Texas has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. Even possessing small amounts of a controlled substance can lead to expensive fines or potential jail time. The penalty for a drug offense relies on the drug’s type (or “schedule”) of the drug and the quantity of the substance. If law enforcement has arrested you for a drug-related offense, contact a trusted Pearland criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights remain protected. In the meantime, it’s helpful to understand the basic drug penalty groups in Texas so you know more about what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.
Understanding the Four Drug Schedules
The Texas Controlled Substances Act identifies 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 articulates the criminal penalties for possession, manufacture, or delivery. Penalty Group 1 substances include opioids (oxycodone, hydrocodone), heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other hallucinogens. Penalty Group 1-A consists of LSD and any of its isomers or salts. Penalty Group 2 includes hallucinogenic substances like ecstasy, PCP, and mescaline. Penalty Group 3 contains certain opioids like benzodiazepines and Valium, as well as prescription drugs that carry the potential for abuse. Penalty Group 4 refers to a wide range of prescription medications that may have the potential for abuse.
Penalty Groups and Consequences in Texas
The specific penalties for a drug offense depend on the schedule of the drug and the amount in question. In general, the higher the classification and the larger the amount, the more severe the consequences. For instance, possessing less than 28 grams of a Penalty 4 substance may be considered a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in county jail. At the other end of the spectrum, possessing between 200-400 grams of a Penalty 1 substance is considered a first-degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Defending Your Future and Your Freedom
Texas prosecutors take an aggressive approach to drug-related offenses. As soon as possible, contact an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer who can fight to defend your rights and your freedom. Your attorney will examine the specifics of your case, looking for any violations of your rights during the arrest process. Together, you can work hard to keep your future as bright as possible. Now is not the time to leave your fate up to chance—discuss your situation with a skilled attorney today.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Pearland criminal defense attorney by calling (832) 230-0075 today.