Penalties and defenses for drug charges in Texas

Facing drug charges in Texas is not a situation that should be taken lightly. Texas has some of the harshest penalties for drug crimes. To be convicted of drug charges, the accused individual must have knowingly and intentionally possessed, or had control over a controlled drug that the accused individual did not have a valid prescription or medical use.

Texas law designates four classes of drugs and each has its own classification and set of penalties. It is important to note that marijuana is classified on its own and is classified independent of the other four classes of drugs.

Penalties for drug charges are based on several factors, including the type of drug, the quantity of the drug, how the drug was stored or sealed, any possession of additional drug paraphernalia and any past convictions. Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as a scale or other items, like large amounts of cash may lead to drug trafficking or distribution charges, depending on the circumstances.

There are a variety of possible defenses to drug charges. Defenses can range from the drug being medically prescribed or that the accused individual did not possess a sufficient amount of the drug to warrant charges, but common defenses mainly focus on any problems with the evidence being alleged against the accused individual or any violation of the accused individual's rights when collecting the evidence. There are important procedures authorities must follow for the protection of accused individuals that accused individuals should be aware.

A strong criminal defense strategy is developed based on the defense options available depending on the situation and circumstances the accused individual is facing. Because penalties for drug possession in Texas are stiff, it is always important for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and protections.

Source:, "Texas Drug Possession Laws," accessed on Aug. 7, 2017

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