What Are the Most Common Drug Crimes Prosecuted in Texas?
Compared to some other states, Texas has some pretty severe penalties for drug crime convictions and in most cases isn’t likely to go “easy on” drug offenders. In part, this approach can be attributed to the state’s much lauded “tough on crime” stance and may also be attributed to the state’s large border with Mexico. This large and difficult to control border has made it a prime target of drug traffickers which has caused the Texas authorities to prosecute drug related offenses very aggressively.
The most common drug charge in the state of Texas is due to possession, many of which are for the possession of marijuana, which is also the most common drug charge across the country, as well as the most commonly used illegal drug.
There are, as in every other state, a number of different factors that are considered when trying to determine the penalty for a drug-related charge. While there is a federal system of drug classification, Texas uses its own system to determine penalties. These groupings are essentially based on a classification of the severity of a drug:
Penalty group 1 is the most serious of charges, and includes drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. LSD is within the subset group 1A.
Penalty group 2 includes drugs like ecstasy, PCP, mescaline, and others.
Penalty group 3 includes prescription drugs like Valium and Xanax.
Penalty group 4 includes less commonly abused drugs like morphine.
Marijuana is conspicuously absent from these penalty groups and is treated essentially as its own group. Generally speaking, the penalties for marijuana are slightly more lenient than those for penalties in group 4, meaning that marijuana is treated essentially as the informal penalty group 5.
While part of the charge is based on the severity of the drug in the penalty groups, it is possible to receive a harsher sentence for a penalty group 4 charge than a penalty group 1 charge.
This is due to the fact that the penalties are also dependent on the quantity of the drug involved. For instance, a possession charge involving a quarter gram of cocaine (penalty group 1) will be less severe than a possession charge for 400 grams of morphine (penalty group 4).
Furthermore, the penalties for drug charges can be stiffened for other aggravating circumstance. One example of a common aggravating factor is possession in a school zone or other drug free zone. Intent to distribute is also grounds for a more severe penalty, which you might think could be hard to prove, but is often based on the quantity of drugs possessed, the presence of a scale, or even just the way the drugs are packaged (such as packed into a number of smaller, individual bags).
If you’ve been arrested on drug charges in Texas, then you need to retain an aggressive and experienced defense attorney that will fight on your behalf. Texas doesn’t mess around when it comes to drugs, and these drug charges carry serious, long-term consequences which will impact your life many years after you’ve gone to court or served your time.
When you retain the services of an experienced Austin drug crime lawyer like those at Fears Nachawati, you can be assured that our criminal defense attorneys will fight tirelessly to defend your rights and your freedom.
If you’ve been charged for drug possession, then don’t delay in reaching out to the experienced drug attorneys at Fears Nachawati for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.