To understand what kind of penalties you could face if charged with possession of a controlled substance, it’s important to note that the specific drug you are caught with will determine what crime you are charged with. Various Schedule drugs fall into different penalty groups, depending on how the government has determined how dangerous or addictive the substance can be.
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.101 – § 481.105, some of the most commonly used and discovered drugs from each penalty group are as listed below:
- Penalty Group I – Methamphetamines, Methadone, Ketamine, Cocaine, Codeine, Marijuana, Oxycodone, Opium, and Methadone.
- Penalty Group II – Amphetamine, Methaqualone, and Ecstasy.
- Penalty Group III – Methylphenidate, Valium, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, and Xanax.
- Penalty Group IV – Compounds or mixtures containing limited amounts of narcotics, and one or more active medical ingredients.
What is the punishment for possession of a controlled substance in Texas?
The specific punishments that may be doled out depends upon the Penalty Group of the drug.
Penalties in Austin from Penalty Groups I and II
The penalties for possession of illegal controlled substances in Austin, Texas depends on the type of substance and the amount of the drug possessed. For Drug Penalty Groups I and II, the penalties and amounts are relatively similar.
If someone has in their possession less than 1 gram of a substance from either group mentioned above, he or she can be charged with a Texas state jail felony, a crime that is punishable by between 180 days all the way up to two years in jail, and/or a monetary fine of up to $10,000.
If the amount in possession from either group is between 1 and 4 grams, this individual can be charged with a third degree felony in Texas, and if convicted can be ordered to serve between 2-10 years in prison, and/or be ordered to pay all the way up to a $10,000 fine.
Someone charged with a second degree felony must be in possession of at least 4 to 200 grams of a substance from Penalty Group I, or 4 to 400 grams of a substance from Penalty Group II. A second degree felony carries a potential prison sentence of between 2-20 years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If an individual possesses 200-400 grams of a controlled substance that falls under Penalty Group I, he or she can be charged with a first-degree felony and punished by between five and 99 years behind bars, and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
Possession of 400 or more grams from a substance in the first penalty group can result in anywhere from 10-99 years in jail, and/or a fine up to a $100,000. If in possession of 400 or more grams of a controlled substance in the second penalty group could lead to between five and 99 years in prison, and/or up-to a $50,000 fine.
Can a possession of a controlled substance charge in Texas be dropped?
In order to make your best case and end up with the best circumstances of your charge, it’s imperative to discuss your possession of a controlled substance case with an experienced lawyer who has dealt with similar cases as your s before. A qualified drug lawyer in Austin will thoroughly analyze all of the evidence in your case, in order to present the best strategy for your specific situation, which in some cases can lead to a drop in charges.