The Consequences of Drug Possession in Dallas
The state of Texas has some of the strictest laws in the country regarding controlled substances and the use of narcotics. The laws themselves can also be complicated to navigate. If you or someone you love is facing charges of drug possession in the Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex, then a call to an experienced attorney should be your first step in dealing with the situation.
The consequences of drug possession charges in the city of Dallas:
Understanding Drug Penalty Groups
Offenses and the appropriate punishments for drug possession are split into four separate groups based on drug classifications. Sections 481.101-105 of the Texas Health and Safety Code organizes these drugs into the following penalty groups:
Penalty Group I
Some examples of the substances in this group include heroin, methamphetamine, codeine, cocaine, and ketamine.
Penalty Group II
The substances in this group can include psilocybin (known as mushrooms), MDMA, and other hallucinogens including LSD.
Penalty Group III
Examples of the substances in this group are Xanax, Valium, anabolic steroids, and other prescription drugs.
Penalty Group IV
The substances included in this category are primarily opioids and opiates not already listed in Penalty Group 1, along with other medications and compounds that can potentially be abused.
As a separate category, marijuana and other cannabinoid products carry their own set of penalties and punishments.
Consequences Related to Specific Drugs
The state of Texas has some of the harshest penalties in the country related to the possession and use of various drugs and controlled substances. Here are the potential consequences associated with some of the most commonly used drugs in the Dallas area.
Texas Health and Safety Code (481.115) makes the possession, manufacturing, or delivery of any amount of cocaine within the state of Texas a crime. The punishment associated with this substance depends primarily on how much was discovered at the time of an arrest. Under 1 gram of cocaine is considered a state jail felony that will involve a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years. In some situations, first-time offenders may have that prison time forgiven in favor of probation. Possession of 1 to 4 grams of the substance can be a third-degree felony, which involves a fine of up to $10,000 along with jail time between 2 and 10 years. For an amount between 4 and 200 grams, the charge will likely be a second-degree felony, which involves 2 to 10 years of jail time and might include a $10,000 fine. For 200 to 400 grams of cocaine or more, a person can expect to face charges of a first-degree felony along with fines ranging between $10,000 and $100,000 along with 5 to 99 years in prison.
Treated similarly to cocaine, the possession of even a small amount of heroin will be treated as a felony, which may result in jail time. For possession of less than 1 gram, a person can expect to face a possible prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years, along with potential fines of up to $2,000. An amount between 1 and 4 grams will be considered a third-degree felony, while 4 to 200 grams will be viewed as a second-degree felony. 200 to 400 grams of heroin or more will constitute a first-degree felony charge involving steep fines of up to $100,000 and 5 to 99 years of prison time.
Despite growing support for the legalization of marijuana across the country, lawmakers in Texas continue to maintain harsh punishments for this commonly used substance. Similar to drugs in other penalty categories, the consequences associated with possession of this substance depend on the amount discovered at the time of the arrest. Possession of two ounces or less is considered a Class B misdemeanor which can involve up to 180 days in county jail along with a possible fine of up to $2,000 and even two years of probation. Possession of 2 to 4 ounces can result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year along with a hefty fine of $4,000. If a person is found to have 4 ounces or more, then they will be facing felony charges which can involve up to 2 years in jail along with a $10,000 fine.
Seek Legal Help Right Away
If you or someone you love has been charged with drug possession in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, you’ll need the support of an experienced attorney to help you understand the specific charges and what options may be available for your defense. A skilled attorney can effectively navigate the complex criminal justice system and help you present the best possible defense. Be sure to contact the offices of Davis, Ermis, & Roberts today to set up an appointment for an initial consultation.