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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Like many other states, Texas follows federal law in classifying controlled substances according to schedules. Drugs then are categorized into different penalty groups, which determines the specific criminal charges and potential penalties. Since the penalties for any type of drug offense may be severe, getting in touch with a Frisco drug lawyer may be advisable.
The type of charge and resulting penalties are dependent on the schedule and penalty group in which a drug is classified, as well as the weight of the drug and the type of offense that involves the drug. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can better explain this classification system and how it can impact criminal charging and sentencing.
Drug Possession Offenses in Frisco
The Texas Controlled Substances Act sets forth the different classifications of controlled substances, as well as the charges and penalties for different drug-related crimes, including drug possession, manufacture, delivery, and possession with intent to deliver. Many, but not all drug charges are felony offenses. The major exception is marijuana, which is classified separately from other drugs under Texas law.
Pursuant to Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.115, it is illegal possess those drugs classified in Penalty Group 1. These drugs are considered to have the highest risk of abuse and rarely have any accepted medical usage, so possession of any amount can result in felony charges. Possession of a small amount of a Penalty Group 1 drug is a state jail felony and possession of larger amounts can result in elevated felony charges. The highest charge is a first degree felony, which can result in a life sentence.
Drugs categorized in lower penalty groups generally are less dangerous than those in Penalty Groups 1 and 1-A. As a result, possession of small amounts of these drugs can result in misdemeanor charges, but possession of larger amounts of these drugs still may result in felony charges. Since the penalties for any level of drug offense have the potential for unwanted consequences, getting advice from a drug lawyer in Frisco prior to making any decisions about charges may be advisable.
Manufacturing and Dealing
The penalties for the manufacture, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute drugs follow a similar pattern to those for drug possession. However, all possible charges for these drug offenses are felonies, based on the theory that manufacturing or dealing in drugs is a more serious offense than merely possessing drugs. Nonetheless, the severity of the offense will differ according to the penalty group of a drug involved and the amount found in the offense.
The minimum criminal charge for the manufacturing and possession of drugs that are classified in Penalty Groups 3 through 4 is a state jail felony. However, the amount of drugs that constitutes a state jail felony offense, or less than 28 grams, is much larger than the amount of Penalty Group 1 drugs that would constitute a state jail felony offense, or less than one gram.
Exceptions to the Law
Like many states, the Texas legislature has taken steps to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for personal usage, although marijuana use remains completely illegal under state and federal law. Since the offenses for large-scale marijuana dealing still are serious felony charges, do not hesitate to consult a drug attorney in Frisco for assistance.
Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana pursuant to Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.120 is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties for distribution of marijuana are slightly harsher; in order to qualify as a Class B misdemeanor, individuals must distribute less than one-fourth ounce of marijuana for no compensation, as per Tex. Health and Safety Code § 481.120. Distribution of more than this amount can result in harsher penalties.
Consult a Frisco Drug Attorney for Advice
The penalties for a drug offense in Texas remain very strict, and even possession or delivery of marijuana can be a serious felony offense under some circumstances. A Frisco drug lawyer may be instrumental in helping you deal with any drug offenses that you are facing and working toward a positive resolution of those charges.
Given the possible penalties for a drug conviction, you never should take drug charges lightly. A drug conviction, particularly for a felony offense, could lead to unexpected collateral consequences, such as the loss of the ability to possess a firearm, in addition to incarceration and fines. To learn more about protecting your rights, call today.