How Serious is a Texas Drug Charge?
Drug Lawyer Stephen Hamilton discusses the seriousness of a Texas drug charge convictions in this video tip.
The first thing you need to understand is precisely why a drug charge is such a serious issue in Texas. Let’s take a quick look.
The state has earned a reputation for being tough on Texas drug crimes. Prison populations in Texas have jumped, thanks to the “zero tolerance” attitude that politicians take when it comes to drug offenses. Even the sale of marijuana carries the potential for a life sentence in Texas.
That’s no joke.
Typically, the penalties vary for controlled substances based on the specific quantities involved and the type of drug crime committed: possession, meaning you’re caught with drugs on your person, delivery if you’ve sold or even just given drugs to someone else for free, and manufacture which means you’re involved in farming or chemically producing a drug, whether for personal use or distribution. Certain controlled substances always include the charges of Possession with Intent to Deliver and Manufacture.
Now, the difference between misdemeanor and felony charges really boils down to whether jail time is involved and just how much, based on the degree of seriousness of the crime you’re charged with committing.
There are three classes of misdemeanor charges and only one, Class C, does not involve jail time. However, because drug charges are taken so seriously in Texas, it is highly unlikely that yours is going to be classed as a Class C misdemeanor. It’s virtually always going to be at least a Class B, perhaps a Class A, which carries stiffer penalties. More than likely, however, it will be a felony charge.
Most crimes involving drugs, regardless of how small the quantity, are felonies in Texas, even if possession is for personal use.
Drug possession convictions carry a host of consequences that can haunt you for the rest of your life—even if you somehow manage to avoid jail time.