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Drug Possession & Drug Crimes Attorney in New Braunfels, Texas, Helping Clients Secure Favorable Outcomes

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), substance abuse is one of the most costly health problems in the United States, costing the nation as much as $272 billion as of 2020. It is no surprise that the state of Texas continues to aggressively prosecute individuals who have committed drug crimes. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Texas, it is crucial to know your rights as a defendant and hire the right criminal defense attorney for your case.

What Offenses Are Considered Drug Crimes in Texas?

Similarly to federal laws, laws in the Lone Star State classify drug possession offenses into four different categories: drug possession, paraphernalia, drug trafficking and dealing (sale), and manufacturing. The severity of charges and sentences vary depending on the type and amount of drug you were carrying and whether any aggravating factors are applicable.

If you are found to be in possession of an illicit or controlled substance without a medical prescription, you may be charged with simple possession (if you only have small amounts) or possession with the intent to distribute (if you have large amounts of drugs). Drug paraphernalia is any object or equipment used to make, consume, or conceal drugs, and it is against the law to sell, import, or export any kind of drug paraphernalia. Oftentimes, drug possession charges can be accompanied by drug paraphernalia charges.

Drug manufacturing is also illegal and includes any action related to cultivating, producing, growing, or otherwise preparing illegal substances for sale and consumption. Individuals arrested while possessing large quantities of drugs may be charged with manufacturing as well as trafficking and distributing drugs. The sale or “delivery” of drugs is also a crime in Texas, regardless of whether the sale of drugs is actually completed or not.

For example, you may be allowed to use marijuana in small amounts if you have a prescription and necessary documentation. However, you may not grow and process your own marijuana, even if you do not intend to sell it. Doing so could result in charges such as drug possession with the intent to sell, drug paraphernalia possession, and drug manufacturing.

What Are Drug Penalty Groups and How Do They Affect Your Drug Possession Charge?

In alignment with federal laws, the state of Texas divides illicit substances into penalty groups. Each group contains certain types of substances and the penalties associated with possessing each substance. For example, Penalty Group 4 includes certain prescription medications, chemical compounds, opiates, and opioids. Common examples include morphine and opium. Those who are charged with drug possession of up to 28 grams of these controlled substances could be facing a misdemeanor charge leading to up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $ 2,000.00.

On the other hand, Penalty Group 1 and 1-A include heavy narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, and certain opioids such as codeine. Possession of drugs in groups 1 and 1A is usually a felony offense that can lead to a two-year jail sentence and a $10,000.00 fine. Possession of large amounts of drugs of any penalty group can result in significantly more serious penalties, resulting in five to 99 years in prison and expensive fines of up to $50,000.00.

Is Marijuana Legal in Texas?

Many states have now legalized the use of marijuana and THC-based products for medical and recreational use. However, the state of Texas still considers marijuana to be illegal for recreational use. Texans with specific medical conditions such as epilepsy may use certain types of marijuana products to alleviate their symptoms as long as they are under medical supervision.

There have been several efforts to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. More recently, House Bill 218 was approved by the Texas House of Representatives. The bill suggests the removal of criminal penalties for individuals found to be in possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. It reclassifies marijuana simple possession offense as a Class C misdemeanor, which would not result in any jail time and may only require the individual to pay a fine and appear in court. However, House Bill 218 and other similar cannabis decriminalization bills have yet to be enacted into law. In other words, marijuana possession, manufacturing, and distribution are still illegal in Texas and could still lead to imprisonment and hefty fines.

How Can an Attorney Help You Defend Against Drug Charges?

If you are facing drug possession charges in Texas, it is vital to seek the help of an experienced drug possession attorney as soon as possible. Remember, your attorney is on your side, so it is best to be honest and share everything you know about your case with your lawyer. If you withhold information about something the prosecution may know, it may negatively impact your case and weaken your legal defense strategy.

There are several arguments your attorney can use to try to convince the court to drop or reduce your charges and avoid prison time. For example, suppose the police found drugs in your vehicle after a traffic stop. In that case, your attorney may question whether the stop was legal and argue that your constitutional rights were violated because of an illegal search without enough probable cause. No matter how complicated your drug possession case may be, you do not have to face it alone.

Contact Seymour & Vaughn to discuss your case and see how our firm can help you protect your rights and secure the best outcome for your drug charges. Call our office in New Braunfels, Texas, at  830-282-8751 to learn more.