Texas law gets serious about the unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Drug laws are written to treat each narcotic differently, categorizing a wide range of narcotics and the compounds used to create them. Possession of unfinished drug mixtures still qualifies as possession of a controlled substance.
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Street drugs like cocaine, marijuana and heroin aren’t the only narcotics that can stamp your record with a drug possession charge. Having prescription medications, like Xanax and Adderall, without a doctor’s written permission can result in a criminal case and potential jail time. If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance, Lisa Shapiro Strauss is a drug possession lawyer in Houston who can help you fight these charges.
Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance
The Texas Health and Safety code governs drug possession in Texas with a list of narcotics many miles long and wide as the Texas sky. This is a condensed listing of the most common drugs in each penalty group.
- Penalty Group 1: Cocaine, Heroine, Oxycodone, Methamphetamine, Opium
- Group 1a: LSD
- Group 2: Ecstasy, PCP, MDMA
- Group 3: Valium, Xanax, Ritalin, Anabolic Steroids
- Group 4: Codeine, Morphine
The groups are set from penalty group 1 to 4 in order of punishment for possession. The penalties vary for each group, along with other factors that can affect punishment. Lisa Shapiro Strauss has experience with the complex health and safety code and can assist with a possession charge in any of the four penalty groups.
Read more about controlled substance laws, including some factors can that affect punishment and the penalties for conviction.
Factors that Determine Offense Level
Texas drug law looks at three factors to help determine the offense level in a controlled substance case:
- Type of drug
- Surrounding aggravating circumstance
The third factor – aggravating circumstance – can increase the level of punishment. For example, if the controlled substance was found in your possession in a drug-free zone, the circumstance of the arrest might increase the punishment. The same goes for a possession arrest with the intent to distribute. Our legal team can look at the details of your case and determine the best approach for defending the offense level of your controlled substance charge.
Street drugs in penalty groups 1 and 2 make up the majority of drug-related news stories. Narcotics like heroin and cocaine find themselves at the top of the penalty list for their high probability of abuse and addiction with no medicinal value. They are hard drugs that deal out hard jail time. What happens with prescription medications like Xanax and Adderall?
Stressed at school and needing a little extra focus, some students can be swayed into trying Adderall. Without a prescription for Adderall, possession of the drug is illegal. Adderall is a powerful blend of four amphetamines that is prescribed mostly for attention deficit hyperactive disorder – ADHD. The drug can produce serious side effects from physiological changes to irregular heartbeat. It should only be used by patients with a prescription and monitored by a physician.
The same goes for Xanax, a medication given for anxiety and panic disorders. There is a medical and criminal danger that accompanies these medications when used without a prescription. You can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony and face serious fines and jail time.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact Houston drug possession lawyer Lisa Shapiro Strauss today for help. Lisa provides experienced criminal defense for those facing charges of assault, theft, drug crimes and more.
Answers to Your Questions About Controlled Substance Possession
If you have been arrested for possession of cocaine in Texas, you could face stiff penalties, including jail time and fines. The punishment you can expect depends on how much cocaine you were in possession of at the time of arrest. The outcome will depend on the evidence against you, but representation by an attorney who is experienced at defending clients in cocaine possession cases will give you the best possible chance at getting the charges reduced or even dismissed. Read more about cocaine possession charges in Houston.
Texas State law enforcement is cracking down on illegal prescription drug use and possession. That means that if you are in possession of a prescription medication and don’t have a valid prescription or can’t prove you obtained the drugs through some other legal means, you could be arrested for possession of a controlled substance. The penalties you may face depend on the type of prescription drug and the amount of the drug in your possession at the time of the arrest. A conviction could result in a hefty fine, and even jail time. Read more about prescription drug charges in Houston.
Charging someone with ‘Intent to Distribute’, or drug dealing, is often based on circumstantial evidence. Arresting officers rarely catch individuals in the act of distributing the drugs, so they make their decision for this charge based on things like large quantities of the drug, large amounts of cash, weapons or firearms, and how the drugs are packaged. Because circumstantial evidence is involved, who you choose as your defense lawyer may mean the difference between an acquittal or conviction. Read more about ‘Possession with the Intent to Distribute’, and the penalties for drug dealing in Texas.