Drug trafficking and distribution in Texas is a violation of the Texas Controlled Substance Act. An individual may be convicted of drug trafficking if he or she has been seen to have intentionally supplied crack cocaine. It can also be the distribution of other contraband or banned substance in any of the four drug groups defined and set out in the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
A drug possession crime is a matter of a person possessing a banned substance, rather than the manufacturing or distribution. However, there’s a difference between drug trafficking and drug distribution. You can face a drug distribution penalty simply because you have a large amount of cash and a large number of illegal drugs, even if you’re not caught selling them. Drug trafficking charges are more dependent on the weight of drugs.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act files four groups of drugs, and marijuana is categorized separately. The four-drug groups are:
If Vaughn was moving a truckload of what he thought was sugar (although there might be some proof to what he believed initially), however, it turned out to be cocaine. He may not be charged for drug trafficking because he would not be found to have prior knowledge of what he was moving. Moreover, if Vaughn, on the other hand, decides to stash some pounds of cocaine in his friend’s place in Houston. Then he would found to have prior knowledge and could face some real time behind bars.
Penalties for Drug trafficking and Distribution in Austin, Texas
Trafficking of any of these drug substances is a felony, and punishments may vary widely. Still, it depends on the category of drugs and the class of drugs in which they are used, and the number of distributed or delivered drugs. Generally, the lower the quantity of the substance, the lighter the charge.
Consequences usually include jail terms and fines running into thousands of dollars. Sanctions can also require probation and revocation of a driver’s license. The lightest penalty is for a state prison felony, and the highest sentence is for a first-degree felony.
Penalties for a state prison crime can include prison terms spanning from six months to 2 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
For a first-degree drug offense, sentences will range from 15 years to life in jail, with a fine of up to $250,000. Receiving such an extreme punishment will only occur in the more complicated situations, such as where the defendant smuggled 400 grams or more of a substance such as cocaine or heroin.
Punishments can also be more severe where drug dealing requires distribution to an infant or even a child’s involvement. The sale of drugs to people under the age of 21 can result in a punishment of two to three times the federal sentence.
The manufacturing or sale of a controlled product that leads to death or severe bodily harm is also a severe offense under the Texas drug trafficking Act.
The Dangers of Double Prosecution
Drug trafficking in Texas also includes the manufacture or distribution of narcotics from Mexico to Texas. Bear in mind that if you’re involved with drug dealing, you can be charged with violations of Texas and federal regulations at the same time.
If you or a loved one faces a cocaine dealing charge in Texas, you need a trained Austin criminal defense attorney to advocate for your legal rights. Criminal lawyers in Austin, Texas can also act as a bail bondsman, and help to get you or your loved one out of Travis County Jail if in need of bail.
The defense against a drug conviction may include considerations such as;
- Establishing that you have been unlawfully manipulated by law enforcement agents and encouraged to commit a crime;
- The drugs were not in your hands and belonged to someone else;
- That there was no legitimate lawful reason for the police to stop and inspect your person or vehicle;
- That you were coerced and threatened with bodily injury or even death unless you trafficked the drugs on behalf of someone else.
- Or that the substances were not intended for human use.
These and other defensive tactics could be required to escape tough Texas sanctions for drug trafficking.