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Possession of a Controlled Substance (POCS)

One of the most frequently charged crimes in Texas is possession of a controlled substance. The legal term “controlled substance” refers to any type of illegal drug. In Texas, a controlled substance can range from street drugs such as heroin to commonly used prescriptions such as Vicodin or Oxycontin. Possessing, selling or manufacturing these controlled substances is a crime in Texas with serious life altering penalties.

Were you caught in possession of a controlled substance recently? If the drug was obtained unlawfully, then you could be charged with possession of a controlled substance (PCOS). Depending on the facts of the case, you could be court ordered to pay expensive fines and even spend time in jail or prison. Don’t be idle when it comes to your freedom. Get in contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney today to start planning your defense.

Georgetown Drug Defense Attorney in Texas

Although drug offenses are relatively non-violent, Texas has severe penalties for people convicted for possessing a controlled substance. You could even be charged with a felony if law enforcement finds a large quantity of drugs on you. That is why we highly recommend you gain legal representation if you have been charged with a possession of a controlled substance. Our suggestion is to go with a firm known for its skill and experience; Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C..

Michael J. Price has been practicing in Georgetown and other Texas courts for years. His determination, defense techniques and resources has allowed him to represent numerous clients charged with drug crimes in the past. With his passion for defense and years of practice, you can trust Michael J. Price to represent you effectively. Be confident when you enter that courtroom and get in contact with Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C..

Call Law Office of Michael J. Price for a free consultation at (512) 354-1880 about your alleged possession of a dangerous drug crime. He practices throughout the greater Georgetown area but accepts clients throughout surrounding areas including Round Rock, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights, contact Law Office of Michael J. Price

 

Overview of Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas


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Drug Penalty Groups in Texas

If you ever have a moment to take a look at the Texas Health and Safety Code, you will notice that the list of drugs the state considers to be a “controlled substance” is incredibly long. The list incorporates both minor narcotics such as over-the-counter medications with codeine and well-known street drugs such as heroin or cocaine. So, how does Texas determine the penalties for possession if the drugs are so different from one another?

The answer lies within something known as a drug penalty group. These groups categorize controlled substances based on their medical usage as well as their risk for chemical abuse. In Texas, there are four penalty groups a controlled substance can be classified under. Lower numbered penalty groups are reserved for drugs with a high risk for abuse and are known to have much steeper penalties than higher numbered penalty groups.

The group with arguably the most dangerous controlled substances is penalty group 1. These drugs tend to have little to no medical use and are highly addictive. The consequences for possessing any of the drugs under penalty group 1 are usually felony-level. Penalty Group I (PG-1) substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Opium
  • Cocaine

A sub-category to penalty group 1 is known as penalty group 1-A. This group is solely reserved for the drug known as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which is a hallucinogenic drug that can induce euphoria in the user. The drug is measured in units rather than grams since it’s usually consumed as “unit tabs” when used recreationally.

The categorization with the second-highest consequences is penalty group 2. Many drugs in penalty group 2 are considered synthetic drugs that mimic other controlled substances. If you’re found possessing a penalty group 2 drug, then you should expect to see serious consequences. Penalty Group II (PG-2) substance examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Synthetic THC (spice or diesel);
  • Mescaline;
  • MDMA; and
  • Phenylacetone

The substances found under penalty group 3 are frequently used in the medical field but can be abused if used in a recreational manner. The consequences for possessing these drugs may be lighter than other penalty groups, but you can still face significant jail time if you obtained the prescription illegally. Penalty Group III (PG-3) substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Xanax
  • Lorazepam

Penalty Group IV (PG-4) substances are considered to have the lowest potential for abuse and have common uses for medical purposes in the United States. Examples of these types of drugs include, but are not limited to:

  • Compounds and mixtures with small amounts of codeine
  • Compounds and mixtures with small amounts of opium

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Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in TX

The state of Texas has harsh penalties for those convicted of drug crimes. The consequences are determined by what penalty group the drug can be found under, the quantity of the drug and the circumstances of the crime. These penalties are incredibly serious and can include expensive fines in the thousands and in some cases years in jail or prison. If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance, then it’s highly recommended you review the possible penalties for the crime below.

