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How Are Drug Possession Charges Punished in Texas?

 Posted on May 15, 2020 in Drug Charges

Frisco drug possession attorney

While it is true that states across the nation have legalized marijuana, both medicinally and recreationally, you should know that Texas still remains one of the strictest states when it comes to drug possession enforcement. While you might think that having a small amount of marijuana in your possession is not that big of a deal, in the state of Texas, it is considered a serious criminal offense. Drug possession, in general, includes penalty groups that determine punishments depending on the controlled substance and the amount. It is important to understand the different penalties if you ever face any drug-related charges

Drug Possession Penalty Groups

There are four main drug penalty groups in Texas, with a few subsets. These penalty groups are determined based on the type of drugs involved. The groups are:

  • Penalty Group 1: These are the most dangerous drugs. They include opiates, opioids, methamphetamine, ketamine, cocaine, PCP, heroin, or any other substances with a similar chemical structure or effect as the drugs in this group.

    • Penalty Group 1A: A subset of the first penalty group, this is restricted to LSD or any other substances with a similar chemical structure or effect to drugs in this group.

  • Penalty Group 2: This group includes less dangerous (but still illegal) drugs. Among them are THC concentrates (including marijuana), mescaline, ecstasy (also known as MDMA or “Molly”), DMT, other hallucinogenic substances, MDPV, depressants or stimulants not listed in other penalty groups, or any other substances with a similar chemical structure or effect as the drugs in this group.

    • Penalty Group 2A: These are mostly synthetic drugs that re-create the effects of natural cannabinoids.

  • Penalty Group 3: This group comprises stimulants like Ritalin, depressants like Xanax and Klonopin, Nalorphine, compounds with limited amounts of narcotics (codeine, morphine), barbiturates, peyote, appetite suppressants with stimulants, dextropropoxyphene, and nonexempt anabolic steroids.

  • Penalty Group 4: This group contains substances with limited quantities of narcotics that have non-narcotic medicinal ingredients (codeine, morphine), Buprenorphine, or pyrovalerone.

Drug Possession Penalty Overview

In general, the penalties for drug possession in each penalty group are determined based on the amount of drugs, with punishments ranging in severity based on a person's criminal history. For instance, in Penalty Group 2, which includes marijuana, the following penalties apply:

  • Possession of less than one gram is a state jail felony that can lead to time in jail from 180 days to two years and a fine of $10,000 or less.

  • Possession of one to four grams is a third-degree felony that can lead to 2-10 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

  • Possession of 4-400 grams is a second-degree felony that can lead to 2-20 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

  • Possession of more than 400 grams can result in a sentence of 5-99 years or life in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

Contact a Collin County Drug Possession Lawyer

With so many states loosening their laws on recreational drug use, especially marijuana, it might be easy to let your guard down. However, in Texas, the punishments are still severe for drug possession. If you are facing any type of drug charge, it is critical that you speak to a knowledgeable Frisco criminal defense attorney. The dedicated professionals at the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. will provide you with the defense you need and help you achieve a positive resolution to your case. Call us today at 469-333-3333 to schedule a free consultation. 



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