As the abuse of prescription drugs has risen over the past few years in Houston, Texas, law enforcement has taken a much tougher stance on this crime. Millions of people throughout the country have prescriptions for all kinds of medication and, as a result, some of those drugs end up in the hands of people who don’t have a prescription.
Some of these medications, such as oxycodone, are extremely potent painkillers with a high potential for abuse and dependency. Getting caught with even a few of these pills can be grounds for a criminal conviction.
Possible Texas Penalties
Many prescription pills are listed as Penalty Group 1 substances. This means that any crimes involving these drugs will be subject to the harshest prosecution allowed for drug crimes. Getting caught with just a few of these pills may be subject to felony prosecution.
Having medication without a prescription could lead to:
- A state jail felony conviction
- A 2-year incarceration term in state jail
- A $10,000 fine
- Mandatory drug counseling
Possible Prescription Drug Defenses
If someone is caught with prescription medication in their pocket or in their car, it will be difficult to convince a judge that the drugs belonged to someone else. In fact, even if the pills did belong to another person, the law states that the person who is found with the drugs is liable for the offense.
A defense for this crime will usually involve negotiating a plea bargain. A plea bargain can lead to reduced jail time or probation in exchange for incarceration. In order to qualify for a plea deal, the defendant will have to enter a guilty plea and agree to the court’s conditions. These conditions may include fines, mandatory drug counseling, regular meetings and drug testing with a probation officer.
Some courts will offer drug diversion programs for drug offenders instead of jail time. Although these programs are strict and even a minor mistake could have serious consequences, they provide more freedom than incarceration in a jail cell.
Hire a Houston Attorney Today
It only takes a few pills to change the rest of your life. However, you shouldn’t be punished your entire life just because of a couple of small capsules in your pocket. Schedule your free case review today with Justin T. Surginer by calling 713-589-8855.