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Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas

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    Our Houston possession of a controlled substance lawyers understand how strict Texas law is. With steep fines and even jail time, you need an experienced legal team on your side. When you need an advocate, call on the drug possession attorneys Houston trusts. Schedule a free consultation with our team today. See how we can protect your rights and your future.

    Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas

    Texas is quite strict when it comes to its drug possession laws. When you face charges for drug possession, you risk steep fines as well as imprisonment. In parts of Texas, this includes even small amounts of a controlled substance.

    Additionally, drug possession convictions have the potential to result in a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months. Typically, these are the substances most common to possession of a controlled substance in Texas.

    • Cocaine
    • Marijuana
    • Ecstasy
    • Methamphetamine

    Aside from small amounts of marijuana, the possession of these substances constitutes a felony under Texas law. Furthermore, drug laws in Texas cover the possession of prescription medications when you don’t have a valid prescription.

    When you face drug crime charges, it’s important to understand the consequences. Oftentimes, the ramifications of these convictions extend far beyond the time in a jail cell. Generally, having a conviction for drug possession on your record impacts your ability to find a job or even housing.

    If you face charges for possession of a controlled substance in Houston, TX, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a Houston criminal defense lawyer. At Nguyen & Chen, we have an expansive legal team with experience and expertise in Houston drug crimes.

    As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we are your advocates. Let us help you build the strongest defense possible.

    Former Prosecutor
    Over 100 Jury Trials
    State and Federal Crimes

    Schedule Classifications of Drugs in
    Texas

    In Texas, not every controlled substance has equal standing. Texas law divides drugs into four different Penalty Groups.
    However, it’s important to understand the exception for marijuana, which is not in any of the groups.

    Regardless of the group, though, it’s important to understand that all of these are felonies in Texas. Moreover, they all carry the potential of jail time.

    Penalty Group 1

    This group includes the most addictive drugs with the fewest legitimate medical applications. It includes cocaine, heroin, ketamine, methadone, methamphetamine, opium, oxycodone, and over 300 mg of hydrocodone.

    This group carries the stiffest penalties.

    Penalty Group 2

    In this penalty group, we see amphetamine, ecstasy, mescaline, methaqualone, psilocybin, and psychedelic mushrooms.

    Penalty Group 3

    Penalty Group 3 for possession of a controlled substance in Texas includes clonazepam, Ritalin, Valium, Xanax, and less than 300 mg of hydrocodone.

    Penalty Group 4

    Penalty Group 4 includes an array of compounds and mixtures used in the creation of narcotics and prescription drugs. Oftentimes, this group has the most lenient sentencing options. However, it is still a felony in the State of Texas.

    Potential Penalties for Drug Possession

    When convicted of drug possession in Texas, your penalty depends on both the amount of drugs in your possession as well as which Group(s) they fall under. For marijuana, possession of under 2 ounces comes with a maximum sentence of six months.

    Over two ounces, it becomes a bit more complicated. In some cases, you may face a charge of “possession with intent to deliver,” which carries far greater penalties.

    • Penalty Group 1 substances have a sentence that ranges from 6 months to life in prison. Moreover, they come with fines up to $100,000. However, LSD and other hallucinogens carry fines up to $250,000.
    • Penalty Group 2 substances come with a maximum sentence of life and fines up to $50,000.
    • Penalty Groups 3 and 4 may fall into misdemeanor charges when the amount is under 28 grams. Cases of more than 28 grams become a felony. When the amount is extremely high, this can result in a life sentence and fines up to $50,000.

    As you can see, possession of a controlled substance in Texas comes with severe consequences in many cases. When you need a strong defense, you need a Houston drug crimes lawyer who understands how to navigate these matters.

    At Nguyen & Chen, our criminal defense attorneys work with you to attain the best possible outcome for your case. We work with your best interest in mind to protect your future. Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your options.

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      Houston Drug Possession Lawyer FAQ

      Possession of a controlled substance in Texas refers to the “actual care, custody, control or management” of any substance controlled by the law. If you face drug possession charges, the prosecution has to prove two things to a jury.

      1. You had custody, control, care, or management of the substance.
      2. You understand that the substance was illegal.

      In other words, the prosecution has to prove that you knowingly possess a drug outlawed in the State of Texas. During a drug possession trial in Houston, the prosecutor has the ability to use both circumstantial and direct evidence to prove their case.

      Often, direct evidence of drug possession is enough for the prosecution to secure the conviction. However, when the state cannot prove exclusive possession where the substance was found, they must then prove either control or custody.

      Generally speaking, this involves a set of independent factors to link you to the drugs.

      Independent Factors to Consider

      • Your presence during a search for controlled substances
      • Whether your conduct indicated a consciousness of your guilt
      • If the contraband was in your open view
      • Your proximity to and accessibility of the substance
      • Whether there was drug paraphernalia or other contraband items present
      • The odor of contraband at the scene
      • Any furtive gestures you made during the search
      • Whether the location of the drugs was enclosed or accessible to you
      • Any large amounts of cash found in your possession
      • Whether you were under the influence of any narcotics at the time of your arrest
      • Possession of other narcotics or contraband at the time of your arrest
      • Any incriminating statements made at the time of the arrest
      • Whether you own or had the right to possess the location where the drugs were found

      In order to prove their case for possession of a controlled substance, the prosecution must do more than simply check off factors. Instead, their case depends on the “logical force that the factors create.” They must establish a link between you and the substance in question.

      When they prove that you possessed a controlled substance solely or jointly, they have a better chance of obtaining a conviction. With our Houston drug crimes lawyers on your side, you have advocates who strive to protect your rights and your future.

      Schedule a free consultation with our legal team today!

      When it comes to possession of a controlled substance, Texas is strict. However, there are potential defenses to help you avoid a conviction. When you work with our Houston drug possession attorneys, we strive to build a strong defense.

      Our goal is always to pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Below, we list a few potential defenses common to drug possession cases.

      Valid Prescription

      Among the controlled substances in Texas, there are a few that are legal to possess with a valid prescription from a doctor. When you face charges for possession but have a valid prescription prior to your arrest, you have a strong defense against possession of a controlled substance.

      Lack of Knowledge of Possession

      As mentioned above, a conviction for possession of a controlled substance requires that you knowingly possess the drug. If you were unaware that the drugs were in your possession, you may have a defense. Alternatively, if you did not know the substance was illegal, that is another potential defense.

      Not Intended for Human Consumption

      While substances have legal controls for human use, some have exemptions for use with animals. However, for this to be a valid defense, it requires some type of authorization.

      Insufficient Amount

      For a conviction of drug possession, there has to be a “usable amount” of a drug. Typically, this means a high enough amount to allow for lab testing. In certain cases, the search results in an amount of narcotics so small that a lab cannot properly test it.

      If that’s the case, you may have a defense.

      Houston Drug Possession Lawyers

      Ready to Protect Your Rights

      In any possession of a controlled substance case, your best chance for a fair outcome is experienced legal representation. As your advocates, our criminal defense attorneys build a strong defense and fight vigorously to protect your rights.

      When you face drug charges in Harris County, TX, contact our Houston drug possession attorneys. At Nguyen & Chen, we are always ready to fight for you. Schedule your free consultation today.