Consequences Of Drug Crime Convictions In Texas
Penalty Ranges Based On Drug Type
The Texas Legislature has created four penalty groups for the purpose of establishing criminal penalties for possession and delivery of various controlled substances. The classification of the criminal offense and punishment range for any drug charge depends on the penalty group in which the particular controlled substance is included and the amount of controlled substance at issue.
Methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine are common examples of Penalty Group 1 drugs — considered the most dangerous and thus carrying the most severe sentences for conviction. The consequences for being convicted of offenses involving these substances range as follows:
Possession of a controlled substance
- 4th degree (state jail) felony drug charge if less than 1 gram
- 3rd degree felony if 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams
- 2nd degree felony if 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams
- 1st degree felony if more than 200 grams
Delivery of a controlled substance
4th degree (state jail) felony if less than 1 gram
2nd degree felony if 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams
1st degree felony if 4 grams or more, but less than 200 grams
- Enhanced 1st degree felony with a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years if 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams
- Enhanced 1st degree felony with a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years if 400 grams or more
If the amount of drugs involved is significant, you may face federal charges. Federal sentencing guidelines are harsh. Probation is not likely if you are convicted of a drug offense in federal court, so it is vital to obtain effective defense counsel as soon as possible.
Additional Consequences Of Drug Crime Conviction In Texas
In addition to the criminal consequences and potential jail or prison time that you face for a conviction on a drug offense, there are many collateral consequences that can haunt you for years to come. These include:
- Your driver’s license may be suspended.
- You may be barred from applying for student loans.
- You may have difficulty finding housing.
- Finding employment may become very difficult.
- You will have a criminal record that will show up on background checks.
Free Attorney Consultation
If you have been charged with possession of or trafficking in controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, meth or illegal prescription drugs, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side. Contact me, Houston criminal defense lawyer R. Todd Bennett, at 713-489-7763 for a free initial consultation about your case.