Texas has some of the harshest penalties in the United States for drug-related crimes. The state lists four penalty groups under its drug manufacturing and cultivation law, known as the Texas Controlled Substances Act. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, here is what you need to know for your defense.
Drug penalty groups determine the severity of the crime
The state lists specific jail time and fines for each penalty group. Classifications are as follows:
- Opioids like codeine, codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone, opium derivatives heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, LSD, mescaline, psilocybin and similar hallucinogens
- LSD, MDMA, PCP, psychedelic mushrooms and amphetamines
- Benzodiazepines and sedatives like Valium and others, anabolic steroids and methylphenidate
- Opioids and opiates not listed in group one, plus prescription medications that have a potential for abuse
If you are convicted of a marijuana offense, it has a different penalty classification.
Other factors for determining penalties
Penalties for drug crimes in Texas take into account the following factors in addition to the penalty group classification:
- Drug type
- Cultivation method
- Past convictions
The state classifies the offense as a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of $4,000 if the drugs are not listed in any penalty group.
Defending your drug charge
Drug crimes in Texas require a strong defense. You should not be charged with an offense if you have medical marijuana or drugs prescribed by a doctor that you may have cultivated for personal use. Note that being an addict is not an adequate defense.
Arresting officers frequently make mistakes when charging defendants with drug offenses. Discovering if any errors occurred along with other discrepancies can help reduce penalties or even negate them. First-time offenders may be able to keep the charge off their record.