Texas Drug Crime Lawyer

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Texas Drug Crime Attorney

If you have been charged with drug crimes in Texas, whether for a minor first offense or a more serious federal offense, then you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what steps to take next. A Texas drug crimes lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can assist you with understanding your rights and your subsequent charges. Our team can help you forge a legal path forward that optimizes your case outcomes.

The attorneys at Greco Neyland, PC, have been providing fierce representation for Texans who have been accused of drug crimes for years, ranging from minor marijuana possession charges to drug manufacturing and trafficking. We can employ strategies such as negotiating with prosecutors and bringing forward strong defense arguments in court to work toward getting your charges reduced or even dropped.

Texas Controlled Substances Penalty Groups

In the state of Texas, the severity of a drug crime is determined based on the penalty group that an involved substance is classified into. These penalty groups are defined by the Texas Health and Safety Code under the ​​Texas Controlled Substances Act. Texas courts used these penalty groups as a reference to decide what the penalties should be for an alleged drug-related crime. The four main penalty groups are:

  • Penalty Group 1: Drugs included in this group include Ketamine, Opium, Codeine, Methamphetamines, Psilocybin, and Cocaine.
  • Penalty Group 2: Marijuana, Ecstasy, Amphetamine, and Mescaline are among the drugs in this penalty group.
  • Penalty Group 3: Valium, Methylphenidate, and Xanax are a few of the substances in Penalty Group 3.
  • Penalty Group 4: Substances in this penalty group are compounds that have one active medical ingredient or more, as well as those with certain small amounts of narcotics that can potentially be abused.

Drug crimes associated with Penalty Group I substances typically have higher associated penalties than the other penalty groups. It’s important to note, however, that courts base penalties on other factors associated with the crime as well, such as the amount of the drug that was involved and the individual’s intent (i.e., possession, distribution, manufacture, or trafficking).

While penalty groups were intended to categorize drugs based on their ability to harm individuals or lead to abuse, such classifications have proven to be arbitrary in some cases, coming at a cost to the Texans who are charged with drug crimes. For example, marijuana, a drug that is widely used for medicinal purposes and has never resulted in the death of a person, is considered to be a Penalty Group II drug with serious associated consequences.

Federal Drug Schedules

The Controlled Substance Act was signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. This legislation was introduced to integrate all existing federal drug statutes and regulations. It also serves as the federal basis for countering drug abuse in the United States. Under the Controlled Substance Act, the federal drug schedules were established.

Compared to Texas drug penalty groups, federal drug schedules were introduced based on their medical use and potential to be abused. Under federal drug scheduling, Schedule V drugs are less controlled in that they are less likely to be misused and are commonly used for medical purposes, while Schedule I drugs are the most controlled, having little to no medical use and being highly addictive. These are some of the drugs in each federal schedule:

  • Schedule I: LSD, peyote, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, and mushrooms.
  • Schedule II: Opium, Ritalin, Methadone, OxyContin, PCP, methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine, Percocet, pure codeine, and hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III: Codeine, Lorcet, anabolic steroids, ketamine, Vicodin, and Lortab.
  • Schedule IV: Valium, Darvocet, Darvon, and Xanax.
  • Schedule V: Pregabalin, ezogabine, some antidiarrheal medications, and cough medicines with codeine.

It’s important to note that, similar to Texas penalty groups, these federal drug schedules were originally made to prevent drug addiction. However, their classification of drugs is dated. For example, research in recent years shows that Schedule I drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin, can be used to yield positive mental health benefits in some cases. On the other hand, Nicotine is considered to be one of the most addictive drugs, leading to thousands of deaths every year in the country, but it is not criminalized at all.

Our legal team at Greco Neyland, PC, recognizes that certain drug laws may not always optimally serve the public, as bureaucracy and partisan interests can get in the way. Therefore, we are here to fight for you, guaranteeing that we have your key interests in mind. Whether you are facing a drug crime associated with a Schedule I or V drug, we can address your questions and concerns, analyze the details of your case, and bring forward a strong defense to yield optimal case outcomes.

Understanding the Penalties After a Texas Drug Conviction

In Texas, the penalties associated with a Texas drug conviction are based on a variety of factors, including:

  • The type of substance involved
  • The amount of the substance
  • The intent behind the use of the substance
  • Whether there were other aggravating factors

However, as a general rule, Texas drug crime penalties are roughly based on the Texas Drug Penal Group scheduling tables, which courts use to decide on sentences and fines. The penalties are as follows:

  • Penalty Group 1: For this drug penalty group, the minimum sentence is two years of jail time and $10,000 in fines, while convicted individuals can face a life sentence in prison for possessing more than 400 grams and pay $250,000.
  • Penalty Group 2: Group 2 penalties include a minimum of two years of jail time if the possession amount is less than one gram, but this can go up to a life sentence in prison for having more than 400 grams and a $50,000 fine.
  • Penalty Group 3: For drug crimes involving this penalty group, the minimum sentence is a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000, which can go up to $10,000 in addition to 20 years in prison for possessing an amount of 200 grams or more.
  • Penalty Group 4: Penalties for possessing drugs in this group are similar to that of the penalties for Group 3.

