Possession Offenses

When it comes to drug possession, Texas has some of the harshest penalties in the United States. Thousands of Texans are arrested each year for possession of a controlled substance, and face consequences that can destroy both their personal and professional lives.  

The serious impact of a drug possession conviction makes it critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer who understands Texas law, including the potential legal defenses to drug possession charges, can help protect your freedom and your ability to support yourself in the future.

Controlled Substances in Texas

The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs into four separate penalty groups, with two sub-penalty groups (including one group specifically for marijuana possession).  

  • Group 1 includes the drugs that are considered the most dangerous or addictive, such as methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.
  • Groups 1-A, 2, 3 and 4 list drugs that are less dangerous, and have a lower potential for abuse and addiction.  This includes marijuana, certain prescription drugs, and substances like MDMA (“Molly”) and Ecstasy.  

For the state to prove that you possessed drugs, they must show that you had care, custody control or management of the controlled substance.  It is not enough that you were with somebody who had or used drugs, or that someone reported that they once saw you do drugs.  The prosecution must show that you actually had care, custody, control or management of the substance in question.

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The Penalties of Possession

Penalties for drug possession depend on the type of drug, how much of it you had, if you had drug paraphernalia and if you have a criminal history.  For example, possession of a drug from Penalty Group 4 (the least dangerous or addictive drugs) could result in a Class B Misdemeanor charge, with up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 or a First Degree Felony with jail time between 5 and 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000.  For drugs in Groups 1 - 3, the punishments are more severe and typically are felony offenses.

There are many potential defenses to drug possession charges in Texas, including that the search or seizure of the drugs was illegal or that a doctor prescribed the drug for you.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can analyze the facts of your case to determine if there are any possible defenses to the charge.

Drug Possession Defense Attorneys in Dallas, Texas

If you have been charged with drug possession, contact the Law Office of Chad West today. We are experienced in handling a wide variety of drug possession cases, whether they involve small or large quantities or any specific type of controlled substance. We will explain the specific charges and possible penalties to you, and will come up with various strategies to have the best potential for your case.