A misdemeanor or felony drug charge is a serious criminal offense in the State of Texas. Due to legal complexities in the Texas Penal Code, defendants facing drug charges often unknowingly end up with drug convictions on their permanent criminal records, which can ruin your life. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to at least consult with a reputable DFW drug lawyer like Andrew Peveto.
Under the Texas penal code, drug charges are divided into those involving marijuana, controlled substances, and so-called dangerous drugs. The range of punishment for drug crimes depends usually on the amount involved, and whether the drug charge is for possession, manufacture and/or delivery.
|Drug Charge||Crime Class or Degree||Notes|
|Controlled substance manufacture or delivery||Felony||Punishment depends on amount and drug type (see below)|
|Controlled substance possession||Felony, unless drug class 3 or 4 and amount < 28g (see below)||Up to 2 years jail and $4,000 fine for misdemeanor|
|Dangerous drug manufacture or delivery||State Jail Felony||180 days to 2 years State Jail, up to $10,000 fine|
|Dangerous drug possession||Class A Misdemeanor||(see below)|
|Marijuana —||Class A or Class B misdemeanor depending on amount|
Not surprisingly, it is a much greater crime to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance than it is to possess it. However, just one arrest for possession of controlled substance can still have a devastating impact on your life. For example, a conviction for any controlled substance charge will make it difficult for you to rent an apartment, receive financial aid, and find gainful employment where criminal background checks are involved.
Though not a complete list, the more common controlled substances found in each of the controlled substance penalty groups are as follows:
Punishment under Texas controlled substance laws are severe. But fortunately
there are many nuances and exceptions in the statutes and Texas case law
that can make it difficult for the prosecutors to prove their case –
if you have the right attorney. Andrew Peveto has had many controlled
substance charges dismissed or reduced, always making sure to have the
drug charges cleared from your permanent record when possible.
For more information on the Texas controlled substance “penalty groups” and punishment ranges, see sections 481.032 and 481.115-118 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
A “dangerous drug” is defined in the Texas Controlled Substance Act as any Controlled Substance that is unsafe for self-medication and that IS NOT already classified as a controlled substance under the Texas Health and Safety Code. Common “dangerous drugs” include ritalin, aderall, xanax, and similar commonly prescribed medications. To find you guilty of possession of a dangerous drug (a class A misdemeanor), the prosecutor would have to prove that you: (1) intentionally and knowingly (2) had actual or constructive possession (3) of a “dangerous drug” (4) that you did not legally obtain from a pharmacist.
In Texas, drug charges involving controlled substances and dangerous drugs
are quite common. This is because drug possession is one of those crimes
often times committed by accident. Under Texas law, it’s not illegal
to possess a controlled substance if you have a prescription for it. But,
be aware that as soon as you accept that Vicodin from your roommate or
Adderall from your boyfriend, you are illegally in possession of the drug.
Furthermore, your roommate or girlfriend likely committed a felony by
delivering the drug to you.
Simply put, being arrested for possession of a controlled substance or dangerous drug can unwittingly happen to just about anyone – either because they have a pill someone gave them, or because they do not have proof of a valid prescription with them when arrested by police. That’s right, you can be arrested on drug charges and will have to spend the night in jail if you are in possession of a drug that you are prescribed to take if you do not have the prescription bottle with you.
If you have been arrested on Texas drug charges in Collin County, Dallas, or the greater DFW area, you need to consult with an experienced and accomplished local drug lawyer to insure that your rights are protected and your case is handled properly. Most importantly, you need an attorney committed to making sure you do not end up with drug conviction on your permanent criminal record. At Peveto law, we have had great success getting drug charges dismissed, reduced, defeated at trial, or otherwise handled in a way that keeps your record clean through the filing of an expunction or certificate of nondisclosure.
Contact us today for a free consultation with a Plano criminal defense lawyer.
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