Find out what penalties you could be facing for a Texas drug crime
Possessing controlled or illicit substances in the state of Texas is considered a crime, which is punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both. Texas classifies drugs into 4 different categories that each carry specific penalties.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, contact experienced Houston drug crime defense lawyer Matt Sharp immediately to start working on your defense.
Penalties for illegal drug possession
Penalties for illegal drug possession in Texas typically fall under the following categories (in order from least to most severe):
- Class C misdemeanor — fines of up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor — jail sentences of up to 180 days and/or fines of up to $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor — jail sentences of 180 days to 1 year and/or fines of up to $4,000
- State jail felony — jail confinement of 180 days to 2 years and/or fines of up to $10,000
- 3rd-degree felony — federal prison sentence of 2 to 10 years and/or fines of up to $10,000
- 2nd-degree felony— federal prison sentences of 2 to 20 years and/or fines of up to $10,000
- 1st-degree felony — federal prison confinement of 5 to 99 years and/or fines between $50,000 and $250,000
First-time offenses involving possession of a controlled substance Texas may or may not involve a lenient punishment. In all group classifications of illegal drugs, the court may increase an individual’s penalty if the possession occurred in drug-free zones. These areas include being within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school or a daycare facility.
Group 1 penalties
The classification includes the following drugs:
- Psilocybin or magic mushrooms
Section 481.115 of the Texas Health and Safety Code states that possessing less than 1 gram of a Group 1 substance illegally is considered a state jail felony. Mushroom possession of less than 4 grams but over 1 gram is considered a 3rd-degree felony. Possessing 4 to 200 grams of an illegal substance is a 2nd-degree felony. Anyone caught possessing more than 200 but less than 400 grams of a substance illegally is charged with a 1st-degree felony.
Possessing bottle caps, hollowed-out pens, needles, or any other paraphernalia associated with meth carries a fine of up to $500.
Group 1-A penalties
Illegal drugs in this category include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Under Section 481.1151 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, possessing less than 20 units of a group 1-A substance is a state jail felony. Possessing 20 to 80 units is a 3rd-degree felony. Possessing 80 to 4,000 units is a 2nd-degree felony. Caught with 4,000 to 8,000 units is considered a 1st-degree felony.
Illegal substances in this classification include:
- Ecstasy or MDMA
- Other cannabinoids created from cannabis or marijuana
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code: Section 481.116, possessing less than 1 gram of the substance is considered a state jail felony. Possessing at least 1 to less than 4 grams of a group 2 substance is considered a 3rd-degree felony. Having 4 to less than 400 grams of the substance is considered a 2nd-degree felony. Having more than 400 grams of a substance in this category is a 1st-degree felony.
Group 3 penalties
Illegal possession of drugs in this category include:
- Anabolic steroids
- Methylphenidate or Ritalin
- Opioids not listed in Group 1
According to Section 481.117, possession of Xanax or other group 3 substances of less than 28 grams is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Possessing 28 to less than 200 grams of a group 3 substance is considered a 3rd-degree felony. Getting caught in possession of 200 to less than 400 grams of a substance in this category is considered a 2nd-degree felony. Possessing 400 grams or more of a group 3 substance is a 1st-degree felony.
Group 4 penalties
Illegal drugs in this category include opiates and opioids not listed in groups 1 or 3. The classification also includes various chemical compounds and prescription medications that have the potential for abuse.
According to Section 481.118, penalties for possessing group 4 substances are the same as possessing group 3 substances.
Marijuana possession penalties
According to Section 481.121, possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana is considered a Class B misdemeanor. Possessing 2 to less than 4 ounces of the substance is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If caught with 4 ounces to less than 5 pounds of marijuana, the individual is charged with a state jail felony. Anyone caught possessing 5 to less than 50 pounds of the substance is guilty of a 3rd-degree felony. Possession of 50 to less than 2,000 pounds is considered a 2nd-degree felony. Individuals caught possessing more than 2,000 pounds are charged with a 1st-degree felony.
Speak to a Houston drug possession defense attorney
Being arrested and convicted of possessing a substance illegally carries penalties that are potentially life-changing. As such, anyone finding themselves in legal trouble secondary to possession of an illegal substance needs to contact a qualified attorney with knowledge of Texas controlled substance laws.
Our attorney can help guide you through the legal process while ensuring that your rights are followed under the law. For Texas residents, contact the Law Offices of Matthew D. Sharp.