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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Texas defines drugs in a couple of different ways. The state classifies drugs as a controlled substance regardless of whether they are legal or illegal, and then Texas law ranks the seriousness in relationship to the potential criminal abuse. This is referred to as a schedule.
Therefore, the penalty in an Abilene drug crime case depends upon both what schedule the drug is classified as, and the amount of the actual drug. To build a defense against any sort of drug crime, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a drug attorney in Abilene.
Medically Approved Drugs
There are several issues that surround medically approved drugs that have been abused. If the drug is medically approved and the person who is being charged does not have a prescription, then the drug is treated just as any other schedule drug. In other words, it is illegal.
If someone has a Valium prescription and has used it, then there may be other criminal actions that they have committed. However, if they have a Valium pill, a schedule four drug, and do not have a prescription, then they are simply guilty of possession or the possession with the intent to distribute that drug. The penalties that can result from a drug charge in Abilene depend on the severity of the crime.
Severity of the Crime
The first thing an attorney must know when attempting to lessen any potential Abilene drug penalties is what the drug is. The second thing is they have to know what the penalty for that particular drug is. In Texas, it is broken down into schedules and penalty groups.
There is penalty group one and penalty group 1A, penalty group two, and 2A. There is a penalty group three and penalty group four as well.
Penalty group one includes things like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, morphine, and oxycodone. In that penalty group one, if a person is convicted, the penalties for such a drug charge in Abilene depend upon the weight of the drug.
If someone is in possession of a penalty group one drug and it is less than a gram, that is a state jail felony. It is the lowest felony that a person could get in Texas, but it is still a felony that could be on a person’s record for the rest of their life. That punishment range is a minimum of six months in the state jail institution to up to two years and a $10,000 fine. It is important to note too that state jail is per day. If an individual is sitting in the state jail, and they get six months, they will do every bit of that six-month Abilene drug penalty.
If a person possesses between one and four grams, that is a third-degree felony that has a punishment range of not less than two or more than 10 years in the penitentiary, the Texas Department of Corrections, and a $10,000 fine.
First and Second Degree Felonies
If a person has possession of four to 200 grams, it is a second-degree felony and carries a punishment range from two to four years in the penitentiary and a $10,000 fine.
If a person possesses between 200 and 400 grams, then it is a first-degree felony. That means the punishment is a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison, and up to a $10,000 fine. If a person has over 400 grams, it is still a first-degree felony but the minimum time is increased. In this case, the minimum penalty a person may face in their Abilene drug charge is between 10 and 99 years or life in prison and a $100,000 fine.