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What Happens If I'm Caught with Ecstasy or Cocaine in Texas?

Cocaine and ecstasy are considered serious drugs. Both can severely alter a person's mental state, affecting their behaviors. To maintain the effects they cause, many people continue to take the drugs, often in higher doses. Because users may constantly seek more and more of either substance, they might engage in criminal behavior, such as theft, to obtain the drug itself or money to purchase it.

Because the use of cocaine or ecstasy can cause adverse effects on personal and societal levels, strict laws prohibit the possession of them. In Texas, regardless of the amount of the substance, a violation is charged as a felony. Thus, if you are caught with either cocaine or ecstasy, you could face incarceration and fines. Additionally, you may be subject to collateral consequences with lifelong ramifications. Possession of cocaine or ecstasy falls under two separate sections of Texas's Controlled Substances Act (Health and Safety Code Chapter 481). Therefore we will discuss the potential consequences of each separately.

What Is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or MDMA) is a man-made substance that can act as a stimulant and hallucinogen. It affects people's physical states and their perceptions.

Also referred to as Molly (which stands for molecular), ecstasy is typically taken in capsule or tablet form but may also be snorted. The substance makes it difficult for the body to regulate temperature, which can cause some users to feel warmer. People who take it often say that their senses are heightened, and physical contact is more pleasurable. Thus, it's sometimes called the love drug.

Ecstasy's effects can last for a few hours. Although it's not considered as addictive as cocaine, users may still seek more of it to feel the effects. However, prolonged use can lead to liver, kidney, or heart failure.

The Penalties for Possessing Ecstasy

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.103 is a Penalty Group 2 drug. The level of charge and punishments you could face for possessing it depend on the amount you allegedly had.

Possessing less than 1 gram is a state jail felony, punishable by:

  • Between 180 days and 2 years in state jail and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possessing 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams is a third-degree felony punishable by:

  • Between 2 and 10 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possessing 4 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a second-degree felony punishable by:

  • Between 2 and 20 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possessing 400 grams or more is punishable by:

  • Between 5 years and life in prison and/or
  • Up to $50,000 in fines

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug made from coca leaves.

It goes by many names, including:

  • Blow,
  • Coke,
  • Rock, and
  • Snow.

Depending on the state it's in, cocaine can be snorted, injected, inhaled, or rubbed on the gums. People who use it report feeling extremely happy and alert, energized, and more sensitive to external stimuli.

Cocaine's effects last for about 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the consumption method), which means greater quantities are needed to sustain them. If used in large doses over prolonged periods, it can cause erratic and sometimes violent behavior. Additionally, an overdose can lead to severe physiological injuries or even death.

What Happens If You're Caught with Cocaine?

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.102 lists cocaine as a Penalty Group 1 drug, which means possession of it is harshly penalized. As with having ecstasy, the degree of charge and the punishments you could face are tied to the quantity involved.

Possession of less than 1 grams is a state jail felony carrying the following penalties:

  • Between 180 days and 2 years in state jail and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possession of 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams is a third-degree felony, which is penalized by:

  • Between 2 and 10 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possession of 4 grams or more but less than 200 is a second-degree felony, which carries the following penalties:

  • Between 2 and 20 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possession of 200 grams or more but less than 400 is a first-degree felony punishable by:

  • Between 5 and 99 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Possession of 400 grams or more is penalized by:

  • Between 10 and 99 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $100,000 in fines

Collateral Consequences of a Possession Conviction

As mentioned earlier, a conviction for possession of cocaine or ecstasy also comes with collateral consequences. The court doesn't dole out these sanctions. Rather, they are repercussions that follow a conviction. For instance, if you're found guilty of cocaine or ecstasy possession, that information will stay on your criminal record. If an employer or landlord conducts a background check and sees it, their final decision might be influenced by what they find. Also, if you have or are seeking a professional license, that may be in jeopardy as well.

Additionally, federal financial aid eligibility can be suspended or revoked if you have a drug crime conviction. Your ineligibility can make it difficult to afford college, which can affect your education and career goals.

Being caught with cocaine or ecstasy is serious, and you need serious legal representation on your side to fight your charge.

At Hamilton Grant PC, we're ready to go to work for you and seek to protect your rights and future. For legal counsel in Dallas, call us at (214) 225-7117 or contact us online today.