Possession of Controlled Substances
Possession of controlled substance charges depends on classifications and quantities
Texas is tough on drugs, but the severity of the penalties you face for possession of a controlled substance charges will depend largely on the classification of the drug as well as the quantity you are caught with.
With larger quantities, you may also be facing “intent to distribute” charges as well as possession charges, which will further complicate your legal situation. At a minimum, drug possession charges are considered Class B or Class A misdemeanors which can carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, with larger quantities and additional charges that could be added on, some defendants can face life in prison and fines up to $250,000.
Drug categories in Texas
It is critical to understand that different drugs are placed in different categories, and that possession of a controlled substance for each of these categories will result in different penalties that could be applied. There are five categories in all, including marijuana which is a category all by itself and is independent of the others. In some cases, certain controlled substances will fall into two categories.
Narcotics include opium, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab or Lorcet), oxycodone (Percodan, Percocet), fentanyl, carfentanil, and others.
Depressants include opiates such as heroin, opioids (painkillers), barbiturates, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Lorazepam, etc.), Valium, several types of inhalants, alcohol and others that slow body functions or that are used as sedatives to calm nerves to help someone sleep.
Stimulants include cocaine and amphetamines such as speed.
Hallucinogens that alter perception, mood, or emotions include LSD, PCP, mushrooms, ketamine, peyote and mescaline, among others.
Drugs within each of these categories are placed in different penalty groups. The placement into a penalty group will determine the range of fines and jail time that are normally meted out upon conviction. There are four Penalty Groups, plus a separate penalty group for marijuana.
There are several possible defenses for drug possession in Texas, for an overview of what those possible defenses are, go here.
Depending on your circumstances, a possession of a controlled substance charge can have wide-reaching implications on your freedom, your financial well being, and your ability to enjoy a productive life for many years to come. That’s why it makes good sense to retain the services of an experienced drug possession attorney such as Derek W. Emmons if you are facing these kinds of charges.
The Law Office of Derek W. Emmons serves clients in San Antonio and surrounding Texas communities.