Texas Laws & Punishments for Drug Possession & Trafficking
Is possession or distribution of a controlled substance a first-degree felony in Texas?
In Texas, punishments for possession or trafficking in drugs can be quite severe. That’s why you shouldn’t delay in getting an experienced drug defense attorney if you face a drug charge. Veteran Houston drug defense lawyer Neal Davis has helped many clients get their drug charge sentences reduced or even their case dismissed.
Texas Cocaine Laws & Punishments
Texas Health and Safety Code (481.115) makes it illegal to possess, manufacture or deliver any amount of cocaine in Texas. Cocaine punishments depend on the amount of cocaine involved in the arrest.
Possession of cocaine under 1 gram is a state jail felony bringing a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years. However, for first-time offenders the sentence can be probated, meaning probation instead of jail time.
Possessing 1 to 4 grams of cocaine is a third-degree felony. Such crimes can bring fines of up to $10,000 and jail time of 2 to 10 years. Possessing 4 to 200 grams of cocaine is a second-degree felony, which also can bring 2 to 20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Possessing 200 to 400 grams of cocaine is a first-degree felony, bringing a fine of up to $10,000 and jail time of 5 to 99 years. Possessing over 400 grams can mean a $100,000 fine and 10 to 99 years in prison.
For delivery of cocaine, Texas Health and Safety Code (481.112) levies a fine of up to $10,000 and jail time of 180 days to 2 years for delivering under 1 gram. For delivering over 400 grams of cocaine, punishments can be prison time of 15 to 99 years and/or a fine of $250,000.
As for manufacturing cocaine, Texas Health and Safety Code (481.112) allows for fines of up to $10,000 and jail time of 180 days to 2 years for manufacturing under 1 gram of cocaine. Manufacturing over 400 grams of cocaine means a $250,000 fine and/or 15 to 99 years in prison.
Texas Marijuana Laws & Punishments
Despite widespread public support for marijuana legalization, Texas lawmakers maintain harsh punishments for the illegal substance. Such punishments depend on the charge and amount of marijuana.
Texas Health and Safety Code (Section 481.120) holds that if you intentionally or knowingly have “actual care, custody, control or management” of marijuana, that constitutes possession of marijuana.
Penalties and punishments for possession of marijuana depend on the amount of marijuana possessed.
Possessing under two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, for which Texas punishment can be as much as 180 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, along with two years of community supervision (probation). Possession of 2 to 4 ounces of marijuana can mean a 1-year jail sentence and a $4,000 fine.
Possessing more than 4 ounces of marijuana is a felony in Texas. Possessing up to 5 pounds can earn 180 days to 2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. For 5 to 50 pounds the fine is $10,000 and jail time is 2 to 10 years.
For 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana, the fine is $10,000 and jail time is 2 to 20 years. For over 2,000 pounds, the prison sentence is 5 to 99 years and the fine is $50,000.
Cultivation of marijuana (growing marijuana plants) is a possession offense whose penalties depend on the weight of the marijuana.
For trafficking, delivery, transfer or sales of marijuana, Texas Health and Safety Code (481.121) holds that selling 7 grams or less is a misdemeanor with 180 days of jail time and a $2,000 fine. Selling 7 grams to 5 pounds is a felony with 1 year of jail time and a $4,000 fine. Selling any amount to a minor is a felony with 2 to 20 years of jail time and a $20,000 fine.
Keep in mind that different jurisdictions have different priorities when it comes to low-level marijuana possession. In Houston and the rest of Harris County, the District Attorney will not prosecute those arrested with less than 4 ounces of marijuana. In fact, the charge will be dropped from their record if they take a four-hour drug education class.
Texas Meth Laws & Punishments
The Texas Controlled Substances Act makes it a crime to possess, distribute or manufacture methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth. Punishments depend on the type and amount of materials associated with meth, but virtually all Texas meth punishments include over a year in prison.
In Texas, meth possession of under 1 gram of meth can lead to a fine of $10,000 and up to 2 years in prison. For possession of 1 to 3.99 grams of meth, the crime is a third degree felony with a $10,000 fine and 2 to 10 years in prison. For possessing 4 to 199 grams of meth, the crime is a second-degree felony with a $10,000 fine and 2 to 20 years in prison.
Possessing of 200 to 399 grams of meth is a first-degree felony with a $10,000 fine and 5 to 99 years in prison. Possessing 400 grams or more of meth is an “enhanced” first-degree felony with a $10,000 fine and 10 to 99 years in prison.
Manufacturing or distributing meth can bring more severe punishments, again depending on the weight of the materials. The manufacture or delivery statute brings punishments of 2 to 20 years in prison for 1 to 4 grams and 10 to 99 years in prison for 200 to 400 grams.
Possessing meth paraphernalia (hollowed-out pens, bottle caps, needles, etc.) for a person’s own use brings a fine of up to $500.
Get Help from an Experienced Houston Drug Defense Lawyer
Again, you need a knowledgeable and skilled defense attorney to protect your legal rights after a charge of drug possession in Texas. You need to talk to Houston drug defense lawyer Neal Davis.
Contact the Neal Davis Law Firm today for a confidential legal review of your case, at no obligation to you. Then, you can decide if you want Neal Davis’ help for Harris County, Fort Bend County or Montgomery County drug charge legal defense.