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Penalties for drug possession in Texas

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Criminal Law

While Texas has reduced penalties for possessing cannabis, penalties for other controlled substances remain the same. A person in Texas can face stiff penalties for possession of controlled substances.

Texas drug laws overview

The addictive potential and dangers of controlled substances are the reasons that state and federal law highly regulate them. Texas divides drug schedules into four groups 1 to 4, ranging in order of the most addictive to the least.

Group 1 substances, which include cocaine, LSD, heroin and PSP, have the most addictive potential and no proven medical benefit. Group 2 to 4 substances, which include sedatives, some prescriptions and anabolic steroids, decrease in addiction risk and have limited medical use.

Penalties for possession

According to criminal law, drug possession is knowingly and willfully carrying illegal substances on the person or having control of them. Several factors commonly determine the penalties, such as the amount and type of drug, paraphernalia, where the arrest happened and past convictions.

Penalties for the possession of less than 1 gram of Group 1 and Group 2 substances include up to two years of jail and a $10,000 fine. Possessing 400 grams or more of these substances can carry a penalty of up to 99 years of jail and a $100,000 fine.

Penalties for possessing less than 28 grams of Group 3 substances include up to one year of jail and a $4,000 fine. The fine for the possession of Group 4 substances is $2,000, and the jail time is up to six months. The possession of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes and scales, is commonly a misdemeanor with up to a $500 fine.

Drug possession charges can go on public record, which can make getting jobs harder. However, the person charged may fight the charges with some valid defenses. First offenders may get alternative sentencing, such as probation or drug education programs.