How to Handle a Possession of Controlled Substance Charge


Texas Drug Attorney Stephen Hamilton discusses what a Possession of Controlled Substance would mean for you.

Possession, in Texas, is defined as having care, custody, control, or management of a controlled substance, so that means that the drug does not have to be physically on you at the time you were arrested. If it’s under your care, it’s considered to be yours.
Stowing a drug in a storage locker to which you have access, for example, is also considered possession.
“Simple possession” is a term that is frequently used to distinguish possession for one’s own personal use from possession with intent to deliver.

Texas law generally views the crime of possession to be less serious than that of possession with intent to deliver.

That said, just being in proximity to a drug does not mean you possessed the drug. As one Texas court put it, “being where the action is” does not constitute the crime of possession.

So, hanging out with drug users who are using in your presence does not mean you possessed the drugs. But if you did in fact use the drug, you can be charged with possession.

To prove possession of a controlled substance, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly or intentionally had it in your possession when you were not legally permitted to have it, either through lawful authority or without a valid prescription.

“Knowingly” refers to your state of mind. It means that you must be aware of what you are doing and that it is against the law.

The prosecution must prove that the possession was either knowing or intentional, but is not required to prove that it was both knowing and intentional. That’s an important point, because all that’s required is to show that you knew the drug in question was illegal to have, not that you necessarily intended to do anything with it.

The penalty for simple possession depends upon the controlled substance involved in the offense and upon the quantity possessed. Most controlled substances are assigned to a penalty group, with the exception of marijuana. If you are charged with possessing a drug that is not listed, contact us and we will explain to you what penalty is associated with possession of that drug.