Like many states, Texas maintains strict prohibitions on the possession, manufacturing, and distribution of controlled substances and narcotics. As a result, you may face severe penalties for unlawfully possessing, manufacturing, or distributing controlled substances. If you are facing drug charges, a Frisco drug lawyer should be able to help.
Whatever your situation, there may be a way to effectively fight back against drug charges rather than accepting a conviction. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate reduced charges or even win a dismissal of charges under the right circumstances.
Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.032 closely tracks federal law in its classification of drugs, except for marijuana. Generally, state law classifies controlled substances and narcotics into five schedules based on the danger of the drug, its potential for addiction, and any current medical uses. The categories range from Schedule I, which contains the most addictive and dangerous controlled substances, to Schedule V, which includes the least addictive controlled substances with the most accepted medical uses.
Under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, despite efforts in many states to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and legalize medical and even recreational usage of marijuana. While marijuana remains illegal in Texas, it is not a Schedule I drug under Texas law. As an experienced drug lawyer in Frisco may advise, marijuana falls into a separate category from other controlled substances.
Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.101 further divides drugs into four penalty groups for criminal charges. The assigned penalty group and the weight of a drug determine the charges and resulting penalties for possession of drugs.
The most dangerous and highly addictive drugs fall into Penalty Group 1. As a result, the potential penalties for possessing even a small amount of these drugs are harsh. For instance, possession of less than one gram, including any adulterants or dilutants, of a drug in Penalty Group 1 is a felony under Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.115. A conviction for a felony may result in a prison sentence ranging from 180 days to two years, plus a $10,000 fine all the way to 10 -99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
In contrast, Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.121 treats marijuana possession separately from the four penalty groups. Therefore, possession of two ounces or less of marijuana only constitutes a Class B misdemeanor, which carries the potential for a maximum 180 day in jail and a $2,000 fine. Possession of more significant amounts of marijuana, however, can result in increasingly severe felony charges. Possessing less than 50 pounds but more than 5 pounds of marijuana is a second-degree felony and carries the potential of 2–20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Drug manufacturing and distribution charges also depend on the penalty group to which the drug is assigned and the weight of the drug involved in the offense. Other factors also may impact the severity of the charges. For instance, under Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.112 the distribution or manufacture of less than one gram of a Penalty Group 1 drug is a felony, but if the drug manufacturing occurs in the presence of a child, then the offense becomes a third-degree felony.
Nonetheless, a conviction for the distribution or manufacturing of substantial amounts of even Penalty Group 3 and 4 drugs can have extraordinarily harsh results. Under Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.114, while the distribution of fewer than 28 grams of Penalty Group 3 or 4 drugs is a felony, distribution of 400 grams or more of these drugs can result in a life prison sentence and a $100,000 fine. For anyone facing these drug charges involving the distribution or manufacturing of drugs, the assistance of an attorney may be beneficial.
Drug convictions may have harsh consequences, especially when the offenses involve large amounts of drugs, Schedule I controlled substances, and allegations of manufacturing or distributing drugs. As a result, you should contact a Frisco drug lawyer for legal advice and representation.
A drug conviction can be devastating for your personal and professional life. Even after serving your sentence and paying fines, you will have a felony conviction on your record that will strip you of certain civil rights, make you ineligible for some government benefits, and pose a significant impediment to your future education or career. Call the Wilder Law Firm and let us fight for you!