Are you concerned about the outcome of charges for possession or manufacture of a controlled substance? Houston has some of the United States toughest laws on drug offenses. These extremely strict laws covering controlled substances are accompanied by substantial punishments and consequences if you are convicted of a drug offense. If you are accused of a drug-related crime in Houston, you need the advice and knowledge of a Houston drug charges lawyer at Greco Neyland.
Top Houston Drug Charges Lawyer
In Houston, there are various types of drug charges, and each offense has its own definition and potential punishment. Like most other states, the Houston drug charges aren’t found in the state’s criminal laws. Instead, each of these offenses is criminalized in the Texas Controlled Substance Act, which is part of the Texas Health and Safety Code. These Texas statutes on drug charges are enforced in Houston, Harris County, and across the state.
- Possession: In Texas, possession is defined as care, custody, control, or management of a controlled substance. This can include having an illegal substance in your car, house, or in your pocket. Possession of a controlled substance is specifically criminalized in Section 481.115 through 481.123 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
- Distribution/Trafficking: The distribution or trafficking of controlled substances is criminalized in Texas under a statute that criminalizes the acts of distributing or delivering illegal drugs. A defendant can be convicted of drug trafficking for intentionally or knowingly delivers an illegal controlled substance, of any amount or type. These acts are criminalized in Section 481.112 through 481.114 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
- Manufacturer: The same statute that criminalizes distribution and delivery of controlled substances is applied to the manufacture of illegal drugs. Manufacture can include the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance, which means the statute criminalizes any act of modifying a legal prescription drug or product.
- Marijuana Laws: Drug charges related to marijuana are treated differently in Houston than other types of drugs. Yet, the Texas laws on the possession, distribution, and production of marijuana remain very strict, which is in contrast to many other states in the Southwest United States. You can face 180 days in jail if convicted of possessing a very small amount of marijuana. Many laws regarding marijuana are found at Section 481.032 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
How Can You Determine the Severity of Houston Drug Charges?
To make drug charges in Houston more complicated, Texas law divides many of the drug charges involving controlled substances into Penalty Groups. The Penalty Groups help denote the maximum punishment for a drug conviction, but often require an explanation from an experienced Houston drug charges lawyer.
The difference between Penalty Groups is based on the type of controlled substances and amount of the controlled substances involved in the drug charges. All controlled substances are similarly divided into Schedules. Which Schedule a controlled substance falls in depends on:
- Whether the controlled substance as any medical value;
- The potential for abuse of the substance and current abuse rate;
- The likelihood of dependency on the controlled substance; and
- The substance’s impact on society.
There are four Penalty Groups defined in the Texas Controlled Substance Act. The Penalty Groups are numbered 1 – 4, with Penalty Group 1 (or PG1) being the most serious offense. A drug charges lawyer or criminal defense lawyer in Houston or Harris County can help you identify which Penalty Group your charges fall.
- Charges under Penalty Group 1: includes serious controlled substances with a high risk of abuse and dependency. Charges range from a third-degree felony to the first-degree felony. The possible criminal punishment is a jail sentence between two years and life in prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000.
- Charges under Penalty Group 2: includes marijuana and similar substances. Charges range from second-degree felony to a third-degree felony, depending on the amount in your possession, distributed, or manufactured. The possible criminal punishment is a jail sentence between two years and life in prison and/or a maximum fine of $100,000.
- Charges under Penalty Group 3: includes less grave opioids, sedatives, and other prescription drugs. Charges range from a class A misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. The possible criminal punishment is a jail sentence between one year and 20 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Charges under Penalty Group 4: includes medications and certain prescription drugs, when abused or used illegally. Charges range from a class B misdemeanor to second-degree felony. The possible criminal punishment is between one year and 20 years in jail or prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
How Can You Hire a Drug Charges Lawyer?
If you don’t fully understand the drug charges against you, the private defense attorneys at Greco Neyland can provide the legal guidance you need. Our Houston lawyers have extensive experience with drug charges in Houston and the strict drug laws across Texas. To begin building your defense to drug charges, contact our Houston office and schedule a free initial consultation today.
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