Texas takes a strict stance on illicit substances, and the offense of “possession of controlled substances” is a widely-used tool in the state’s battle against drugs. Possession charges can stem from a variety of situations, including something as minor as police finding a single marijuana cigarette or a few illegally obtained prescription pills.
If you or someone you know has been accused of drug possession, you should consider engaging the services of an Amarillo drug possession lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help you fight for a positive resolution to your charges.
Controlled Substance Penalty Groups
Texas statutes criminalize the possession of illegal drugs, or “controlled substances”, and classify those substances into different penalty groups. This classification dictates the severity of the potential penalties upon conviction.
- Penalty Group 1 includes methamphetamine, LSD, heroin, and ketamine
- Penalty Group 2 includes mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, synthetic marijuana, and MDMA
- Penalty Group 3 includes anabolic steroids, peyote, and certain medications if the defendant does not have a valid prescription
- Penalty Group 4 includes chemical analogues to other controlled substances or designer drugs that produce similar effects
The quantity of the controlled substance is the other main factor used to determine the penalties, with greater amounts seized at arrest resulting in harsher sentences.
For example, possession of less than a gram of heroin – a Penalty Group 1 drug – could lead to two years in jail. Possession of a gram of MDMA, a Penalty Group 2 controlled substance, is punishable by up to 20 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor that could result in 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Because these penalties are so harsh, it may be wise for those accused to build a strong defense with the help of an Amarillo drug possession attorney.
Potential Defense Strategies
The circumstances surrounding the arrest play a big role in formulating a defensive strategy. Since prosecutors rely on the evidence and witness statements gathered by police to prove their case, an experienced Amarillo controlled substance possession attorney might try to attack the chain of custody of the evidence or poke holes in the reliability of the witness statements.
Alternatively, a defense attorney could argue that the defendant lacked the requisite knowledge required to establish guilt. If the facts of the case point toward a likely conviction, the defense attorney may be able to work toward a sentencing agreement that includes a drug treatment program, probation or counseling.
How an Amarillo Drug Possession Attorney Could Help
Though drug possession is less serious than distribution or trafficking, it is still a serious offense with harsh consequences for those convicted. Fortunately, an Amarillo drug possession lawyer could help you raise a strong defense against the charges you face. Call today to set up a consultation and begin working towards a positive outcome in your case.