While drug penalties can be severe in Texas, resulting in hefty fines and long jail or prison sentences, you have rights as a defendant, including proper legal counsel and the opportunity to argue your case.

The drug crimes criminal defense team at Greco Neyland, PC, understands that any penalty is serious and can have grave impacts on an individual’s life. Therefore, we put our resources behind each case to fight toward getting charges reduced or even dropped.

Collateral Consequences of a Texas Drug Conviction

While being charged and convicted of a drug crime can result in severe penalties, such as large fines and long sentencing measures, it can also impact your life far beyond the reach of criminal penalties. A drug crime conviction can negatively influence the aspects of your life and well-being that are related to your job, your housing situation, your ability to contribute to democracy, and even your social standing.

Some key collateral consequences of a drug conviction include the following:

  • Professional Impacts: After you are selected for a job, an employer can run a background check and choose not to hire you based on your drug criminal history if you have a felony. If you are a business owner or employee, and people discover that you have been convicted of a drug crime, this could affect others’ willingness to work with you and damage your overall bottom line.
  • Educational Consequences: Further developing your academic career can be stunted by drug crime convictions. Certain universities may choose not to take applicants if they are convicted of certain drug crimes. You will also have limited eligibility to receive federal student loans and other academic scholarships to fund your education.
  • Driving Challenges: You can lose your driver’s license temporarily, depending on the kind of felony that you are convicted of. To be able to legally drive, you may need to attend a drug education course and/or install an ignition interlock device (IID), which you must pay for yourself.
  • Obstacles to Secure Housing: Landlords may refuse to allow you entry into a home if you have certain convictions on your record. Therefore, it can be difficult to obtain meaningful and affordable housing opportunities with a drug felony conviction.
  • Loss of Parental Rights: If you have certain types of drug-related offenses on your criminal record, you may lose your right to adopt children. Furthermore, if you are a parent or legal guardian, you can lose your custody and visitation rights.
  • Loss of Right to Bear Arms: If you are a convicted felon, the Texas Department of Public Safety will not issue you a firearm license, and you will not be able to purchase or own firearms.
  • Restrictions on Civil Participation: Individuals who have a felony or served jail or prison time for a period greater than one year cannot serve on a jury, and they cannot hold a Texas state public office position. You also cannot participate in Texas state or federal elections while being incarcerated.

Because the consequences of a drug crime, particularly a felony crime conviction, extend so much further than just criminal penalties, our criminal defense legal team understands the gravity of any drug charge.

Therefore, our firm can work to mount a strategic and meaningful defense against these allegations. We can analyze your case and help you leverage key techniques and defense strategies to fight to get your charges reduced or even dropped.

Impact of Texas Drug Crime Convictions on Immigration Status

If you are an immigrant who has been convicted of certain types of drug crimes, this can have a serious impact on your immigration status and, ultimately, your path to citizenship. Even if you have been living in Texas or the United States for many years, having established your home, family, and profession in the state, you can be threatened with a denial of your next green card application renewal, thereby losing your citizenship status.

If you are a holder of an immigrant visa in the United States, you can lose your right to lawful permanent residency, even just by having a certain misdemeanor drug crime. Green card holders can lose the ability to pursue citizenship as well.

If you are facing deportation or another loss of immigration status based on drug charges, a drug crimes criminal defense lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can help you fight to get the charges dismissed or lowered.

Understanding Texas Cocaine Possession

Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, it is completely forbidden to possess, use, sell, distribute, or manufacture cocaine in the state. Penalties associated with cocaine-related crimes are based on the amount of the drug that was present. Having less than one gram of cocaine in one’s possession is a state felony, which can lead to time in prison ranging from six months to two years.

If you are a first-time offender for possessing a small amount of cocaine, then you may be able to avoid facing jail time. A dedicated drug crimes lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can support you in arguing for you to have your sentence probated, resulting in community supervision as opposed to being incarcerated.

The possession of one to four grams of cocaine is a felony of the third degree, which can result in a time in jail ranging from two to ten years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Cocaine possession of four to 200 grams is considered a felony of the second degree, which can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 and two to ten years of jail time.

If an individual is charged with possessing an amount of 200 to 400 grams of cocaine, then they can be charged with a first-degree felony, which can lead to incarceration for five to 99 years and a $10,000 maximum in fines. If a person is charged with having an amount greater than 400 grams, they will have to pay up to $100,000 and spend ten to 99 years in prison.

The delivery and manufacturing of cocaine can result in even more serious fines and incarceration punishments. If you are facing a drug crime that involves cocaine in Texas, then a loyal drug crime criminal defense lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can passionately take on your case and help you achieve optimal outcomes.

