Texas and the “feds” penalize drug possession and drug distribution differently. However, many people don’t understand the difference between these two crimes. Whether you have been arrested for drug possession or drug distribution in Texas, it’s imperative that you understand the nature of your charge. Below is an overview of the difference between drug possession and drug distribution in Texas.
Drug possession in Texas
Illegal drugs in Texas, also called controlled substances, are classified based on their perceived danger. Anyone who is found to intentionally and knowingly possess a controlled substance without a prescription is guilty of the crime of drug possession.
Texas drug possession penalties
There are many factors courts consider when assessing the penalties for various drug possession crimes, including:
- The type of controlled substance with which the defendant was caught,
- The defendant’s past criminal convictions,
- The amount of the controlled substance with which the defendant was caught,
- The drug’s method of storage, and
- Whether the defendant was also caught with drug paraphernalia.
At a minimum, drug possession can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor in Texas is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. A serious drug possession crime can be prosecuted as a felony. A first-degree felony in Texas is punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Drug distribution in Texas
Drug distribution is a more serious crime than drug possession. When an individual is charged with drug distribution, this means the authorities have reason to believe that the defendant was either selling a controlled substance or planning to sell it. Often, drug distribution charges are based on specific types of evidence, such as a large amount of cash or individual baggies of a controlled substance. In addition, people are often charged with drug distribution simply for possessing large quantities of an illegal drug.
Texas drug distribution penalties
The severity with which drug distribution is penalized depends on two factors: 1) the amount of the controlled substance the defendant was caught with and 2) the type of controlled substance the defendant was caught with. Depending on these factors, an individual charged with drug distribution faces anywhere from 180 days in jail to a life sentence. In addition, those charged with drug distribution in Texas face fines ranging between $10,000 and $250,000.
El Paso Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a drug possession or drug distribution charge in Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At the Benjamin Law Firm, our experienced El Paso legal professionals will use our well-honed negotiation and courtroom skills to mount an aggressive attack against your criminal charges, leaving no stone unturned as we fight to protect your freedom and reputation. Please contact us today for a consultation.
Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense