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What Are the Penalties for Violating Drug Laws in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Dallas drug crimes defense lawyer

With the rise of drug addiction across the United States, both the federal and state governments are taking measures to combat this growing epidemic. There is an increasing sentiment for creating harsher penalties for drug possession. Texas, as a border state where drug smuggling is likely to occur, has in many ways led the national trend toward more stringent punishment for drug crimes. Currently, Texas has some of the most no-nonsense drug laws in the nation. Therefore, it is important to understand those laws and the penalties for violating them.

Laws for Drug Possession

Controlled substances may include both illegal drugs and prescription drugs, and illegal possession of these substances can result in criminal charges. Controlled substances are grouped into several different "schedules" based on their medical uses, their potential for addiction, and the dangers they present to their users. These schedules are identified in Texas state statute Title 6, which also specifies the punishments a person may face for possessing different amounts of these substances.

Illegal Drug Possession Punishments

Most states and federal law to a degree try to draw a distinction between different types of illicit drugs. Marijuana, in particular, is viewed as a less dangerous drug in most parts of the nation, and there is a strong movement for legalization. However, Texas has maintained a firm zero-tolerance policy toward cannabis. Even possessing a small amount can result in high fines and prison time. The penalties for possessing, trafficking, and distributing marijuana in Texas can be: 

  • Possessing two ounces or less: Class B misdemeanor; penalties are up to 180 days in prison and a fine up to $2,000.
  • Possession of two to four ounces: Class A misdemeanor; penalties are up to a one-year jail sentence and a maximum $4,000 fine.
  • Possessing four ounces to five pounds: State jail felony; penalties are 180 days to 2 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Possessing 5 to 50 pounds: Third degree felony; penalties are 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Possessing 50 to 2,000 pounds: Second degree felony; penalties are a maximum $10,000 fine and 2 to 20 years in prison.
  • possessing more than 2,000 pounds: Penalties are five to 99 years in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine.

The punishments for possessing hard drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines are much harsher. The penalties for possessing these drugs are as follows: 

  • Possessing up to one gram: State jail felony, which can be punished by 180 days to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possessing one to four grams: Third degree felony, which can be punished by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possessing 4 to 200 grams: Second degree felony, which can be punished by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possessing 200 to 400 grams: First degree felony, which can be punished by 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possessing more than 400 grams: Punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

 

Contact a Collin County Drug Crimes Attorney

Drug crime laws in Texas and throughout the nation are strict. The penalties for possession depend on the type and amount of illicit substance. If you are facing any drug charges, you need professional legal advice and representation. The experienced Plano, Texas criminal defense lawyers at The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. will examine the details of your case and work with you to build a strong defense. With over 20 years of experience, we have secured more than 200 acquittals and not-guilty verdicts for our clients. For a free consultation, contact our office today at 214-303-9600.

 

Sources:

https://www.greenhousetreatment.com/prescription-medication/texas/

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.481.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

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