Drug Possession Penalties
Texas has some of the toughest laws in the country pertaining to the sale, distribution and possession of controlled substances and narcotics. Simple possession of certain prohibited substances can result in a loss of freedom, fines and suspension of your driver’s license.
Punishment for Simple Drug Possession in Houston
The penalties imposed by a judge for conviction of possession of depend upon the type and quantity of the substance involved. Texas categorizes drugs into four penalty groups with the most severe penalties imposed for possession of the substances in penalty group one. Following are the penalty groups and the substances included in each group:
- Penalty Group One: Opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine, methodone, oxycodone, ketamine, methamphetamines and derivatives of the drugs in this grouping.
- Penalty Group Two: Ecstasy, PCP, mescaline, psilocin, synthetic marijuana and sub-categories of these substances.
- Penalty Group Three: Valium, Xanax, Ritalin, Diazepam, Lorazepam and other similar drugs and medications.
- Penalty Group Four: Compounds, mixtures or preparations containing quantities of narcotic drugs combined with non-narcotic drugs.
Possession of Drug Penalties in Texas by Penalty Group
Penalty Group One substances have the most severe penalties. Conviction of possession of drugs in this group might result in a state jail felony and a sentence of six months to two years and a $10,000 fine. Possession of larger amounts of the drugs can result in a prison sentence of 10 years to 99 years and fines up to $100,000.
Possession of Penalty Group Two drugs can lead to sentences ranging from fines of $10,000 to $50,000 and incarceration periods from six months to 99 years. As with Penalty Group One violations, the severity of the sentence depends upon the amount of drug possessed.
Conviction of possession of a Penalty Group Three and Penalty Group Four drugs have similar penalties associated with them. Convictions start as a class A misdemeanor with $4,000 in fines and a one year sentence in a county jail and extend to a felony of the first degree and 99 years in state prison.
Consequences for Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana does not fall into any of the penalty groups. It is treated as a separate category of offense. Depending on the quantity possessed, the penalties range from probation and completion of a drug treatment program to 180 days in jail.