The Strauss Law Firm Defends Criminal Drug Charges
Texas has some of the harshest penalties for the possession of illegal substances and drugs.
A Class A misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of no more than $4,000, depending on the type of drug at issue.
Possession of Marijuana may be classified as light as a “Class B” misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of no more than $10,000 for possession of two ounces or less of Marijuana. This penalty can go all the way up to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 for possession of over 2,000 pounds of Marijuana.
As for drugs in other classes, the penalty for possession is dependent on the amount of the illicit drug in the defendant’s possession, the penalty can range from a third degree felony all the way up to a first degree felony. The highest penalty given in Texas for drug possession is life or 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
In Texas the penalties for drug manufacture, such as methamphetamine, or drug cultivation such as marijuana can be severe, even if only a small amount of a drug or the ingredients (such as psuedoephedrine) or equipment used to make the drugs (chemicals, cookers) is in your possession. If near a school additional federal penalties could be applied that may result in a mandatory minimum one year prison sentence.
In Texas, the manufacture of an illegal substance is usually a felony, with sentences including prison time, steep fines, and probation.
Distributing Drugs (drug trafficking) violates the Texas Controlled Substances Act. A person may be found guilty of drug trafficking if it is proven that they knowingly delivered any type of illicit or controlled substance. You can be convicted of trafficking if you possess, sell, distribute, manufacture, or transport.
Drug trafficking is also a crime of intent, weight and amount. If you are arrested with set amount of any illegal drug you can be found guilty of drug trafficking. This is true even if you didn’t sell, distribute, manufacture, or transport those drugs.
Money Laundering is the process of making “dirty money” – money received from sell or distributing drugs or other crimes look “clean” by showing that it came from a legitimate source such as a restaurant or other business. The penalties for Money Laundering in Texas are severe. If you have been arrested for money laundering, you should request an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor (Class C misdemeanors are punishable by fine only not to exceed $500). However, if the offender is a minor, harsher penalties apply (especially if a two-time prior offender in which case jail time can be ordered). Section 49.01 of the Penal Code, which legally defines “intoxication”, includes both a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 but also defines it as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body”; thus, a breathalyzer or field sobriety test is not required to prove public intoxication.
The laws concerning any type of Drug Possession are serious offenses in the state of Texas and can result in severe punishment including incarceration. There are enhanced minimum sentences when the offense is committed against a victim who is elderly, pregnant, incapacitated, in a public vehicle such as a bus or a train, between family members, when the victim is a law enforcement or correctional officer, and in other special circumstances.
If possible it is in your best interest to have an attorney with you at the time of arrest. During arrests, mistakes can occur than can both violate your legal rights and hinder evidence that could be used to defend you. Assault cases require not only an experienced and knowledgeable attorney with good defense strategies but an attorney is familiar with the local courts and law enforcement agencies.