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In Texas, the Texas Controlled Substances Act sets the different severities and punishments of being charged with possession of controlled drugs.
In comparison to other states, Texas has some of the harshest drug possession laws and penalties in the country.
What is a controlled substance in Houston
Texas law classifies five different categories of drugs. Each group has its own rules and penalties. It is also important to note that marijuana is classified independently from these four classes of drugs.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act categorizes substances in five “schedules” based on their potential for abuse. Schedule 1 drugs are the most strictly regulated and subsequently punished for abuse or possession. The five schedules are classified as the following:
Schedule 1: Includes LSD, heroin, and ecstasy.
Schedule 2: Induces Methamphetamine and Cocaine.
Schedule 3: Includes anabolic steroids, ketamine, unprescribed testosterone.
Schedule 4: Includes Valium, Ambien, and Xanax.
Schedule 5: includes Lyrica and various cough suppressants.
Marijuana possession is classified as a “light” Class B misdemeanor. It can carry a sentence of a fine of no more than $10,000 or up to 180 days in jail for possession of two ounces or less. These penalties increase substantially if you are found with over 2,000 of marijuana. At this quantity, you can be hit with a fine of up to $50,000 and a life sentence in prison.
Drug possession charges are also broken down into two additional categories: simple possession, which includes possession for personal use, and possession with intent to distribute. Possession with intent to distribute carries significantly higher penalties than simple possession charges.
Penalties for possessing a controlled substance in Texas
To be found guilty, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was knowingly and intentionally in possession of a controlled substance upon arrest.
The penalties for drug possession in Texas will vary based on five factors: the type of drug, the quantity, how the drug was concealed, whether or not you had other drugs or paraphernalia, and if you have past drug convictions.
Drugs that carry a Class B or Class A misdemeanor result in a penalty of a fine of no more than $4,000 and up to a year in county jail. The exact punishment will vary depending on the drug in question. Depending on how much of the drug is found, the penalty can change from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony. The highest penalty given to a first-degree drug felony is 99 year to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
What to do if you’ve been found in possession of a controlled substance
Remember to always speak to an attorney to get the most up to date legal information, and specific information regarding your case. Don’t rely on advice on the internet to give you information that applies to your case since every instance will be different. If you are in Houston facing a drug possession charge, call the offices of Christoper T. Gore for information on legal representation and what potential penalties you may be facing.