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Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs

Drug crimes are always serious, but what happens when law enforcement suspect you of being a dealer or distributor? It’s an unfortunate truth that based on the facts of the case the district attorney can further enhance your charges if they suspect you had intent to distribute drugs. Normally, this happens when a person is found to have a large quantity of drugs on them.

Possession with intent to distribute carries heavier penalties than simple possession. It can mean more expensive fines and even a longer jail or prison term. Additionally, the prosecutor only has to prove you had intent to sell the drugs to convict you. They’re not required to show proof you were dealing or had dealt drugs in the past. This means you could be charged for a crime even if you had no intention to distribute the drugs in the first place.

Due to the possibility of being sentenced to a disproportionate and unfair jail term, it is of paramount importance that you do everything to protect yourself from this outcome. The most productive way of effectively defending yourself is to work with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can represent you in a manner that gives you the greatest chance at getting these charges reduced or dismissed.

Georgetown Possession with Intent Attorney in TX

When charged with such a serious crime, you need a lawyer who cannot only handle it but has represented similar cases in the past. Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has worked with many individuals facing drug charges. He is dedicated to employing all his skills, time and resources to find the best defense plan for your case.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over the specifics of your cases, call (512) 354-1880 or send an online message today. In addition to serving Georgetown, the Law Office of Michael J. Price also works with individuals throughout other areas in Texas including Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Killeen, and Temple.

Overview of Possession with Intent in Texas


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Texas Penalty Groups for Controlled Substances

One look at the Texas Health and Safety Code and you can see that the list for controlled substances is incredibly long. It’s also clear the range of drugs is vast from over-the-counter medications to infamous street drugs such as cocaine or heroin. So how does the state determine criminal sentences for drugs of different severities?

The answer is something known as a penalty group. These classifications are used to determine how addictive the drug is and its usage in the medical field. Texas currently has four penalty groups a drug can be listed under. The lower the penalty group number the harsher the penalties are for possessing, selling or manufacturing the drug.

Listed below are the penalty groups listed in the Texas Health and Safety Code.

  • Penalty Group 1 lists what the state of Texas believes are the most dangerous illicit substances available. These drugs are never used in a medical setting and can be extremely addictive when used.
    • This includes Codeine, Heroin, Morphine, Opium Extracts, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Cocaine, GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol.
  • Penalty Group 1-A is reserved solely for the drug known as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which is a hallucinogenic drug known to cause euphoric effects. The drug is measured in units rather than grams because it’s consumed in unit tabs.
  • Penalty Group 2 and 2-A consists of less potent hallucinatory drugs and synthetic controlled substances created to mimic other drugs. Both are considered to be highly addictive with little to no use in medicine.
    • Some examples include Psilocybin (mushrooms), MDMA, Tetrahydrocannabinols (other than marijuana), Amphetamine, synthetic THC, and Methaqualone.
  • Penalty Group 3 includes chemicals that can cause a stimulant effect on the central nervous system if used excessively. Most drugs under penalty group 3 have a valid medical use and are only hazardous when abused.
    • Some common examples include Methylphenidate, Alprazolam, Diazepam, Dihydrocodeinone, Barbital, Peyote, Anabolic Steroids and Testosterone.
  • Penalty Group 4 focuses on compounds containing limited quantities of narcotics. Normally, a penalty group 4 drug is a concoction of over-the-counter medications with small amounts of codeine or other types of opiates.
    • Some examples include medications with codeine (200 mg or less per 100 grams) Dihydrocodeine (100 mg or less per 100 grams), Ethylmorphine (100 mg or less per 100 grams) and Opium (15 mg or less per 28.35 grams).

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Evidence Associated with Possession with Intent

Police officers are trained to spot certain signs of drug manufacturing or sale when they are performing a search and seizure. Many of these indicators are purely subjective such as having a large quantity of the drug or cash on hand. This means you could be charged with possession with intent to sell or distribute even if there’s no concrete proof of you doing so.

Some common evidence that can be used against you to enhance your charge to possession with intent to distribute includes, but is not limited to:

  • Large amounts of cash;
  • If the arrest or drugs were found in a high drug trafficking area;
  • How pure or “good” the controlled substance is;
  • Large quantity of drug paraphernalia such as plastic bags or scales; and
  • Electronic communication (such as text or IM) surrounding illegal drug transactions found on your phone or other electronic communications device

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Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute in Texas

Drug crimes in Texas are prosecuted heavily with serious penalties such as steep fines and possible incarceration. The consequences for possession with intent to distribute are determined by what penalty group they are categorized in, the amount of drug found on the defendant and the circumstances of the crime. Depending on the facts of the case, a person could be charged with upwards to a felony. This means if you’re convicted you could face years in prison. If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, it’s highly recommended you review the statutory penalties listed 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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Additional Resources

Williamson County Drug Court – Access the Williamson County site to find more information regarding the Williamson County drug court. The DWI/Drug Court in Williamson County seeks to enhance public safety and reduce the number of repeat drug offenders in the county by providing an alternative sentencing to typical jail or prison sentences. Learn if you qualify and what the program entails by clicking the link provided.

Texas Drug Laws – Visit the official website for Texas laws and legislation to find more information on drug offenses in Texas. Access the site to learn the specific definitions, elements penalties and defenses for crimes such as possession, manufacture, and delivery of controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, Xanax and MDMA.


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Possession with Intent Lawyer in Williamson County, TX

If you or a loved one has been charged with the very serious crime of possession with intent to distribute, immediately getting started on developing a strong defense is vital in the eventual outcome of the criminal proceedings. This helps your attorney gather time-sensitive evidence, including documents and witness testimony.

Michael J. Price is an experienced and knowledgeable Georgetown criminal defense attorney who can use his extensive insight and legal perspective of the Texas Penal Code to effectively represent you in the court of law. With a dedication to protecting the rights of the clients they serve, Michael J. Price can be counted on to pursue your best interests and not the easiest outcome. This may include fighting for outcomes such as case dismissal and not guilty verdicts.

Call (512) 354-1880 or send an online message to schedule a free, confidential consultation. In addition to working with Georgetown residents, Law Office of Michael J. Price also proudly represents individuals throughout Williamson County and Bell County.


This article was last updated on November 22, 2019.

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