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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
In addition to a sentence of imprisonment, courts are authorized to impose fines for drug offenses. A Class C drug misdemeanor can only be punished by a fine. Other drug offenses can be punished by a fine or imprisonment or both. Additionally, there may be other penalties depending on the type of offense charged and the drug involved.
Fines For a Drug Conviction
The maximum fine for a felony is $10,000. The maximum fines for misdemeanors are:
- Class A: $4,000
- Class B: $2,000
- Class C: $500
The court must consider a defendant’s ability to pay a fine before imposing one. A defendant who lacks the financial ability to pay a fine cannot be imprisoned for failing to pay it, but a defendant can be punished for deliberately refusing to pay a fine. Payment schedules can usually be arranged so that fines can be paid over time. If payment of a fine is made a condition of community supervision, the obligation to pay the fine remains if it has not been paid in full by the time probation ends.
Court costs are fixed by statute and must generally be assessed whenever a defendant is convicted of a crime. Payment of court costs can be made a condition of community supervision.
Retaining An Drug Attorney
It is always better to avoid a criminal conviction than to pay a fine. For most drug convictions, the consequences are more severe than the mere payment of a fine. If you have been accused of a drug crime in Texas, you should discuss the potential consequences of a conviction, as well as ways you may be able to avoid conviction, with an experienced attorney.