Texas has earned a reputation for being tough on drug crimes. Prison populations in Texas have jumped, thanks to the “zero tolerance” attitude that politicians take when it comes to drug offenses. Even the sale of marijuana carries the potential for a life sentence in Texas.
Texas arrests more than 70,000 people a year just for crimes involving marijuana. The number of arrests for marijuana possession alone here tripled between 2001 and 2010. That is what zero tolerance does.
Typically, the penalties vary for controlled substances based on the specific quantities involved and the type of drug crime committed: possession (you’re caught with drugs on your person), delivery (you’ve sold or even just given drugs to someone else for free), manufacture (you’re involved in farming or chemically producing a drug, whether for personal use or distribution), and drug paraphernalia-related. Certain controlled substances always include the charges of Possession with Intent to Deliver and Manufacture.
All of these vary in terms of seriousness of the charge and the sentences they carry. The difference between misdemeanor and felony charges really boils down to whether and how much jail time is involved, based on the degree of seriousness of the crime you’re charged with committing. None of them should be taken lightly because Texas takes none of them lightly.
There are three classes of misdemeanor charges and only one, Class C, does not involve jail time. However, because drug charges are taken so seriously in Texas, it is highly unlikely that yours will be classed as a Class C misdemeanor. It’s virtually always at least a Class B, perhaps a Class A, which carries stiffer penalties. More than likely, however, it will be a felony charge.
Most crimes involving drugs other than marijuana, regardless of how small the quantity, are felonies in Texas, even if possession is for personal use.
Drug possession convictions carry a host of consequences that can haunt you for the rest of your life—even if you somehow manage to avoid jail time.
You need a solid, experienced attorney with an established history of successful drug defense behind you now. Your rights are too precious to hand over to just anyone. You need an attorney who possesses in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the drug laws in Texas. You need an attorney who can and will fight skillfully in your defense.
There are diversion programs available in some jurisdictions. It’s important to know what options are available to avoid a drug conviction. One poor decision should not be permitted to damage the rest of your life. You have options.
You don’t have to go it alone.