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Common Drug Crimes and How a Skilled Attorney Can Help You

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

“It’s no secret that America is in the grips of a fentanyl crisis. Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous drugs out there, as it can be over 100 times more potent than morphine and much more addictive. The tragic loss of life and seemingly endless destruction caused by this illegal drug is impossible to calculate. Meanwhile, governments and local authorities are going to extremes in an attempt to get fentanyl off the street and prevent further tragedies.

Drug laws in Texas are already among the most severe in the US. If caught with illegal drugs of any kind in Texas, you could easily be looking at a lengthy legal proceeding and long incarceration. However, not all drug offenses are equal and the penalties can vary greatly. With the help of an experienced drug crime attorney, it’s possible to reduce your sentence, get a full dismissal, or even keep you out of prison.

Understanding the most common drug charges is an important first step in any defense. Here are some of the most common drug charges you may encounter.

Drug Possession

Drug possession is one of the most basic charges you could be charged with and potentially convicted of. Even if you’re simply holding the item for a friend, you could be charged with possession and even intent to sell.

It’s important to understand how you might get charged and how your attorney can help.

To face charges, a person must be deemed guilty of knowledgeable possession. The prosecutor must prove that they knew about the drugs and willingly carried them with consent or knowledge. Otherwise, they can’t be deemed guilty.

The court may also charge you with possession if drugs are found on your property, such as your vehicle or your home. You could also be charged for joint possession if a friend brings a controlled substance onto your property.

A drug possession attorney can instruct you on how to challenge a drug arrest without making things worse for yourself. Not all drug arrests are airtight, so there could be a lack of evidence that supports your innocence.

Drug Distribution

Drug distribution refers to the intent to sell or transport a controlled substance to others. In this case, you not only possess drugs but also intend to distribute them to buyers.

As with possession, the fines and potential jail time will vary depending on what substance you intend to sell. Heavily controlled narcotics may result in life imprisonment and fines reaching the hundreds of thousands.

The goal of your lawyer in this case may be one of two options.

They might try to prove that you are innocent of intentional drug possession. Alternatively, your lawyer could make the case that you never intended to sell whatever drugs you possessed.

The problem with the second option is the quantity of your drugs. Anything over a certain amount suggests an intention to sell.

Drug Manufacturing

Intent to manufacture includes both the production and processing of controlled substances. Something naturally grown, like marijuana, is exempt from this category. However, anything synthetic can result in a drug manufacturing charge.

In 2023, Texas enacted some harsher penalties for anyone manufacturing and distributing fentanyl. One of the new bills classifies fentanyl overdoses as “poisonings”, allowing for murder charges for anyone who created or sold the substance.

As such, getting charged for manufacturing fentanyl puts your attorney in the position of proving their client innocent of murder. You must find an experienced attorney who can challenge the evidence. They may be able to get the charge lowered to simple possession, depending on the case.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking involves a combination of manufacturing, cultivating, distributing, and the eventual sale of illegal substances. Larger operations are often referred to as trafficking, with the individuals involved considered traffickers.

This is one of the most severe drug crimes you can be charged with. In certain states, trafficking a large amount of heroin will result in a minimum lifetime prison sentence.

The top five districts for drug trafficking offenders in 2022 included the Southern District of Texas at 975. The Southern District of California was the only one with more offenders at 1,755.

Drug Dealing

When selling drugs in smaller quantities, you may get charged with a less severe punishment than trafficking. This is most common with small-time dealers who are often supplied by manufacturers.

Once again, the punishment will depend on what group the sold substance belongs to. Selling something like marijuana in small quantities is only considered a misdemeanor. However, selling even the smallest amount of fentanyl in Texas may result in much more serious charges.

Penalty Groups

Texas is one of the toughest states on drug crimes and convictions. It has some of the highest conviction and incarceration rates in the United States. Part of that is due to its proximity to the southern border as well as how many states it borders.

There are nine drug penalty groups that Texas uses to determine the punishment for possession, dealing, and so forth. They are categorized according to their addictive nature and medical purpose, and are as follows:

  • PG1
  • PG1-A
  • PG1-B
  • PG-2
  • PG-2A
  • PG-3
  • PG-4
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Marijuana

The first penalty group and its subcategories all consist of opioids with a high potential for abuse. Fentanyl gets its classification, PG1-B, due to its potency and high risk of abuse.

Across the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also breaks down drugs according to schedule.

Schedule I drugs have no FDA-approved medicinal value. These include heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.

Schedule II drugs are highly addictive but may have some medical use, such as methadone and oxycodone. Fentanyl can also be found in this category.

The other three schedules cover drugs with lower abuse or addictive potential. They also usually have higher medicinal value. As such, you can also expect a much less severe charge when compared to some of the other more dangerous drugs.

Avoid a Criminal Record

Since Texas is one of the toughest states on drug crimes, the court system is constantly overwhelmed with new cases. Resources are stretched thin, which means that defendants rarely get an adequate defense. There are only so many court-appointed lawyers, after all.

If you need a drug crimes attorney, look no further than the office of Andrea M. Kolski. Kolski is a former prosecutor and defense attorney with over 20 years of experience defending individuals across Texas. Reach out today to speak with one of our associates and set up a visit with our law firm.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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