In this article, you can learn about:
- What the common drug charges and the potential penalties are.
- Whether you would normally go to jail on your first drug charge.
- The benefits of being eligible for drug court.
What Are The Common Types Of Drug Offenses That You Handle In Texas?
The common types of drug offenses I handle are related to methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
Is Drug Possession Charged As A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In Texas? What Are The Potential Penalties If Convicted?
If you have certain prescription drugs in your possession without a prescription for them, such as Xanax, those drugs are classified in penalty group three. The offense of possession of these prescription drugs without a prescription is a class A misdemeanor.
If you have marijuana in your possession, it could be a class A or B misdemeanor, or even a felony, depending on the amount. Most user quantities are misdemeanors. In some larger cities, small amounts of marijuana are treated as Class C offenses.
If you have methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, opiates, or if you’re found with THC oil in your possession, these would all be considered a felony.
Punishment for a conviction of any of these offenses varies depending on the amount that you have in your possession, and a variety of factors specific to your case.
I Was Arrested And Charged With Drug Possession In Texas. It’s My First Offense. Will I Go To Jail?
Typically, you will be given probation for a first-offense drug charge. If it is a small amount, even of a Penalty Group 1 drug, you will automatically receive probation.
If you have convictions for other offenses or if it’s a very large amount, then you will not automatically receive probation.
How Does The Type Of Drug And The Amount Affect A Charge?
Drugs are put into schedules (or groups) by the government.
Penalty Group 1, (or Schedule 1), drugs are considered the most dangerous and most addictive. They’re also considered to have limited to no medicinal purpose. Thus, they are punished most harshly.
For example, even the smallest amount of methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin will result in a state jail felony charge. These are punishable by between 6 months and 2 years in the state jail, and an optional $10,000 fine.
- If you are charged with possession of somewhere between 1 to 4 four grams of one of these drugs, you’re looking at a third-degree felony, which is punishable by 2 to 10 years confinement and a $10,000 fine.
- If you have in your possession 4 to 200 grams of those drugs that would be a second-degree felony, these are punishable by 2 to 20 years in the penitentiary and an optional $10,000 fine.
- If you are found to have a very large amount of those drugs, anywhere between 4 and 200+ grams in your possession, then this implies that you might have been manufacturing the drug and/or delivering it to others. This is a first-degree felony, for which the punishment range is between 5 and 99 years or life in a penitentiary.
The other important thing to know about is possession in a drug-free zone. This is an incredibly harsh portion of the law – especially for those who are unaware that they are in a drug-free zone when they are charged.
For example, if you happen to be walking down the street near a park or a playground, and are found with drugs on your person – even when you are not looking to expose children to drugs – you will face harsher penalties than if you were found to possess the same drug in another place.
Because playgrounds, schools, and various youth organization property are drug-free zones, you’re looking at an automatic increase in the punishment range if you are anywhere less than a thousand feet away when charged with a drug crime.
Another note regarding charges that occur in drug-free zones has to do with sentencing requirements. If you are charged and convicted of multiple offenses, and one of these offenses is within a drug-free zone, the drug-free zone sentence must be served consecutively. As a result, any potential prison stay would be increased considerably.
Am I Eligible For Drug Court With A First Or Second Drug Possession Charge In Texas?
You may be eligible for drug court with a first offense, depending on the charge. Most specialty courts tend to shy away from allowing participants with delivery charges, however. Drug court is an opportunity and tool for those who want treatment and accountability.
Drug court treatment programs are difficult, and they have a lot of requirements that must be completed. These are phased programs, which means you have to complete certain tasks before you can step up to the next phase.
Additionally, these programs are lengthy, but people who participate in specialty courts, such as drug courts or veteran’s courts, are often more successful than those who do not participate in them.
For more information on Common Types of Drug Offenses In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (903) 865-3803 today.