Texas Drug Laws
Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas
Have you been labeled a drug dealer or drug user? Did you have a legal prescription and they are making you out to be a criminal? Were you a passenger in the vehicle and someone else had drugs without your knowledge? Were you down on your luck and caught up in a bad situation? Did the cops make it seem worse that it really is?
If you are arrested or charged with possession of a controlled substance (drugs), or the distribution or manufacture of an illegal drug, you need to find a Texas criminal defense attorney that is familiar with drug offenses and knows how a particular county feels about drug offenses (some counties are more conservative than others).
Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law handles a full range of drug charges, from possession of a controlled substance in Texas (such as marijuana), to serious felony drug cases like possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (cocaine, methamphetamine or other stricter drugs). Based in Austin, we are familiar with each prosecutor’s office in the Central Texas area, and have offices in Travis, Hays and Williamson Counties.
If you’ve been arrested for a drug charge and are in need of an experienced Austin Drug Attorney for possession of a controlled substance in Texas, contact Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law today.
Every day, law enforcement officers overreach and intervene in our private lives and private choices. And in many cases law enforcement charges good people for drug crimes they did not commit.
Despite the fact that someone may be innocent of a drug crime allegation, there can be numerous forms of severe penalties for those who choose not to fight and instead take a plea deal. When you contact Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law, you will be provided with the assistance that you need to help fight the government’s allegations.
There are many drug crimes that fall under the umbrella of possession of a controlled substance offenses. An arrest for possession of controlled substances requires the assistance of a drug lawyer who is familiar with the drug laws in Texas. The Texas Health and Safety Code classifies drugs according to penalty groups. The punishment range for each penalty group is also set out by the Texas Health and Safety Code.
Within the state of Texas, there are many different illegal drugs and some of the most common include the following:
- Xanax (bars)
- Codeine (syrup)
- Ecstacy (Molly)
- LSD (Acid)
- Methamphetamine (Crystal meth)
- Synthetic marijuana (K2/Spice)
You should consult Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law to learn about your rights if you have been charged with any of the following:
- Drug possession
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug paraphernalia possession
- Drug delivery or transportation
- Drug dealing, trafficking or distribution
- Drug cultivation
- Drug DWI
Possession of Marijuana
Why this is still illegal baffles even conservative prosecutors in Texas. Nonetheless, this is still a crime! Possession of Marijuana is a common drug offense and the level of the offense varies depending on how much marijuana a person has in their possession. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia usually involves some apparatus associated with marijuana use (though it can be associated with other drugs as well). Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Possession of Marijuana is a Class B Misdemeanor when the amount possessed is less than two ounces. Possession of two to four ounces of marijuana raises the offense level to a Class A Misdemeanor. The punishment ranges increase from there. Also, the level of offense increases if someone is within 1000 feet of a school or other drug-free zone.
Tickets for Possession of Marijuana
If you have received a ticket in Travis County for Possession of Marijuana, the offense is no less serious and still a Class B Misdemeanor. You must report to Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5 by the date on your ticket. Judge Chu will see you, sign a personal bond, and have you report to the bonding desk in the courthouse. At the bonding desk your fingerprints and picture will be taken. You will also be given a court date. This process can take half a day and will be very boring. Make sure you bring something to read.
Marijuana Concentrates and THC Vaporizer Cartridge Possession
Marijuana concentrates, including THC “wax” and oils (commonly used in vaporizers) are not placed under the marijuana laws in Texas, and are rather viewed as a Penalty Group 2 controlled substance. This equals a state jail felony for less than a gram, and a Class 3 felony for one to four grams. The consequences of possession of a marijuana concentrate is much more severe than regular marijuana possession, with fines of up to $10,000 and/or 180 days to 2 years in prison for a state jail felony, or two to 10 years for a Class 3 felony with fines of up to $10,000.
Drug Charges Can Jeopardize Your Future
As if being convicted of a crime is not enough, it is important to know that a conviction for a drug offense may trigger other problems. A drug conviction often results in a driver’s license suspension and driver’s license surcharge in a manner similar to a DWI conviction. If you are a student, drug convictions (including Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) can interfere with student loans and grants. You may also have a problem with government assisted housing if you are convicted of a drug offense.
There are numerous drug programs in throughout the Central Texas Area that allow a person to receive drug counseling and will often result in your case being dismissed. Depending on each client’s particular situation this may be an option. If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Texas or any other drug offense, please call our office so that we may advise you further.
In addition to the above types of drug crimes, it is also against the law to use legal prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs for any kind of illegal activity. For example, possessing prescription drugs that a doctor did not prescribe to you or using medications or chemicals to make an illegal substance. When you need a Travis or surrounding County Lawyer for possession of a controlled substance in Texas case, contact Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law today.
If an individual gets convicted of a drug crime, they can fall victim to the following kinds of legal punishments:
- Jail/prison sentences
- Large amounts of fines
- Being placed on probation
- Specific amount of time for community service
- Treatment for drug use/abuse
- Permanent criminal record
- Suspension of your driver’s license
In addition to all of these potential punishments, a conviction for a drug crime can affect your life in many other ways, such as losing your job, denial of a housing application, missing out on scholarship money, loss of school/employment opportunities, taking up time having to go to court, and not to mention straining your relationship with family and friends. A reputable and trusted Travis County lawyer for possession of a controlled substance in Texas can help you.
Asset Forfeiture or Seizure of your Property
Law enforcement can also seize your property that they consider as contraband or connected with a drug charge and ask a judge to forfeit your property to the government. Contraband has a broad definition but the most common property seized during a felony arrest for a drug related crime includes vehicles, jewelry and large sums of cash. Jarvis, Garcia & Erskine Law, an experienced Travis County lawyer for possession of controlled substance cases in Texas, will work to have your illegally property returned!
Factors to Consider When Charged with Controlled Substances Crimes
Throughout the state of Texas, drug crimes are covered under both state laws and federal laws. Under these laws the following factors are considered when someone is accused of committing this kind of a crime:
- The type of drug involved in the case. Under the Controlled Substances Act, drugs are classified into four different penalty groups. Under these categories, Group 1 is considered to be the most serious of them all. This is where you will find drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Group 1-A consists of LSD. Group 2 includes hallucinogenic mushrooms. Group 2-A contains synthetic marijuana. In Group 3 you will find certain prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, Valium, and Xanax, as well as peyote and steroids. Finally, Group 4 contains specific narcotic drugs.
- The amount of drugs the accused had in their possession. Fines and jail time rise depending on the amount of drugs.
- The purpose of the drug. If the accused is charged with simple possession, typically it holds a less severe penalty than manufacturing or distribution.
- The location where the offense took place. The severity of the punishment of a drug crime can increase if the person is caught in a drug free zone such as on a school bus or within 1,000 feet of a playground or school.
- If the drug crime was combined with any other kind of illegal offense. If a violent crime such as robbery or assault also took place involving illegal drugs, the punishments can be much more severe.
If you or someone you know are currently facing any kind of charges relating to illegal drugs or narcotics, don’t hesitate: contact Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law today. With the assistance of an experienced attorney and someone who will fight to defend your rights, the outcome of your case could be very different.