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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
If you have been accused of possessing, manufacturing, or delivering controlled substances to others, you may face severe penalties if convicted. Often, Fort Worth individuals are convicted for drug crimes because they do not fully understand the law. Consequently, it may be beneficial to contact a Fort Worth drug lawyer to learn more about the laws behind your charges.
Fortunately, a dedicated defense lawyer could help explain the charges against you, outline your options, and guide you through the proceedings for a criminal drug offense. This legal assistance may result in greater awareness of the potential penalties you face and how to mitigate or avoid harsh sentencing.
Controlled Substances in Fort Worth
The criminal offenses related to drugs and controlled substances are outlined in Tex. Health and Safety Code Ch. 481. Like federal law, Fort Worth classifies drugs by their accepted medical use and potential for abuse. The most severe criminal penalties are associated with penalty group one drugs, which are generally highly addictive drugs with no medical use.
However, the penalties for charges related to marijuana are different from the penalties associated with other drugs. This is because there are separate charges associated with the possession and distribution of marijuana. Those facing a charge related to marijuana may wish to reach out to a Fort Worth drug lawyer who can help build a customized defense.
Elevating Factors in Drug Charges
Many factors may affect the penalties for a drug offense in Fort Worth. Some of these factors include:
- Drug classification
- Charged offense
- Prior drug related convictions
The circumstances of an offense could also increase the severity of a charge. For example, the penalties could be more severe if the offense was alleged to have occurred in a designated drug-free zone. Similarly, the penalties could increase if an individual possesses enough of a substance for charges of intent to distribute as opposed to simple possession to apply.
Penalties for These Offenses
Drug-related criminal penalties range from prison sentences and fines to a loss of rights and privileges. Generally, the more severe the alleged offense, the harsher the potential sentencing. For example, a Class B misdemeanor generally carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail. However, if facing a first-degree felony, the potential prison sentence increases to a minimum of ten years. To help mitigate elevated charges or penalties, many individuals in Fort Worth choose to retain a drug attorney.
In addition to a potential prison sentence, there are substantial costs associated with a drug conviction. Beyond potential fines, convicted individuals may be ordered to attend drug education courses or substance abuse treatment, typically at their own expense.
Finally, individuals convicted may face the loss of privileges. For example, even a misdemeanor charge could result in a license revocation for up to 180 days. To reinstate privileges after this period, individuals usually must attend a drug education program.
Alternative Drug Diversion Programs
Individuals facing a first offense or a lower-level drug charge may be able to participate in a diversion program as opposed to facing serious criminal proceedings. However, the potential for acceptance into a diversion depends on the circumstances surrounding an alleged drug crime.
Consequently, those considering a diversion program may benefit from disclosing all the details related to a charge with a dedicated drug lawyer in Fort Worth. The successful completion of a diversion program could allow individuals to avoid incarceration, receive drug treatment, and have the charges against them dismissed.
Let a Fort Worth Drug Attorney Help
Though some places have reduced the severity for certain drug crimes, Fort Worth still maintains strict penalties for any drug-related offense. Even possession of a small amount of a controlled substance could result in a multi-year prison stay. Unfortunately, too many individuals choose to face these charges without the proper knowledge of drug law or legal advice. Allow a seasoned drug attorney to help you understand the laws surrounding drugs and fight to mitigate charges. Reach out to a Fort Worth drug lawyer to set an initial consultation and learn how to protect yourself in your current situation.