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Drug Crimes in Texas

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 charges, it is important that you seek the help of a Richmond drug crimes attorney right away. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Richmond & Katy TX can provide you with the help and legal representation you need in court.

Federal Drug Schedules

The 1970 Controlled Substances Act classifies illegal substances into federal drug schedules based on how 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 have no accepted 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, 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.

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, can present a threat to you, and to society in general. That is why lawmakers have decided to put laws that will regulate the use, abuse, manufacturing, and sale of illegal drugs.

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Types of Drug Crimes

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

  • possession,
  • sale,
  • paraphernalia, and
  • manufacturing of controlled substances.
Texas drug penalty groups

The different types of drug crimes are covered under federal and state laws. For federal 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 have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to seek the legal assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Texas. Here’s an overview of some of the common drug crimes in Texas:


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.


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.


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 crime under federal and state laws in Texas. Usually, a prosecutor must first prove the defendant’s possession and intent to manufacture in order to convict them as a drug manufacturer. If convicted, the accused may face fines and jail time.

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.


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 be sentenced to 3 years in jail or up to life imprisonment.


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.

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. Penalties for drug crimes can be severe, which include imprisonment and large fines.

drug trafficking defense attorney in Texas

At the Law Office of Annie Scott, we have competent Richmond criminal defense attorneys with extensive experience in criminal law and criminal defense who can fight for you and protect your 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 consultation.

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