Texas is one of the states with very stringent possession laws in the US. A possession case for controlled substances may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount of drug you are found with. Anyone charged under the possession law in Texas must have been suspected to possess, cultivate, manufacture or distribute controlled substances within this jurisdiction. Without the assistance of a top Houston drug lawyer, jail terms, fines and probation are a certainty when you are found guilty of possessing any illegal drug or controlled substances.
In Texas, controlled substances are regulated by the Texas Controlled Substances Act, a section of the Texas Health and safety code. The act clearly categorizes all controlled substances except marijuana (as a special substance that is treated differently) into penalty groups that will be our main focus here.
Penalty groups for controlled substances Texas
Controlled substances in Texas are categorized into six penalty groups:
- Penalty group 1
- Penalty group 1 A
- Penalty group 2
- Penalty group 2 A
- Penalty group 3
- Penalty group 4
Let’s explore the substances covered in each group.
Penalty group 1- These are the most controlled or highly regulated substances in Texas and include Opioids such as codeine and oxycodone, opium derivatives, opiates such as Heroin, methamphetamine (commonly known as Meth), cocaine, Ketamine, mescaline hallucinogens such as Psilocybin, etc.
Penalty group 1 A- This group covers LSD and its derivatives. The substance is categorized in its penalty group singly because it is measured with special metrics called units. A unit is generally a paper dipped in LSD or its derivatives.
Penalty group 2- Most hallucinogens fall in this penalty group. Here, you will find substances such as Ecstasy, Peyote and PCP.
Penalty groups 2 A- These are mainly artificial substances that have the same effects as cannabinoids. Note that these extractives are not marijuana but include concentrated Marijuana oil, wax and shatter. These substances have street names, including K2 and Spice.
Penalty group 3- Any prescription drug with a stimulant or depressant effect falls in penalty group 3. Opiates and opiums not listed in penalty group 1 are also covered here. The substances include methylphenidate and anabolic steroids.
Penalty group 4- Any other prescription drug or substance that is not included in the above penalty groups but still has a high potential for abuse, falls in this group.
Each of these groups comes with its own set of charges and penalties, as discussed below.
Penalties for drug possession in Texas
- Penalty group 1- For small amounts- Fine (up to $10,000) and a Jail term of (180days-2 years). For the highest amount- Fine (up to $100,000), Jail term (15-99years)
- Penalty group 1 A- For small amounts- Fine (up to $10,000) and a Jail term of (180days-2 years). For the highest amount- Fine (up to $250,000), Jail term (15-99years)
- Penalty group 2- For small amounts- Fine (up to $10,000) and a Jail term of (180days-2 years). For more than 400 grams- Fine (up to $50,000) Jail term (5-99years)
- Penalty group 2 A- For small amounts- Fine (up to $10,000) and a Jail term of (up to 1years). For more than 400 grams – Fine (up to $10,000) Jail term (2-20years)
- Penalty group 3- For small amounts- Fine (up to $4,000) and a Jail term of (up to 1 years). For more than 400 grams- Jail term (up to 99years)
- Penalty group 4- For small amounts- Fine (up to $2,000) and a Jail term of (180days). For more than 400 grams- Fine (up to $50,000) Jail term (5-99years)
Marijuana possession laws & punishment in Texas
In Texas, Marijuana is a major exception not covered by any penalty groups discussed above and receives special focus under the controlled substance possession laws. The reason for this is simple- there is a high chance of marijuana being abused in Texas. What’s more, there is widespread public support for the legalization of this substance.
The penalties for this controlled substance depend on the amount you possess but are relatively more severe in Texas than in other states. Here is a breakdown of the charges and penalties for possession of various amounts of marijuana:
- Less than 2 ounces- You will be charged with class B misdemeanor. The punishments for this can be a fine of $2000 and/or a jail term of 180 days. This punishment is often followed by 2 years of probation.
- 2-4 ounces- The charge is similar as above, but the punishment is raised to up to $4000 in fines and/or 1-year jail sentence.
- Any possession more than 4 ounces- You are charged with a felony and the punishments correspond to the amounts as follows:
- Up to 5 pounds- fine ($10,000), jail term (180 days-2years)
- 5-50 pounds- fine ($10,000), jail term (2-10years)
- 50- 2000 pounds- fine ($10,000), jail term (2-20years)
- Over 2000 pounds- fine ($50,000), jail term (5-99 years)
Clearly, possessing or dealing with controlled substances in Texas has severe consequences and penalties and obviously, this is done to curb related factors such as crime. If you are in this jurisdiction, you should avoid illegal drugs and controlled substance deals entirely. Note that you may face massive fines and jail terms on conviction under the possession laws. It is needless to say that this will bring a lot of confusion into your life. Additionally, your future job opportunities may be significantly minimized, a reason why you need to stay clean of drug possession at all times.