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Drug Defense Attorney

The laws involving drug crimes in the state of Texas include severe penalties for a person convicted of one of these types of crimes. The harsh penalties associated with a conviction of a drug crime in Texas can include long prison terms as well as hefty fines.

The sentence imposed in a Texas drug crime case depends upon a number of factors. Two prime considerations are the type and amount of the drug or controlled substance involved in your case and your criminal history if any.

The possible ramifications of a drug crime conviction, coupled with the complexities of the criminal justice system, underscore the critical need for legal representation. You need to take a proactive stance in retaining a skilled, experienced drug defense attorney.

Common Drug Crimes in the State of Texas

Texas and federal criminal law include a variety of drug crimes. The more common types of drug crime charges faced by people in the state of Texas, and across the United States, include:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of cocaine
  • Prescription drug charges
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug manufacturing

Classification of Penalties in Drug Cases in the State of Texas

The state of Texas utilizes a classification system that places penalties for drug crimes into one of four different groups. The classification system groups drug crime penalties based upon two primary factors. These factors are the potential of a particular drug for abuse and the level of harmfulness associated with a specific drug.

The penalty groups established by the state are included in the Texas Controlled Substances Act. The classification scheme is designed to assist Texas courts to determine penalties for offenses involving illegal, controlled substances. The penalty groups, and the manner in which they classify some of the most common drugs involved in criminal charges in Texas are:

  • Penalty Group I: cocaine, codeine, marijuana, oxycodone, opium, methadone, ketamine, and methamphetamines.
  • Penalty Group II: mescaline, ecstasy, methaqualone, and amphetamine.
  • Penalty Group III: lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD, Xanax, methylphenidate, and Valium.
  • Penalty Group IV: compounds or mixtures that contain limited amounts of narcotics, and one or more active medical ingredients.

Possible Penalties in Texas Drug Cases

There are a variety of factors that come into play when a court sentences a person in a drug case. As mentioned previously, the type and amount of a drug involved in a particular case and your criminal history are key considerations in sentencing decisions. Other factors include whether a person was injured or killed in the commission of a drug crime. In addition, the use of a weapon in the commission of a drug crime also plays a role in determining the penalty imposed in a case.

With that in mind, drug crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are the most serious types of crime in the state and federal criminal justice systems. Felonies can carry extremely severe penalties in drug cases. Misdemeanors are lesser offenses and carry less severe penalties upon conviction.

Penalties for drug crimes are set forth in the Texas Penal Code. The specific potential penalties for different types of drug charges in Texas are:

  • Life felony: punishable by between five to 99 years, or life in prison, with the possibility of a fine up to $250,000.
  • First-degree felony: punishable by five and 99 years, or life in prison, with the possibility of a fine up to $10,000.
  • Second-degree felony: punishable by between two and 20 years in prison, with the possibility of a fine up to $10,000 fine.
  • Third-degree felony: punishable by between two and 10 years in prison, with the possibility of a fine up to $10,000.
  • State jail felony: punishable by between 180 days to two years in jail, with the possibility of a fine up to $10,000.
  • Class A misdemeanor: punishable by up to a year in jail, with the possibility of a fine up to $4,000.
  • A Class B misdemeanor: punishable by up to 180 days in jail, with the possibility of a fine up to $2,000.

In addition to specific penalties established by law, a conviction on a drug charge can have other negative collateral consequences as well. For example, you can lose your right to vote, to possess a firearm, and obtain certain types of governmental benefits.

Defenses in a Drug Case

There are a number of potential defenses that a criminal defense attorney can mount in your case. One type of defense might be mounted based on the protections afforded to you in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures during a criminal investigation, including in situations involving drug crimes. If the Fourth Amendment was violated in the investigation of your case, evidence collected in that manner can be excluded from your case. The lack of certain evidence can result in a dismissal of charges in some instances.

There are other types of potentially viable defenses that may be available in your case. A qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney is in the best position to ascertain what possible defense or defenses are available to you in your case.

Hire a Skilled, Experienced Drug Defense Attorney

The legal team at The Jackson Law Firm stands ready to meet with you to discuss your case. An experienced, tenacious drug defense attorney from our firm can schedule an initial consultation with you at a time and place that is convenient for you.

You need to take a proactive stance when it comes to retaining legal counsel when charged with a drug crime. The criminal justice system can move apace. You best protect your vital legal rights by hiring a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you know you will be facing drug charges in the state of Texas.