When it comes to penalties for drug offenses, punishments in Texas are known for being some of the harshest in the country. That being said, if you have been charged with a drug offense in the Midland area, it is extremely important to speak with a Midland drug lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case as soon as possible before making any statements to authorities.
In Texas, as is the case with many other states, punishments for drug offenses vary greatly depending on what drug was involved, the context in which it was being used or distributed, and the quantity that was possessed.
Most Texas and Federal law related to drug possession and use is concerned with the prospect for abusers to become dependent on certain drugs, leading them to engage in other crimes to feed their habits if not dealt with promptly within the legal system.
When a Midland drug lawyer’s client is charged with a drug-related crime, laws the individual is charged with violating are generally found to be tied to the possession, distribution, or trafficking of a particular scheduled or controlled substance.
These substances, which may include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, amphetamines, or any number of other illegal drugs, fall within a schedule, or spectrum ranging from the highest-level I (one) to the lowest level V (five).
Within this range, Schedule I drugs are those deemed to be most addictive and to have no identifiable medical use, while Schedule V drugs are deemed to have less potential for abuse and to have some potential restorative health properties. Because of the risk of dependency and non-medicinal properties associated with drugs on the higher range of the schedule, infractions involving drugs within those categories tend to be more harshly punished than those at lower levels.
In Texas, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana qualifies as a Class B misdemeanor which can be punishable by up to as many as 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. At the same time, a dealer in possession of as much as 2,000 pounds of marijuana can be charged with a felony and face up to life in prison if convicted.
Schedule I Substance Possession
Referred to in the Texas Penal Code as Schedule I substances, merely possessing a small portion of any of these drugs can easily result in a minimum jail sentence of two years and a $10,000 fine. Given the fact that this classification of a drug has the highest propensity for one to become addicted, possession of Schedule I substances in excess of 400 grams can result in a sentence of lifetime confinement in prison.
Possession of Other Controlled Substances
Aside from the drugs listed above, which fall at various ranges of the controlled substance list, there are a number that fall within other categories in this range, carrying with them their own individual penalties. These include:
- LSD and Ecstasy- Schedule I Drugs
- Cocaine and methamphetamine- Schedule 2 Drugs
- Valium, Ritalin, and other Prescription Medications- Schedule 3 and 4 Drugs
Possession with Intent
When it comes to the range in jail sentences and fines associated with drug possession charges referenced above, the longer jail times and larger fines are most often tied to how much of a drug is possessed if the person is selling the drug, and whether one is manufacturing the drug. The length of punishment and increased fines can also be related to additional special circumstances surrounding the commission of the alleged offense. A drug defense attorney in Midland can help you understand your rights and the likely penalties you could face.
As an example of this, enhanced sentences are extended to those convicted of drug offenses involving the sale of drugs to minors, or provided to minors for the purpose of distribution, or those that are sold within a certain proximity to a school.
As an added penalty for manufacturers or distributors, if it is found during the course of the investigation that a person’s home was utilized either to fabricate drugs in or sell drugs from, it can be seized by law enforcement agents as a forfeiture in addition to the other penalties described above.
Defending Against Drug Charges in Midland
Throughout Texas, many counties offer drug treatment or diversion programs whereby first time offenders may avoid prosecution in exchange for taking drug awareness classes, participating in community service, or fulfilling any number of other requirements a judge may impose.
These types of programs act as a way to keep a person’s criminal record clean, protecting them from the stigma and lifelong difficulties associated with a drug conviction. Speaking with a Midland drug lawyer regarding the particular details of your case can help you in making a more informed decision about how to move forward in your situation.