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What are the different penalties concerning drugs?

Criminal penalties in Texas for drug charges can vary a great deal. Among other things, they depend upon whether the individual has prior convictions, the type of drug and the nature of the offense.

Under Texas state law, a minimum penalty for drug possession or for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance is a fine of no more than $10,000 and a jail term of 180 days to two years while the maximum is a fine of up to $250,000 and 15 to 99 years or life in prison. The minimum penalty for possession of marijuana is a fine of up to $2,000 and no more than 180 days in jail. The maximum penalty for the same offense is a fine of no more than $250,000 and life or five to 99 years in prison.

Delivery of marijuana carries a minimum penalty of no more than 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. The maximum is a fine under $100,000 and 10 years to 99 years or life. Federal law may carry additional penalties for some offenses such as double or triple the federal penalty for distribution of drugs to minors.

An individual who has been convicted of a drug offense may therefore be facing some very serious penalties. As a result, he or she may wish to work with an attorney in order to prepare a defense. The attorney might look at how the client was charged and whether authorities conducted a legally-permissible search. There may also be the possibility of a plea arrangement resulting in lesser charges.

Source: The University of Texas at Dallas, "Drug Laws", November 18, 2014

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1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

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