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What’s the Average Texas Drug Possession Sentence? (and How to Avoid It!)

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Busted for drug possession? Facing drug possession charges in Texas can be scary.

Texas drug possession laws are among the most severe in the nation. For example, you could face up to 180 in jail for a small amount of marijuana.

The penalties are stiffer for drugs such as cocaine, LSD, or heroin. For less than one gram of cocaine, for instance, a judge could sentence you to anywhere from six months to two years in prison.

The sentence could extend between two and 20 years if you have over four grams of cocaine. With that, the best way to beat drug charges is to hire a seasoned attorney.

This article will break down drug possession laws in Texas. Read further if you want to know more.

What’s a Good Possession Meaning?

In a legal context, possession refers to a person holding a controlled substance. The law defines a controlled substance as an illegal drug that can affect a person’s health.

With that, not all controlled substances are illegal. For example, cold medicine is a controlled substance, but it’s legal for a person to buy it.

However, the federal government limits the amount of cold medicine a person can buy if it contains pseudoephedrine. Manufacturers use pseudoephedrine to create methamphetamine.

What’s the Federal Controlled Substance Classification?

The Controlled Substances Act gives the federal government authority to regulate drug usage. Federal possession laws supersede state possession laws. The federal guidelines break down as follows:

  • Schedule I: Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, peyote, ecstasy, and marijuana. The government decreed that these drugs offer no medical benefit. A first-time offense normally comes with two to 15 years in jail and/or fines up to $5,000.
  • Schedule II: These drugs are highly addictive. They include Percocet, Oxycontin, opium, methamphetamine, methadone, morphine, amphetamines, codeine, and hydrocodone. You could face the same sentence as Schedule I possession.
  • Schedule III: These drugs are less addictive but can still be abused. The government lists steroids, Suboxone, Tylononel mixed with codeine, and ketamine in this category. Possession of these substances usually comes with sentences between two to 15 years.
  • Schedule IV: These drugs have a lower risk of abuse than Schedule III drugs. Drugs in this category include Xanax, Halcion, Versed, Valium, and Restoril. These drugs may come with the same sentence.
  • Schedule V: This is the lightest drug area and typically applies to cough syrup mixed with codeine. You may face jail time between one and five years.

In addition to jail time and fines, your driver’s license could be suspended for six months if you’re a first-time offender. Moreover, the suspension could last longer for second and third offenses.

If you’re busted repeatedly, you could face between five to 30 years in prison.

How Do Drug Possession Charges Vary by State?

Overall, many states adopt the federal standard when it comes to possession. However, there are slight variations. In Texas, for example, the state classifies drugs in a group, and marijuana has its own category.

Drug possession classification in Texas comes down to the following classifications:

  • Group 1: This category includes drugs such as opioids, cocaine, and LSD. You could face a penalty of between 180 days and two years in jail.
  • Group 2: The second tier also comprises LSD, including ecstasy, psychedelics (i.e. mushrooms), amphetamines, and PCP. If you have less than a gram, you could face the same sentence as Group 1.
  • Group 3: Group 3 includes all opioids and opiates not included in Group 1, such as steroids, sedatives, and benzodiazepines. You can get the same sentence as Groups 1 and 2.
  • Group 4: This group also adds additional opiates and includes prescription drugs. They carry the same sentence as the other groups.
  • Marijuana: This category includes synthetic and natural marijuana. At a minimum, you’ll be sentenced to drug rehabilitation and probation. You may also get a 180-day jail sentence.

Also, the fines can range between $4,000 to $50,000. The fines also depend on the severity of the sentence. The fines could even run up to $300,000 if you have large quantities of illegal drugs.

How Does the Amount of Drugs Impact a Case?

Texas possession sentences also depend on how much drugs you have on-hand. If you have over 400 grams of a Group 1 substance (i.e. cocaine), for example, you could face up to life in jail and a $300,000 fine.

You can also get the same life sentence if you have more than 400 grams of drugs from other groups.

For marijuana, you’re looking at 1 to 10 years in jail for over two ounces of cannabis. For less than an ounce of marijuana, your driver’s license could also be suspended for six months.

Do Texas Possession Charges Come with Mandatory Sentences?

Misdemeanor drug charges have mandatory sentences. Drug possession charges can come in the form of Class A or Class B misdemeanors.

Class A is the most serious offense and can come with a one-year jail sentence. Class B misdemeanors can carry up to 180 days in jail.

The amount of drugs you have depends on the classification. For instance, you could face a Class B charge if you have less than two ounces of marijuana. Overall, drug charges will have a minimum Class B misdemeanor.

With that, federal laws are usually harsher because the offenses are felonies. In many cases, drug possession charges in Texas are misdemeanors. However, even misdemeanor charges have extensive punishments. Texas imposes long sentences for even minor marijuana offenses. You could even face life in jail if you have extensive quantities of illegal substances in Texas.

What Should I Do If I’m Facing a Possession Sentence?

It’s very risky to defend yourself. That’s just asking for trouble. Most court appointed lawyers are overworked and have dozens of cases at any given time. They likely won’t have the time to properly defend you. If you’re facing the prospect of a possession sentence, contact a local experienced drug defense lawyer.

Are you contending with a possession charge? Click here to learn how you can find the right drug possession lawyer.

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