Possession of a Controlled Substance (Drug Possession)

The Texas Controlled Substances Act in the Texas Health and Safety Code states that lawful possessionis defined as the possession of a controlled substance that has been obtained in accordance with state or federal law, and possession specifically means actual care, custody, control, or management. Drug possession is one of the most common criminal offenses in Texas because all it takes for a person to be charged with this crime is an officer simply finding an illegal drug during any interaction with a person.

It is important to understand that controlled substances include a wide swath of different drugs, so a person can be charged with possession of a controlled substance even when they possessed otherwise legal prescription drugs that they did not have a prescription for. Drug crimeconvictions can have incredibly damaging effects on the employment and living situations of numerous people, so it becomes inherent to try and fight these criminal charges.

Possession of a Controlled Substance (Drug Possession)

Denton Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer

If you were recently arrested for an alleged drug possession offense anywhere in Denton County, you cannot delay in seeking legal representation for yourself or your loved one. You should make sure you contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.

Our firm regularly handles all kinds of drug cases involving all kinds of amounts and we know how to challenge the allegations of a prosecutor to make it more difficult for them to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to set up your own free consultation that will allow us to take a closer look at your specific case and discuss all of the different options that may be available to you.

Texas Drug Penalty Groups

When it comes to most drug offenses in Texas, the deciding factor in the seriousness of the criminal charges will be the Penalty Group that a controlled substance falls under in the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Different drugs are divided into different penalty groups depending on their risk for abuse and medical usage, and drug crimes always become more serious when there is an alleged intent to sell.

Penalty Group 1 is the most serious drugs and includes controlled substances that have little to no medical use and are highly addictive. Penalty Group 1 substances include, but are not limited to heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, opium, and cocaine.

Penalty Group 1-A is solely reserved for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). The drug is measured in units rather than grams.

Penalty Group 2 includes synthetic drugs that mimic other controlled substances. It includes, is not limited to synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), mescaline, 3,4-methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), and phenylacetone.

Penalty Group 3 includes, but is not limited to anabolic steroids, alprazolam (Xanax), and lorazepam. Penalty Group 4 includes, but is not limited to compounds and mixtures with small amounts of codeine and compounds and mixtures with small amounts of opium.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.115 establishes that a person commits an offense if they knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, unless the person obtained the substance directly from or under a valid prescription or order of a practitioner acting in the course of professional practice. These offenses are categorized as follows:

● Less than 1 gram — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1-A

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1151, a person commits an offense if they knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1-A. Crimes are categorized as follows:

● Fewer than 20 units — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 20 or more units but fewer than 80 units — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 80 or more units but fewer than 4,000 units — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 4,000 or more units but fewer than 8,000 units — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 8,000 or more units — Punishable by a minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116 establishes the following classification of criminal offenses relating to possession of a Penalty Group 2 controlled substance:

● Less than 1 gram — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 4 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 3

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116, possession of a Penalty Group 3 is punishable as follows:

● Less than 28 grams — Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000

● 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 4

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116 establishes that possession of a Penalty Group 4 controlled substance is punishable as follows:

● Less than 28 grams — Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000

● 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000

Possession of Miscellaneous Substances

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.119, possession of a controlled substance listed in a schedule by an action of the commissioner under this chapter but not listed in a penalty group is punishable as follows:

State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a drug crimes offense

Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offender has been previously convicted two or more times of a drug crimes offense

Possession of Marijuana

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121, possession of marijuana is punishable as follows:

● 2 ounces or less — Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000

● 4 ounces or less but more than 2 ounces — Class A misdemeanor punishable by up one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000

● 5 pounds or less but more than 4 ounces — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail

● 50 pounds of less but more than 5 pounds — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 2,000 pounds or less but more than 50 pounds — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● More than 2,000 pounds — Punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000

Texas Possession of a Controlled Substance Resources

Reduce Penalties for Small Drug Possession Offenses | Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC)— The TCJC advances solutions and builds coalitions to end mass incarceration and foster safer Texas communities. View this section of the organization’s website to learn more about why drug sentences should better match the severity of the crimes and maximize taxpayers’ bang for their buck by reducing the penalty for up to 1 gram of a controlled substance from a state jail felony to a Class A misdemeanor to relieve crowded felony court dockets and save Texas millions in state prison spending. Learn more about many bills in the Texas Legislature that are designed to reduce penalties in these cases.

Texas Treatment Services — Visit this website if you think you might need treatment for a drug problem. Texas Treatment Services LLC has an office in Denton as well as six other locations. Read recent news and get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Drug Possession Attorney

Were you charged with possession of any kind of controlled substance in Denton County? You are going to want to have a lawyer on your side to help fight the charges.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will diligently work to possibly get your criminal charges significantly reduced or completely dismissed. You can have us discuss your case with you and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online today for a free consultation.