Any time you are charged with a drug crime it should be taken seriously. Punishments can range from probation to serious jail time. It is important to consult an attorney immediately.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
In the Texas, drug use is highly stigmatized and the law reflects that. However, the fact of the matter is that drug use is becoming more and more common. No longer are the days when drug use used to be confined to a specific group or class of people. Now, business people are using drugs to gain a competitive edge at work, students are using drugs to study longer and reduce anxiety, and even more people are using drugs to relax on the weekend.
While the United States has been busy fighting with neighboring countries in the “War on Drugs” the real war is happening on our streets. A large percentage of Texas prison inmates are in prison as a result of being charged with possessing, selling, or manufacturing drugs. Drug Addiction has become an epidemic. So much so that our current President declared Opioid Addiction a public health emergency. If you find yourself in any of these situations it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer who understands and will look past the stereotypes to come to your immediate defense.
Prescription medication like Adderall and Xanax are being increasingly abused by students and professionals in the workplace. In the past, several decades Doctors have been over prescribing these types of medications, as a result they are increasingly easier to obtain illegally. A person should not take or possess these and other types of prescription medications without the supervision of a Doctor.
Under Texas law, it is illegal to be in possession of prescription drugs if they are not prescribed to you. If you do have a prescription for these types of medications they should always be kept in their original container, and you should never give or sell them to your friends.
If you are prescribed medication and you get charged with possessing those medications it is important to hire a lawyer immediately. An attorney who knows the law can act quickly to get these charges dismissed. If you are not prescribed these medications and are charged with their possession, it is even more important do hire a defense attorney.
How Severe is My Drug Charge?
When charged with a drug offense it is important to know the severity of the charges. The severity of the charges can often help determine the available options and the effect these charges will have in your future. There are several factors at work within that law that determine the severity of the charges. Some of these factors include the type, amount, and circumstances surrounding the alleged drug possession. In Texas, drugs are classified into four categories that play a big role in the severity of the charge and subsequently the punishment. These classification are best understood by consulting an attorney, but consider the following:
- Penalty Group 1: Includes Opioids like Oxycodone, opium derivatives, and Heroine. Methamphetamines and Cocaine are also in this group. Possession of these types of drugs are considered a felony and should be taken very seriously. In the eyes of law these drugs are considered to be more susceptible to abuse and therefore are awarded stricter punishments.
- Penalty Group 2: Includes drugs like Ecstasy, PCP, and MDMA. Like Penalty Group 1 possession of drugs in the group are also considered a felony.
- Penalty Group 3: Includes various types of prescription medication like Adderall, Xanax and even anabolic steroids.
- Penalty Group 4: Includes all opiates and opioids that are not in Penalty Group 4
The new Houston District Attorney has widely stopped prosecuting marijuana possession based on a variety of factors including criminal history, amount, and intent. However, according to the law possession of marijuana or even paraphernalia is still considered illegal. A criminal lawyer who is up to date with the way the county is currently prosecuting these crimes is a necessary to craft your defense strategy. It is important to hire an attorney who understands your rights and will make sure that you are not charged.
Other Factors That Affect Drug Crime Punishment
Texas has certain areas like schools sectioned off as “drug free zones”. If you are caught in one of these areas while possessing even a small amount of drugs it is likely that the punishments will be much more severe. In addition, certain circumstances can lead to the state seeking increased punishment because they think that you selling or manufacturing drugs. If you are caught with scales, small bags, or an abundance of money the police and/or prosecutor may charge you with drug possession and Manufacturing and Delivery, even if that was not your intention.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
A skilled lawyer can explain your rights and help you figure out what happens next. Before you can be convicted of any drug crime the drugs must be tested and the type of drug must be confirmed. You have a right to have the drugs retested. Labs sometimes experience cross contamination and even false positives. Getting advice from a lawyer can ensure that you get the best outcome possible. Do not let a drug charge ruin the rest of your life.