Compared to other states, Texas takes drug-related offenses especially seriously. Penalties for drug possession can carry lasting consequences, so it’s essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights remain upheld at every stage of the criminal justice process. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions Texans have about drug possession crimes to help you move forward with greater clarity and confidence.
What Does Drug “Possession” Actually Mean?
Under Title 1, Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code, the term “Possession” refers to “actual care, custody, control, or management” of a controlled substance. The broadness of this definition is intentional, allowing possession charges to be brought in various circumstances. For instance, if law enforcement finds controlled substances in your vehicle or home, they can charge you with drug possession. Additionally, the term “management” does not mean ownership. Therefore, you can be charged with possession even if someone else owns the drugs.
What Are the Penalties For Drug Possession in Texas?
The Texas Health and Safety Code recognizes six “penalty groups” of controlled substances, with Penalty Groups 1, 1-A, 2, and 2-A carrying the most severe punishments. Essentially, the more dangerous or addictive the substance is and the greater the quantity found in your possession, the steeper the consequences will be. Possession of a small amount of a Penalty Group 3 or 4 substance may lead to misdemeanor charges, carrying up to a year in jail. However, possession of a larger amount of a Penalty Group 1 substance can lead to felony charges and up to life in prison.
How Can a Drug Crimes Attorney Help Me?
If law enforcement arrests you for drug possession, your first instinct may be to explain your way out of the situation. Unfortunately, doing this can seriously jeopardize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Any words you say may be used to build a case against you, so exercise your right to remain silent until you can discuss the situation with your attorney. Your lawyer will examine every detail of the case, looking for any violations of your Constitutional rights during the arrest process that could invalidate the case altogether. Together, you can determine the most strategic path forward to obtain the best outcome given the specifics of the case.
If you are facing drug possession charges in Pearland, Brazoria County, or the surrounding Houston area, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to arrange a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.