Drug laws with severe penalties are commonplace in the nation’s “War on Drugs,” and Texas drug laws are no exception. The key to overcoming or reducing drug charges can lie in mounting a vigorous defense from the very outset of the accusations against you. If you delay working with an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney such as those at Harris & Harris Law Group, you allow the prosecution a head start in putting together a solid drug case against you.

At Harris & Harris, we know Texas drug laws and are familiar with prosecutorial tactics for developing their drug cases. Communities throughout Dallas will benefit from our expertise in creating a strong defense against potentially damaging drug charges.

Drug Possession Crimes and Penalties

One of the most common drug offenses in any state is possession. Texas law sets out a classification system for controlled substances, which includes both illegal drugs and legal drugs that require a prescription. For instance, marijuana is in a category by itself, and possession of marijuana generally results in less severe penalties than possession of other illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine. The exact penalties for a drug possession charge will differ according to the classification of the illegal drug found in your possession, as well as the weight or amount of the drug that you possessed.

Possession of any type of illegal drug can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges. For instance, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana constitutes a Class B misdemeanor under Texas law, which carries a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. At the other extreme, possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is an enhanced first degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence from five to 99 years, and a fine of up to $50,000. As a result, drug possession sentences vary widely. Additionally, any drug conviction under the Texas Controlled Substances Act can lead you to lose your driver’s license for up to six months and may make you ineligible for federal student loans and other federally funded loan programs.


Drug Dealing – The Manufacture and Delivery of Drugs

Texas law refers to any kind of drug dealing as manufacturing and/or delivering drugs. The “delivery” of drugs occurs whenever you give a controlled substance, or even a fake controlled substance, to another person, whether money changes hands or not. Therefore, under Texas law, delivering drugs is equivalent to dealing drugs, with the exception of very small amounts of marijuana.

The penalties for drug dealing are far more severe than the penalties for drug possession, but, similarly, they depend on the amount or weight of the drugs involved, as well as your existing criminal history and the classification of the particular drug under Texas law. Additionally, you may receive an enhanced sentence for drug dealing if your activities occur within 1,000 feet of a school or youth facility, within 300 feet of a public swimming pool or video arcade, or on a bus. Penalties can range from community supervision for small amounts of certain drugs to lengthy prison sentences for first degree felonies.

Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia

In addition to possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana plants or paraphernalia used to cultivate marijuana are also crimes under Texas law. The severity of the criminal charge depends upon the number of plants possessed, or the extent of the paraphernalia possessed. Possession of even a few marijuana plants could result in a felony charge with penalties of up to five years in prison.