Even a misdemeanor drug crime conviction on your record can have serious consequences. It is crucial to work with an experienced drug charges attorney following an arrest to help avoid a conviction. Drug crimes involve the possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substances, possession of dangerous drugs, possession with the intent to deliver, manufacturing and others.
Although several states are taking steps to decriminalize certain controlled substances and legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana, Texas drug laws remain among the most restrictive in the country. Even possessing small amounts of marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs without a valid prescription can lead to serious penalties, including jail or prison time, costly fines, the suspension of your driver’s license, mandatory community service, probation, mandatory drug counseling, and additional restrictions to your freedom. As soon as Texas law enforcement places you under arrest for a drug-related offense, it’s critical to contact a seasoned and skilled criminal defense attorney to start preparing your legal defense. If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges in Pearland or Brazoria County, reach out to the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, right away to discuss your options.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and frightened when law enforcement arrests you for an alleged drug crime. However, before your mind jumps to the worst-case scenario, it’s helpful to understand how Texas courts typically handle drug-related offenses. The primary guide to navigating drug crimes is the Texas Controlled Substances Act. This legislation establishes different classifications (called “schedules”) of controlled substances. Someone accused of possessing, distributing, or trafficking a controlled substance will face a criminal charge, the severity of which depends on the specific properties and addictiveness of the substance in question. Generally, larger quantities of the most addictive substances (i.e., heroin or fentanyl) result in much weightier and lasting criminal penalties than offenses involving smaller amounts of less-addictive substances.
Texas law recognizes four drug schedules, ranging from Schedule I (the most addictive) to Schedule IV (less prone to addiction but still considered dangerous). Each schedule corresponds to a penalty group, which assigns criminal penalties for possessing, manufacturing, or delivering the substance. Penalty Group I substances include opioids (like oxycodone and hydrocodone), heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other hallucinogens. Penalty Group 1-A covers LSD and any of its isomers or salts. Penalty Group 2 encompasses hallucinogenic drugs like ecstasy, PCP, and mescaline. Penalty Group 3 applies to certain opioids like benzodiazepines and Valium, as well as prescription drugs that may encourage abuse. Penalty Group 4 covers a wide range of prescription medications that may trigger the potential for abuse.
The exact nature of the penalty you may get for a drug offense depends on the schedule of the drug, the amount involved in the alleged violation, the type of activity (possession, manufacturing, trafficking, etc.), and other relevant factors. For example, possessing less than 28 grams of a Penalty Group 4 substance may lead to a Class B misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. On the other end of the spectrum, possessing 200 grams of a Penalty Group 1 substance can lead to a first-degree felony charge, punishable by 5 to 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. It’s important to understand that Texas judges may use the Penalty Groups to guide their decision, but they have the authority to assess the specific details of an individual case to determine a fitting penalty for each defendant. Having a seasoned criminal defense lawyer on your side can improve your outcome dramatically, so don’t hesitate to contact our office to get started.
Attorney Keith Allen has a proven track record of serving and representing individuals charged with drug crimes throughout Brazoria County. Before starting his own criminal defense law practice, he served as the First Assistant District Attorney in Brazoria County. His experience on both sides of the criminal justice system—prosecution and defense—enables him to develop innovative and effective legal strategies to obtain his clients the best outcomes possible.
Whether you are facing criminal charges involving drug possession, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, illegal use of prescription drugs, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug-related paraphernalia, prescription fraud, or other drug-related offenses, you can trust that experienced attorney Keith G. Allen is prepared to fight for your rights and best interests. Now is not the time to leave your future up to chance—call our office today to arrange a free consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable Pearland criminal defense attorney.
Texas drug crime laws are among the strictest in the country. Even a misdemeanor drug crime conviction on your record can impact your life in severe ways. We’re here to advocate for your best interests at every turn.