs. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the selling, importing, or exporting of any type of drug paraphernalia is against the law. Some examples of drug paraphernalia are:

  • Syringes
  • Bongs
  • Different varieties of pipes
  • Rolling papers

One problem that usually occurs in drug paraphernalia cases is that most of these objects are designed to look like they are used for legal purposes. For instance, most bongs are labeled that they should only be used for smoking tobacco. Even so, you may still be charged with drug paraphernalia depending on the circumstances.

Manufacturing

Drug manufacturing is another type of drug crime that involves the manufacturing of illegal drugs. Delivering any type of illicit drugs can also be considered a federal crime in state laws of Texas. Usually, a prosecutor must first prove the defendants’ possession and intent to manufacture in order to convict them as a drug manufacturer. If convicted, the accused may face fines and jail time.

Trafficking

Drug trafficking or the illicit trade involving the manufacture, cultivation, distribution, and sale of illegal substances is prohibited by law. As a felony crime, drug trafficking is a more serious crime than drug possession because it involves the transportation of illegal drugs in huge quantities. If you’re convicted of drug trafficking, you may face jail sentencing for three years or up to life imprisonment.

Dealing

In general, drug dealing refers to the selling of illegal drugs in small quantities. Since this usually refers to an individual selling small amounts of drugs, the punishment may be less severe than selling drugs in larger amounts.


Federal Drug Schedules

The 1970 Controlled Substances Act classifies illegal substances into federal drug schedules based on their respective potential for abuse and for medical use. States must provide their own drug schedules, but these should comply with federal law.

Schedule I

Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high potential for abuse and addiction and are not accepted for medical use. Examples of drugs in this category are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD),  heroin, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy).

 

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs, chemicals, or substances also have a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to extreme psychological and physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous, and some of the drugs in this category are oxycodone, cocaine, fentanyl, Adderall, and methadone.

 

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs, chemicals, or substances are determined as drugs with low to moderate potentials for psychological or physical dependence. Its abuse potential is also less than Schedule I and II drugs. Drugs in this category include ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and Tylenol with codeine.

 

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs, chemicals, and substances are determined as drugs that have a lower potential for abuse and dependence than Schedule III. Some examples of drugs in this category are midazolam, diazepam as well as drugs known by their brand names such as Xanax, Darvon, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, Talwin, Ativan, Tramadol, and Ambien.

 

Schedule V

Schedule V drugs, chemicals, and substances are defined as drugs that contain limited quantities of narcotics and have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV. These drugs are mainly used for analgesic, anti-diarrheal, and antitussive purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are Motofen, Lyrica, Lomotil, and Parepectolin.

Texas Drug Penalty Groups

In Texas, controlled substances from federal schedules are categorized into penalty groups. Each penalty group has a classification and penalty that varies with the amount of drugs involved in the case. For more information, you can read about the Texas Penalty Groups here.

Penalty Group 1


Drugs classified under Penalty Group 1 or PG1 consist of mostly heavily controlled narcotics that typically have no medical use, such as:

  • Cocaine;
  • Methamphetamine and ketamine;
  • Opioids (such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone)
  • Opiates and opium derivatives, like heroin; and
  • Peyote and psilocybin.

Penalty Group 1-A


Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSDs and its derivatives are classified under Penalty Group 1-A or PG1-A. Determining the amount of LSD in Texas is done by unit rather than by weight, where one unit typically refers to one square of LSD.

Penalty Group 2


Hallucinogenic substances such as PCP (phenylcyclohexyl piperidine), ecstasy, and mescaline are included in penalty group 2 or PG2.

Penalty Group 2-A


Drugs that mimic cannabinoids, commonly referred to as K2 and Spice, are classified under Penalty Group 2-A or PG2-A.

Penalty Group 3


Prescription drugs that have a potential for abuse due to their stimulant or depressant effect are classified under Penalty Group 3 or PG3.

  • Opioids and opiates not included in PG1;
  • Anabolic steroids;
  • Benzodiazepine;
  • Methylphenidate, also called Ritalin; and
  • Sedatives.

Penalty Group 4


Penalty Group 4 or PG4 also covers prescription medications and chemical compounds, and other opiates and opioids not included in PG1 with potential for drug abuse, with penalties similar to those under PG3.

Marijuana / Marihuana


Marijuana (commonly referred to as weed) is considered illegal in Texas regardless of what form it’s in. It’s recognized as a separate matter, which is why it’s not included in drug penalty groups. However, there are also separate penalties designated for manufacture or delivery, and for possession of marijuana.

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Other Possible Drug Crime Punishments

Different drug crimes result in different severity of punishments. Some drug charges can be classified and have a verdict of misdemeanors but some also lead to felonies in this state. When violent crimes happen together or because of illegal drugs, then longer or more severe penalties and charges can be imposed.

Generally, the length of jail time imposed on someone convicted of drug crimes depend upon circumstances. The criminal court may order:

  • Drug counseling treatment, seminar, and other drug rehabilitation program

  • Probation

  • Community service

  • Fines 

  • Jail/possible state prison time

Regardless of your situation, drug criminal offenses are the very serious cases. You must immediately call your trusted legal drug defense attorney in Richmond to help you with your case. Your criminal defense lawyers can help minimize the severity of the punishments imposed or help you build a strong legal best defense to drop the prosecution case against you.

Best-Possible Legal Defense

First, it is very important to be completely honest with your attorney about your case. You must disclose all necessary and relevant information so they can create a solid legal defense. If the prosecutors’ side has information that your lawyer is not aware of, it may create a problem for your case.

If you are facing criminal convictions for drug trafficking or any related drug crimes, you can still argue a possible legal defense such as : 

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Mistaken for something else. You can say that you are not aware of the substances and mistakenly took the illegal drugs as sugar or salt.
  • Legal prescription
  • Duress or forced into coercion. For example, you are forced to take or deliver the drugs to someone otherwise something bad might happen to you or your family
  • Illegal process during search and seizure. The authorities may not have any warrant.
  • The drug in question was not yours and it belongs to another person.
  • The substance is not a controlled substance

Every case differs so it’s very important to consult and work with your trusted drug crime law attorney to create a solid defense. Different drugs involved in the case can have their own possible legal defense. Your lawyers will do their best to provide the best legal representation of your case.

Seek Help from Our Richmond Drug Crimes Attorney Today!

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, it is best to seek the help of an experienced Richmond drug crimes attorney right away

drug trafficking defense attorney in Texas

At the Law Office of Annie Scott, we have competent Richmond defense attorneys with extensive experience in criminal law and criminal defense who can fight for you and protect your constitutional rights. Dealing with a criminal case can be extremely stressful, but you don’t have to deal with it alone. Contact our Texas criminal defense law firm today for a free consultation.

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