Texas Marijuana Possession Cases and Penalties

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code, marijuana possession is defined as the knowing care, control, custody, or management of the drug. This definition can be loosely interpreted, sometimes even incriminating individuals who were not aware that the drug was in their “possession.”

While there has been a popular backlash, both in Texas and across the nation, against the strict laws and penalties associated with marijuana possession, such legislation still stands, bringing negative consequences on hardworking Texans who may otherwise be law-abiding citizens.

Penalties for possession of marijuana depend on the amount in the defendant’s possession and include the following:

  • < 2 Oz.: If an individual is charged with having less than two ounces of marijuana, then this is classified as a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in a maximum of 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • 2 to 4 Oz: Being convicted of possession of two to four ounces of marijuana in Texas can lead to a one-year sentence in jail and a maximum fine of $4,
  • 4 Oz to 5 Lbs.: Possession of any amount of marijuana that is greater than four ounces is a felony, according to Texas law. For possession of amounts ranging from four ounces to five pounds, convicted individuals can face 180 days to two years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines.
  • 5 to 50 Lbs.: Possession of five to 50 pounds of marijuana in Texas can result in two to 10 years of incarceration, with a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • 50 to 2,000 Lbs.: Possession of an amount of marijuana that falls between the range of 50 and 2,000 pounds can lead to incarceration for two to 20 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • > 2,000 Lbs.: Possessing amounts of marijuana greater than 2,000 pounds results in a minimum sentence of five years, with the maximum being up to 99 years. The maximum fine for such a conviction is $50,000.

It is also illegal to cultivate marijuana plants in Texas, which is classified as a possession penalty. The penalties involved are dependent on the weight of the marijuana involved in the cultivation. Other intended uses of marijuana, such as marijuana delivery, distribution, sale, and trafficking, have different associated penalties, which are more severe than possession penalties.

It’s important to note that marijuana possession penalties can also be dependent on the jurisdiction in which you are facing the charges. Some counties have more lenient laws than others, so there is a potential to get charges dropped in some jurisdictions. Based on your jurisdiction and the severity of your charges, a marijuana possession criminal defense lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can help you fight your possession charges.

Texas Drug Crime Defense Strategies

The optimal defense strategy or strategies for a case depend on the circumstances, including details regarding the arrest, the evidence that the prosecution is using, and the severity of the charges that an individual is facing.

Some common drug crime defense strategies include the following:

  • Arguing Your Fourth Amendment Rights: Under the US Constitution, you are protected from illegal search and seizure. Our Texas law firm can analyze the details of your arrest, including how the evidence against you was obtained, and fight on your behalf if your Fourth Amendment rights were breached. In such cases, we can get the illegally obtained evidence voided from being used against you.
  • Protecting Your Fifth Amendment Rights: The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution establishes your right to avoid incriminating yourself. If evidence was illegally collected against you that violated your Fifth Amendment rights, then we can work toward getting that evidence suppressed and your charges dropped.
  • Proving Mistaken Identity: If you have an adequate alibi or sufficient evidence to prove that you were mistaken for another person who committed a drug crime, then this strategy may be used in court to clear your name.
  • Challenging the Testing Procedures: If you were drug tested or if there were samples taken to determine what type of drug a substance was, our attorneys can potentially argue that the testing procedures were inadequate or faulty.
  • Showing Miranda Rights Violations: During an arrest, the police are required to read you your Miranda Rights. If they failed to do so, then any evidence obtained during your arrest, including statements that you made, could be voided.
  • Arguing the Lack of Evidence: A prosecutor must have sufficient evidence to convict you of a drug crime. Your attorney can help prove that there is not enough evidence to incriminate you or that the evidence provided is inconsistent.
  • Countering Constructive Possession: In possession cases in which drugs are found in a space that is shared by multiple individuals, the prosecution will have to prove that the drugs specifically belonged to you. Your criminal defense lawyer may produce evidence to show that this was not the case.

In addition to the aforementioned drug defense tactics, there are additional strategies that can be used. For example, one involves proving that there was a medical necessity to possess or consume certain substances. Another could be that the government tricked you into committing a drug crime that you otherwise would not have committed.

The experienced drug crimes criminal defense team from Greco Neyland, PC, has years of experience defending those who are accused of drug-related crimes. Our firm consists of former state prosecutors, meaning that we know the tactics and rules that the state uses to try to incriminate people, so we can take adequate measures to fight back.

Let a Texas Drug Crimes Lawyer Fight for You

If you are facing Texas drug crimes, you may be unsure of what your rights are and how you can fight back against the charges. However, it is critical to know that you are not alone. An experienced and knowledgeable Texas drug crimes lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can lend a compassionate ear, address your questions and concerns, analyze the details of your case, collect counterevidence, and create strong defense strategies. Contact our legal team to start fighting back today.


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