Dallas Drug Lawyer Serving Dallas and Surrounding Area
Drug charges are very common in Dallas, but they can also be very serious. Depending on the type of drug and the quantity, the punishment for a drug charge can range from probation all the way up to life in prison. That’s why it’s vital to contact an experienced Dallas drug crime lawyer as soon as possible if you or a loved one has been accused of drug possession, manufacturing, or delivery.
In this article, we will explain the law, the various penalty groups for drugs, and how our team successfully defends Dallas drug offenses. Please also take a moment to watch the video by Board Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer Benson Varghese, who explains how and why certain drug crimes are punished so harshly in Texas.
What are the most common drug crimes in Dallas?
Possession of a controlled substance and manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance are the most common drug offenses. Offenses can stem from street drugs, as well as prescription drugs.
What is possession of a controlled substance?
Under Chapter 482 of the Texas Health and Safety Code – commonly referred to as the Texas Controlled Substances Act – a person commits possession of a controlled substance if he or she intentionally or knowingly possesses any of the substances listed in Texas’ drug penalty groups without a valid doctor’s prescription. Keep reading to learn about each penalty group and the possible sentences from an experienced Dallas drug crime lawyer.
What is a Controlled Substance in Texas?
A controlled substance includes any drug listed in Schedules I through V or Penalty Group 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 2-A, 3, or 4. That’s probably obvious. However, it also includes:
- and analogs
Analogues mean substances that are chemically substantially similar or “designed to produce an effect substantially similar to, or greater than, the effect of a controlled substance.”
What are the drug penalty groups in Texas?
In Texas, drugs are divided into various “Penalty Groups.” The most serious drugs – which are classified according to their dangerousness and addictiveness – are in Penalty Group 1 and carry the harshest punishments. This is the group where a potential life sentence is possible. The penalty groups decrease in severity from there. Marijuana is in its own special category. Here’s a breakdown of the various drug penalty groups in Texas.
Penalty Group 1
The drugs in PG1 are deemed to have no valid medical use and are considered the most dangerous and addictive. They include:
- Special K (Ketamine)
- Opiates and opium derivatives
- Hydrocodone over 300 grams
Penalty Group 1A
The only controlled substance in PG1A is Acid-LSD. It is not grouped with other drugs because it is sold by dose, while most other drugs are sold by weight.
Penalty Group 1B
Fentanyl and related substances is the only substance in penalty group PG1B.
Penalty Group 2
Drugs in PG2 are slightly less dangerous than Penalty Group 1. Most hallucinogens fall into this category. They include:
- MDMA, Ecstasy, Molly
- Bath Salts
- Mescaline (Peyote)
- Mushrooms (Psilocybin)
- THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
- Hashish (and other drugs derived from cannabis)
- Analogs of PG2 drugs (designer drugs that are chemically similar to a listed drug and produce similar effects)
Penalty Group 2-A
The drugs in PG2A are synthetic cannabinoids. They include:
Penalty Group 3
Most drugs in PG3 are prescription drugs. They include:
- Hydrocodone less than 15mg/dose or less than 300 mg
- Codeine less than 90 mg/dose
- HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
Penalty Group 4
PG4 includes a wide array of prescription medications that have the potential for abuse. They include:
Special Category – Marijuana
Marijuana is still illegal in Texas and it is in its own, less serious, penalty group.
What is the punishment for a Dallas drug crime?
As mentioned, the punishment for drug crimes can vary widely, depending on the type of drug (penalty group) and the amount. Drug crimes can range from a Class B misdemeanor up to a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. Drugs in Penalty Group 1 carry the harshest punishment, while drugs in Penalty group 4 carry the least.
- Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2000 fine
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a maximum $4000 fine
- State Jail Felony: Up to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum $10,000 fine
- Third Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
- Second Degree Felony: Up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- First Degree Felony: Up to life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, please contact our law firm to speak to an experienced Dallas drug crime lawyer about the potential punishment you or a loved one could be facing.
What are the other consequences of a felony drug conviction in Texas?
In addition to jail time and fines, people with a felony drug conviction could also face job loss, as well as problems finding housing or obtaining a loan. Additionally, if you are convicted of a felony, you are not permitted to possess or purchase a firearm in Texas and lose your right to vote.
Is probation possible for a first-time drug offense?
Yes. In fact, under Texas law, probation is mandatory for a person convicted of a state jail felony who has no prior felony convictions if the charge is for:
• Possession of a controlled substance under 1 gram in Penalty Group 1
• Possession of a controlled substance under 5 units in Penalty Group 1A
• Possession of a controlled substance under 1 gram in Penalty Group 2
• Possession of a controlled substance 4 ounces to 5 pounds in Penalty Group 2A
• Possession of marijuana 4 ounces to 5 pounds
What is the manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance?
A person commits this offense if he or she knowingly manufactures, delivers or possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance listed in Texas’ drug penalty groups. This allegation is basically that the defendant is a drug dealer. People who deliver or manufacture drugs are punished more harshly than those who merely have drugs in their possession.
How can a Dallas drug crime lawyer defend my drug charges?
Most Dallas drug cases are circumstantial, and it’s not uncommon for our clients to be charged with a drug crime for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other words, guilt by association. We frequently defend clients who didn’t know there were drugs in a vehicle, or they were in a vehicle with a number of people and it’s unclear who was in possession of the drugs so everyone was arrested.
A Dallas County drug lawyer at our firm will look at the facts and circumstances of your case and develop a defense strategy to produce the most favorable outcome possible. We will work to identify weaknesses in your case and use it to your advantage. This could include but is not limited to:
- Challenging the validity of the traffic stop (if the arrest stemmed from a stop)
- Attacking the probable cause for search and seizure
- Contesting proof of knowledge or intent
- Contesting the arresting officer’s observations and conclusions
- Identifying issues in investigative techniques, including Miranda Rights violations
- Challenging the search warrant
- Raising insufficient quantity
- Proving valid prescription
- Alleging entrapment
- Questioning the reliability of drug testing
- Attacking the admissibility of evidence
- Attacking the credibility of witnesses
- Disputing expert testimony
What kind of results do your attorneys have defending drug crimes?
A quick review of our most recent results shows that almost all of our drug cases resulted in a dismissal, reduced charge or deferred adjudication probation. Our goals are three-fold:
- Keep you out of jail,
- Avoid a felony conviction and,
- Keep your record clean.
Charged with a drug crime? Speak to a Dallas drug crime lawyer today.
Because drug crimes can leave you with a felony on your record, it’s imperative you have the right team in your corner immediately. Our attorneys are former prosecutors with decades of experience and a proven record of success defending Dallas drug crimes. We will fight to protect your livelihood and liberty. Call 214-903-4000 today for a free consultation with a Dallas drug crime lawyer. Find out why we are the go-to law firm for people facing North Texas drug charges.