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute a Penalty Group 1 Drug

The maximum penalties for possession with intent to distribute a penalty group 1 drug can be found in the following chart.

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 1State Jail FelonyUnder 1 gram180 days – 2 yearsUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony1 to 4 grams2 to 20 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony4 to 200 grams5 to 99 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony200 to 400 grams10 to 99 yearsUp to $100,000
First-Degree FelonyOver 400 grams15 to 99 yearsUp to $250,000

 

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute LSD

The drug LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide can be found under penalty group 1-A. It’s found to have an intense hallucinogenic effect and is normally taken in unit tabs.

The maximum penalties for possession with intent to distribute LSD can be found under the following chart.

Penalty GroupSentenceUnitsPrison TermMaximum Fine
Group 1-AState Jail FelonyUnder 20 units180 days – 2 yearsUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony20 to 80 units2 to 20 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony80 to 4,000 units5 to 99 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree FelonyOver 4,000 units15 to 99 yearsUp to $250,000

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Penalty Group 2 or 2-A

The legal consequences for possession with intent to deliver a penalty group 2 or 2-A drug are listed in the chart below.

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 2 or 2-AState Jail FelonyUnder 1 grams180 days – 2 yearsUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony1 to 4 grams2 to 20 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony4 to 400 grams5 to 99 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree FelonyOver 400 grams10 to 99 yearsUp to $100,000

 

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Penalty Group 3 or 4

The chart below outlines the maximum penalties for those convicted of possession with intent to deliver a penalty group 3 or 4 drug.

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 3 or 4State Jail FelonyUnder 28 grams180 Days – 2 YearsUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony28 to 200 grams2 to 20 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony200 to 400 grams5 to 99 yearsUp to $10,000
First-Degree FelonyOver 400 grams10 to 99 yearsUp to $100,000

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What Are the Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Texas?

It’s possible you read through this whole article and asked yourself how does marijuana fit into this crime? Cannabis is a complicated subject when it comes to drug crimes. The drug itself is still considered a penalty group 1 controlled substance but doesn’t carry the same serious penalties as other penalty group 1 drugs. Marijuana can also be used medicinally in Texas. So if you’re caught possessing cannabis you lawfully obtained for a medical condition then you likely won’t face any charges.

The following are the penalties in Texas for possessing marijuana.

 Amount Possessed: Crime Classification:Jail/Prison Time:

 Fine:

Less Than 2 OuncesClass B MisdemeanorUp to 180 days in jailUp to $2,000
2 to 4 OuncesClass A MisdemeanorUp to 1 year in jailUp to $4,000
4 Ounces to 5 PoundsState Jail FelonyUp to 24 months in jailUp to $10,000
5 to 50 PoundsThird-Degree FelonyUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
50 to 2,000 PoundsSecond-Degree FelonyUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
More than 2,000 PoundsFirst-Degree FelonyUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $10,000

 


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Additional Resources

Texas Drug Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Statutes to find more information on drug crimes in Texas. Learn the specific elements, definitions, penalties and defenses for drug crimes such as possession, manufacture, and delivery of controlled substances.

Drugs of Abuse – Gain access to a free PDF of the book Drugs of Abuse, which was provided by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Download or visit the page to find clear and scientific information about controlled substance, how they are manufactured and their long and short-term effects to the human body.


Round Rock Possession of Dangerous Drugs Lawyer in TX

You should always take drug crime charges seriously no matter the consequences. Hiring an attorney will significantly increase your chances of having your case reduced or dismissed entirely. Our suggestion is to contact Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price if you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance. He has the right experience, resources, and network needed to fight your charges.

Call Law Office of Michael J. Price at (512) 354-1880 or send an online message for a consultation about your alleged possession of a controlled substance offense. Our firm practices throughout Williamson County and Bell County area in Texas.


This article was last updated on November 21, 2019. 

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