Legal Implications of a Possession of a Controlled Substance Charge


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The State of Texas takes possession of narcotics and other controlled substances extremely seriously. Additionally, there are strict laws in place and a steep price to pay for conviction on such charges. In fact, even a charge of possession of a controlled substance can have negative ramifications in your life. If you find yourself facing possession charges, seek professional legal counsel immediately.

Potential Penalties

If you are charged with possession of drugs in Texas, you face considerable consequences:

  • Hefty fines
  • License suspension
  • Treatment for drug addiction
  • Probation
  • Jail time

These penalties can vary widely depending upon the seriousness of the alleged offense and upon other variables that may apply.

Penalty Groups

In Texas, controlled substances are categorized into four separate penalty groups – each with its own severity of punishment (in descending order):

Penalty Group 1 – Group 1 includes opioids, opioid derivatives, methamphetamine, and other hallucinogens.

Penalty Group 2 – Group 2 includes drugs like ecstasy, PCP, hashish, and other marijuana derivatives. Penalties, again, begin with a minimum of two years in jail and significant fines.

Penalty Group 3 – Group 3 includes benzodiazepines and sedatives such as Valium, anabolic steroids, Ritalin, and other similar prescription drugs with the potential for abuse.

Penalty Group 4 – Group 4 includes those prescription drugs and chemical compounds that are not already categorized and that hold the potential for abuse.

The exact penalties that you are facing will depend on several factors, including the amount of the controlled substance you possessed, the type of controlled substance, your criminal history, the location you were arrested, and the way the substance was stored.

The Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is on the state, and several elements must be proven to obtain a conviction:

  • Evidence that, at the time of arrest, you were in possession of a controlled substance
  • Evidence that, at the time of arrest, you knew you were in possession of the controlled substance and knew that it was illegal
  • Evidence that, at the time of arrest, you were in control of the controlled substance’s presence and location

Misdemeanor Possession Charges

Because Texas’s possession laws are so strict, there are limited circumstances when a charge of possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor. Texas is moving toward decriminalizing marijuana, for example. This means that if you are charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use, you will likely face only misdemeanor charges. The penalties, however, remain significant.

If You Are Facing Possession Charges, You Need an Experienced Attorney

The consequences of a conviction of possession of a controlled substance are not only severe but also lasting. Criminal lawyer Brett H. Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is committed to protecting your rights and your future. We are here to help, so please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.

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