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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Texas has criminalized various illicit drug-related activities, and the offense of drug trafficking is one of the most serious. Interstate 40 is a popular route for drug running, and Amarillo authorities often bust traffickers on their way through the city.
Whereas accusations of distributing drugs can stem from giving or selling a relatively small quantity, drug trafficking charges usually involve high volumes of controlled substances. Merely transporting an illicit substance can lead to an arrest.
If you were charged with drug trafficking, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Amarillo drug trafficking lawyer. Local authorities take these charges seriously, and you could face years or even decades in prison without a strong defense.
Controlled Substances Classified
Under the Texas Statutes, illicit drugs are divided into categories called penalty groups. The penalty group a substance falls into can have an enormous impact on the potential penalties for a drug charge.
- Penalty group 1 includes heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, PCP, GHB and ketamine
- Penalty group 2 includes MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy), synthetic THC, psilocybin, and mescaline
- Penalty group 3 includes peyote; anabolic steroids; prescription medications such as Ritalin, Xanax, and Klonopin; and pain killers like codeine and morphine (for those without viable prescriptions)
- Penalty group 4 includes drugs that are chemical analogues to other controlled substances, meaning they are designed to mimic those drugs’ effects
Marijuana (or “marihuana”, as it is spelled in the Texas Statutes) is considered a controlled substance in a group of its own. As such, the importation, transport, and delivery of it are very serious offenses. Trafficking marijuana and other controlled substances can lead to harsh penalties.
Penalties for a Drug Trafficking Conviction
A conviction for drug trafficking can have deep ramifications. A conviction could lead to heavy fines or lengthy terms of incarceration, depending on the applicable penalty group and the amount of the controlled substance found by the police.
For example, someone accused of transporting one gram of heroin might face a prison sentence of two to 20 years and a fine of $10,000 if convicted. Someone accused of transporting 200 grams of heroin might instead face a prison sentence of ten to 99 years in prison, or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.
If a child is present during the commission of the crime, the sentence may be enhanced. In this case, a person accused of transporting 200 grams of heroin faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Due to the severity of these punishments, defendants may find it invaluable to retain an Amarillo drug trafficking attorney. The stakes are high in drug smuggling cases, and defendants risk their freedom by appearing in court unprepared.
Let an Amarillo Drug Trafficking Attorney Help
A simple lapse in judgment or misunderstanding can lead to criminal charges and harsh penalties. However, it can be difficult to tell your side of the story to police or prosecutors. For the best chance at a positive resolution to your controlled substance charges, you may need experienced legal representation.
If you or someone you know was accused of drug trading, contact an Amarillo drug trafficking lawyer today to discuss your case. With the help of an aggressive defense attorney, you could mount a strong defense against the charges you face.