This is the next post in my series on the handling of drug possession charges in Austin, Texas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It is important to understand the need to speak with an attorney if you or a family member have been arrested for possession of drugs. It is also necessary to contact counsel sooner rather than later, as courts take such charges very seriously. Each outcome will depend on the specific facts of the case so it is crucial to retain an attorney that can help you better understand your situation. In this article I will be addressing Texas’ penalties for possession of drugs, including prescription drugs such as Xanax and Oxycodone. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney. I have been licensed to practice law since 1995 and I am Board Certified in Criminal Defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Texas’ penalties for possession of drugs can vary based on the type and amount of the substance involved. The state views drugs as divided into different penalty groups. Group One is the most severe class of drugs. It mostly includes narcotics that generally serve no medical purpose and are heavily controlled due to their high potential for abuse. These are drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, etc. Possession of these types of substances is likely to result in a stricter sentence than other drugs. This will of course depend on the amount possessed and other factors, such as the defendant’s prior criminal history. At the very least, defendants will receive a sentence ranging from 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. However, possession of Group One drugs can potentially result in a sentence of ten to ninety-nine years in state jail and a fine of up to $100,000.
On the other hand, possessing drugs like marijuana and prescription pills without having a prescription is much less strict. The punishment for possession of prescription medications without a prescription depends on the type and amount of pills involved. For example, Xanax is a Group Three substance and illegal possession of it can result in a minimum of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. At the most, it can result in five to ninety-nine years in state prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Further, the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state of Texas, but possession is viewed as much less severe than of harder drugs. At the least, possession of marijuana could result in a penalty of not more than 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000. However, if you are in possession of over 2,000 pounds of marijuana, your sentence could be anywhere from five to ninety-nine years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Again, the judge will contemplate various factors before deciding an acceptable punishment.
These penalties may seem daunting but it is important to remember that if you have been charged with possession of drugs, it is possible to defend yourself. One possible defense is challenging the constitutionality of the officer’s search and seizure of your property. If the officers acted without a warrant and within no exception, possession charges may be dropped. Another possible defense is that you lacked knowledge that the drugs were in your possession. For example, this may be relevant where you borrowed somebody’s car and you had no idea there was heroin in the glovebox. This lack of knowledge can be important in challenging a possible conviction. The possible defenses in any matter will, however, depend on the specific facts of the situation. It is, therefore, important that you seek legal advice immediately.
If you or a family member have been arrested then it is important to immediately obtain representation. I am an Austin drug possession lawyer who understands the serious nature with which the government takes such matters. I will give your case the attention it deserves and my office prides itself on providing a high level of service. This includes quickly responding to phone calls and promptly replying to emails. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. My office also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.