As border state, Texas has long been on the frontlines of the War on Drugs. Authorities are on the lookout for illicit substances all throughout the state, even hundreds of miles north of the border in Amarillo. Because I-40 is a major drug smuggling corridor, local police are cracking down on all forms of drug distribution.
To cut down on drug activity throughout the state, the Texas legislature has codified some tough laws regarding the distribution of drugs. If you or someone you know was accused of giving or selling a controlled substance, you could benefit from the services of an Amarillo drug distribution lawyer.
Whether the drugs (or “controlled substances”) in question are cocaine, marijuana, or even prescription pills, a distribution charge is a serious matter that deserves a vigorous defense in court. An experienced criminal attorney could help you craft a defense, navigate the court process, and work to secure the best possible outcome.
Essential Elements of Drug Distribution
To convict someone of drug distribution, the prosecutor must prove that the accused had the controlled substances with the intent to deliver or sell them. To do this, they use evidence gathered by the police, and there are a few factors that can bolster the prosecution’s case. These might include:
- The presence of scales, baggies, or other items used in drug sales
- A large quantity of the controlled substance
- Witness statements and testimony pointing toward drug distribution activity
Given the wording of the Texas statute governing drug distribution, not all charges involve large-scale drug sales. In fact, someone could be arrested and charged with distribution for simply giving a friend a prescription pill.
Potential Punishments for a Drug Conviction
The penalties for drug distribution can vary widely depending on several factors. Some of the most important considerations are the type and quantity of the controlled substance. For example:
- A conviction for distributing less than one gram of cocaine could result in a sentence of up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000
- A conviction for distributing less than 28 grams of prescription pills, such as Xanax or Ritalin, could lead to a sentence of up to two years of incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000
- A conviction for distributing a gram of mescaline could result in a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- A conviction for distributing less than two ounces of marijuana can yield a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000
Additional factors that could increase the severity of the sentence include the presence of a child during the commission of the alleged crime and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
In all instances, the harsh punishments for controlled substance offenses make the stakes very high. A dedicated Amarillo drug distribution attorney could provide valuable legal advice and help crafting a strong defense.
Call an Amarillo Drug Distribution Attorney Today
The circumstances surrounding every drug case are different, but the law remains the same. If you or someone you know was accused of selling controlled substances, you could face heavy fines, decades in prison, and a conviction record that can follow you for life. For help with your case, call an Amarillo drug distribution lawyer today.