Manufacturing Controlled Substances in Texas
Texas is notoriously tough on drugs. Depending on the type and amount of the illegal substance, the penalties can vary widely and they can include financial penalties and prison time. However, the sentences are almost always tougher for manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance. While possession of an illegal substance is a serious crime, manufacturing that same substance is much more serious.
What Is Manufacturing A Controlled Substance?
Manufacturing a controlled substance simply refers to the creation of an illegal drug. This can include the use of chemicals, lab equipment and special techniques to combine different substances to produce an intoxicating chemical. This procedure may occur in a scientific lab, a backyard shed or in a cabin in the woods. No matter where these illegal drugs are produced, it is against the law to participate in their manufacture.
Some of the drugs commonly involved in manufacturing cases include:
- Crack cocaine
Although it is technically possible to face manufacture and delivery charges for virtually any illegal substance, these cases typically involve substances that can be made inexpensively or which can be sold for a high profit.
Texas places penalties on different substances based on the type of drug being produced. These groups are formed based on the perceived danger caused by each drug. However, any accepted medical uses for the drug are taken into account. For example, a person who is convicted of a drug crime involving meth can be punished more harshly than a person who is caught with prescription painkillers. This is because methamphetamine has no current accepted medical use while painkillers are frequently prescribed by doctors.
The level of danger of a particular drug is assessed by determining how likely the drug is to cause addiction and how likely it is to lead to abuse, overdoses and associated crimes.
There are four penalty groups in Texas:
- Penalty Group 1, including drugs like meth
- Penalty Group 2, including drugs like Ecstasy
- Penalty Group 3, including some prescription painkillers
- Penalty Group 4, including certain prescription drugs and precursor chemicals
Penalties are also based on the amount of drugs involved in a case. For example, for Penalty Group 1 substances:
- Manufacturing less than one gram is a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in state jail
- Manufacturing one to four grams is a second degree felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison
- Manufacturing four to 200 grams is a first degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison
- Manufacturing 200 to 400 grams is a felony punishable by a minimum of ten years and up to 99 years or life
- Manufacturing more than 400 grams is a felony punishable by a minimum of fifteen years and up to 99 years or life
It should be noted that these drugs are placed into penalty categories based on their total weight, including all adulterants or dilutants. For example, if a person manufactures crack cocaine with another substance to bulk up their product and increase their profits, the weight of the cocaine plus the bulking agent will be used. So a small amount of cocaine could actually lead to a higher penalty if it is cut with another substance. This applies to all illegal drugs, including meth and LSD.
In Texas, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance are placed in the same penalty category. This means that, under the law, Texas assumes that a person who manufactures drugs is intending to distribute them, whether for free or for profit. This is one reason that this crime is punished so severely. Texas drug enforcement agents know that the key to shutting down drug rings is to target suppliers and producers. Catching small-time dealers is not an effective long-term strategy.
Therefore, a person producing drugs is a more valuable target for law enforcement. Anyone facing manufacturing and delivery charges in Texas should understand the serious nature of their case. Consulting with an experienced defense attorney is a valuable way to find out more information about a case, as well as a way to start preparing a legal defense.
If you or someone you know has been charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, get legal representation as soon as possible. Houston attorney Matthew Sharp has the knowledge and experience need to protects your rights. Contact his office today at 713-868-6100.