Arrested for Drug Possession?

Dallas Criminal Attorney Christy Harris Creates Strong Defenses

Hand Holding Bag of Pills
If authorities have arrested you on drug possession charges or for possession of a controlled substance, the drug charges you face will depend on the type and amount of the drug you allegedly possessed. As a former prosecutor from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Dallas criminal lawyer Christy Harris not only understands Texas drug laws, but she is also familiar with how the prosecution is likely to develop criminal charges. While the penalties for drug possession can vary, it is important to keep in mind that any drug conviction under the Texas Controlled Substances Act can deprive you of your driver’s license for up to six months in addition to making you ineligible for federal student loans and other federally funded loan programs.

Drugs by Penalty Group

Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code divides controlled substances into five penalty groups and a marijuana category. Some substances are legal prescription drugs, but are illegal to possess without a valid prescription. Some examples include:

  • Penalty Group 1 — Cocaine, crack, codeine, GHB, heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Special K, and methamphetamine (or crystal meth)
  • Penalty Group 1A — LSD or acid
  • Penalty Group 2 — Adderall, ecstasy (MDMA), mescaline, mushrooms and PCP or angel dust
  • Penalty Group 3 — Xanax, Valium, human growth hormone (HGH), Ritalin, peyote and testosterone or steroids
  • Penalty Group 4 — Compound, mixture, or preparation containing  limited quantities of buprenorphine, morphine or pryovalerone

While the law classifies marijuana possession in a separate group, possession of a significant amount can still carry significant sentences.

Drug possession convictions are punishable up to 99 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Criminal charges involving drug dealing can increase the severity of the penalties, depending on the location of your arrest and the amount you allegedly possessed.

Possession of drug paraphernalia

It is also important to remember that in Texas, possession of drug paraphernalia is a separate criminal charge under the law. The Texas Controlled Substances Act defines paraphernalia as any item that one can use as a drug processing, packaging or consumption mechanism. Some common types of paraphernalia include:

  • Bags
  • Bongs
  • Bowls
  • Envelopes
  • Pipes
  • Scales
  • Spoons

Possession of paraphernalia can carry penalties of fines up to $500, although second offenses and intent to distribute or sell paraphernalia can also result in mandatory jail time.

Additional Penalties

If you are facing drug charges for possession of a controlled substance, it is important to contact a Dallas criminal attorney as soon as possible. The state needs to prove its criminal charges, and Dallas criminal lawyer Christy Harris may be able to challenge the legality of the search that led to the drug charges against you. If you want a former Dallas County prosecutor who understands Texas drug possession laws, contact Dallas criminal attorney Christy Harris to get started on preparing an aggressive defense of your rights.

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