Fentanyl is an opioid used in medical settings for pain relief. However, it is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and has a high potential for abuse. Due to its potency and the risks associated with its use, fentanyl is classified under Penalty Group 1-B in the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Substances in this category are deemed to have the highest potential for abuse and carry the most severe legal penalties when involved in unauthorized manufacturing, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver.

When it comes to drug offenses in the state of Texas, the manufacture or delivery of controlled substances like fentanyl is among the most serious. Understanding the law is  important for anyone who might be facing fentanyl charges. This piece covers the crime of manufacturing Fentanyl in Texas, the penalties involved, and the role of a criminal defense lawyer in these cases.

Attorneys for Fentanyl Distribution and Manufacturing Charges in Wilco Texas

The attorneys at Price & Twine, PLLC formulate a defense strategy unique to the circumstances of each client’s case. Our attorneys are experienced in defending individuals charged with drug-related crimes, including fentanyl distribution, manufacturing, and possession. Our firm is proud to serve the communities of Bell and Williamson Counties in Texas, including: Georgetown, Leander, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Killeen, Temple and surrounding areas.

Fentanyl Distribution and Manufacturing Information Center

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Texas Law On Fentanyl Manufacturing: An Overview

In Texas, the delivery and/or manufacturing of fentanyl is governed by Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.1123. According to this law, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing fentanyl with the intent to deliver it without authorization is considered a felony criminal offense. The severity of the offense and subsequent penalties depend on the weight of the controlled substance.

State Jail Felony For Small Amounts

The law states that if the aggregate weight is less than one gram, the offense is classified as a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to 2 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

Felony Degrees Based On Quantity

For amounts ranging from one gram to less than four grams, the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If the aggregate weight is between four grams and less than 200 grams, it’s a first-degree felony punishable by 10-99 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.

Severe Penalties For Large Quantities

The penalties reach their peak if the aggregate weight is 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams, in which case the offense is punishable by imprisonment for a term ranging from 15 to 99 years and a fine of up to $200,000. For amounts of 400 grams or more, the imprisonment term ranges from 20 to 99 years, along with a fine of up to $500,000.

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Potential Defenses in Texas Fentanyl Manufacturing Cases

Challenging the ‘Knowingly’ Aspect of the Crime

Texas law says that the accused must “knowingly” manufacture, deliver, or possess fentanyl with the intent to deliver for it to be an offense. Challenging this aspect can be a potential defense strategy. If the accused was unaware that they were involved in the manufacturing process, or if they can prove they had no intention of delivering the substance, this could weaken the prosecution’s case.

Contesting the Weight Measurement

The penalties for manufacturing Fentanyl vary greatly depending on the aggregate weight of the substance, including any adulterants or dilutants. Therefore, disputing the weight measurement can have a significant impact on the severity of the charge. A forensic re-evaluation of the substance’s weight could potentially downgrade the felony level of the offense.

Raising Issues of Illegal Search And Seizure

Texas law requires that any search or seizure action by the police must be conducted legally. Any evidence obtained illegally may be inadmissible in court. Therefore, if the fentanyl was discovered during an illegal search, it may be possible to get the charges dropped or reduced.

Questioning the Chain of Custody

The chain of custody refers to the process through which the evidence was collected, stored, and presented in court. Any break in this chain can cast doubt on the authenticity and integrity of the evidence. A skilled lawyer can challenge the chain of custody to weaken the prosecution’s case.

Presenting an Affirmative Defense

In some instances, a defendant might admit to the act but offer an explanation that, if proven true, would exonerate them from criminal liability. For example, they might claim they were authorized to manufacture the substance for legitimate research purposes.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Fentanyl Manufacturing Laws

What Does “Knowingly” Mean In The Context Of Fentanyl Manufacturing?

The term “knowingly” refers to the awareness or intent behind manufacturing, delivering, or possessing Fentanyl. For a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the accused was aware they were participating in the illegal activity.

How Is The Severity Of The Offense Determined?

The severity of the offense is primarily determined by the aggregate weight of the controlled substance, including any adulterants or dilutants. Smaller amounts lead to lesser felony charges, while larger amounts can result in life imprisonment and hefty fines.

Can Police Search My Property Without A Warrant?

Generally, police need a warrant to conduct a search. However, there are exceptions like exigent circumstances, where police can act without a warrant. Any evidence obtained illegally may be inadmissible in court, which could lead to the dismissal or reduction of charges.

What Is A State Jail Felony?

A state jail felony is the least severe felony offense in Texas and typically involves lesser penalties. For fentanyl manufacturing, this classification applies when the aggregate weight of the substance is less than one gram.

Is There Any Way To Downgrade The Felony Level?

Yes, certain defense strategies can lead to downgrading the felony level. This may involve challenging the weight measurement, disputing the ‘knowingly’ element, or proving that the search and seizure were conducted illegally.

What Role Does A Lawyer Play?

A Texas fentanyl manufacturing lawyer can assess the unique circumstances of the case and use various defense strategies. They can help in plea negotiations, challenge evidence, and represent the accused in court, aiming for dismissal or reduction of charges.

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Choosing a Defense Attorney for Fentanyl Manufacturing in Texas | Price & Twine

The manufacture of Fentanyl is a heavily penalized drug offense in Texas. The penalties for these offenses are severe and can have a lasting impact on the life of the accused. Given the gravity of the situation, seeking the assistance of a Texas criminal defense attorney experienced with Fentanyl manufacturing cases is beneficial for anyone facing these charges. The legal professionals at Price & Twine advocate effectively for their clients in Georgetown and surrounding communities of Williamson County, Texas. Feel free to call our firm at (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.