Drug Possession Lawyer in El Paso
If You’re Facing Charges, We Can Help
If you’re facing drug charges, contact drug possession attorney Jon Joseph of Joseph & Hartshorn, today. Drug crimes can have a significant impact on your record and your life. The state of Texas takes drug crimes very seriously and is known for strict drug laws. We understand how high the stakes are and we’re here to help.
As an El Paso-based law firm, Joseph & Hartshorn proudly serves the Southwest region, defending people who have been charged with drug possession or other drug-related crimes. Don’t face these charges alone. We are ready to come to your defense and provide you with effective, competent legal representation.
A Closer Look at Drug Possession Laws in Texas
Texas has specific laws pertaining to the possession, delivery, or manufacture of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances. These charges can carry hefty fines and substantial jail or prison time if convicted. The severity of the consequences depends on the type of controlled substance and the amount.
How do Manufacture and Delivery Laws Work?
Texas prohibits the manufacture or delivery of illicit substances. The potential punishments for these crimes are far more severe than possession charges.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act (Section 481.002) defines manufacture and delivery laws. Manufacture is the “production, preparation, propagation, compounding, or processing of a controlled substance other than marihuana, directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural origin…” This also applies to chemical synthesis or a process that involves a combination of chemical synthesis and extraction.
Manufacturing laws also include the packaging and repacking of the substance. Delivery refers to the transfer of the controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia. Delivery thus refers to the act of delivering the controlled substance.
Although there is growing support around the country and state-wide for the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, Texas maintains tough laws regarding the substance. The penalties vary depending on the amount and specific circumstances of the charge. Speak with your drug possession attorney about your defense options.
Range of Punishment for Marijuana Cases
The severity of punishments depends on how much marijuana is found in a person’s possession.
- Possession of up to 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor. Punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fine not to exceed $2,000.
- Possession of 2 to 4 ounces is punishable up to a year in county jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.
- Possession of 4 ounces to 5 pounds is a state jail felony with a minimum of 180 days and up to two years in a state jail facility and fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Possession of 5 to 50 pounds is a third degree felony with a minimum of two years and up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Possession of 50 pounds to 2,000 pounds is a second degree felony with a minimum of two years and up to 20 years in prison and fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Possession of more than 2,000 pounds is a first degree felony with a range of punishment of five to 99 years (or life) in prison and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
The Texas Health and Safety code (481.121.) states that trafficking or delivery of marijuana depends on the amount as well.
- 7 grams or less is a misdemeanor with a potential 180 days in jail plus a fine not to exceed $2,000. 7 grams or less can either be a Class A or Class B Misdemeanor depending on if remuneration is involved.
- 7 grams to 5 pounds is considered a state jail felony with a minimum of 180 days and up to two years in the state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- 5 pounds to 50 pounds is a second degree felony with a possibility of 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- 50-2000 pounds is a first degree felony with a possibility of 5 to 99 years in prison and up to a$10,000 fine
- More than 2,000 pounds is an enhanced first degree felony with a range of punishment between 10 to 99 years (or life) with a fine not to exceed $100,000.
- Selling to a minor (under 18) is a second degree felony with a possibility of 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Cocaine, Methamphetamine and Heroin Cases
Similar to marijuana, Texas has strict laws surrounding the possession, delivery, or manufacture of meth, heroin, and cocaine. Even small amounts of these substances come with a felony charge. Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, these drugs are part of Penalty Group One.
Range of Punishment for Cocaine, Methamphetamine and Heroin Cases
The punishments and penalties for possession and of cocaine, meth, or ketamine vary based on the amount.
- Less than one gram is a state jail felony with a range of punishment between 180 days to 2 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Between one and four grams is a third degree with a range of punishment between 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- 4 to 200 grams is a second-degree felony with a range of punishment between 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- 200 to 400 grams is a first degree felony with a range of punishment between 5 to 99 years(or life) in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- 400 grams or greater is an enhanced first-degree felony with a range of punishment between 10 to 99 years (or life) with a fine not to exceed $100,000.
Designer Drug Cases (Ecstasy, Bath Salts, LSD & Other Hallucinogens)
Penalty Group 2 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act includes Ecstasy, PCP, mescaline, hashish, and extracted THC. The penalties for these drugs also depend on the quantity. A person accused of possession of any of these drugs can face anywhere from two years in jail to life imprisonment depending on the weight and substance.
LSD is in a group of its own with punishment ranging from state jail felony up to an enhanced first-degree felony.
Prescription Drug Cases
Penalty groups 3 and 4 include prescription drugs such as Hydrocodone, Valium, Xanax, Adderall, and Ritalin. The possible range of punishment includes up to a $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail for misdemeanor quantities. When possession exceeds 200 grams, a person can face a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
What Will Be Examined in My Case?
A lot of factors come into play when assessing and investigating a drug possession or manufacture/delivery charge. One of the first modes of attack includes a scrutinizing look at police procedures, ensuring that law enforcement followed the proper protocols, and did not violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights.
How The Fourth Amendment Factors into Drug Possession Cases
The Fourth Amendment is typically associated with a right to privacy. It protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government or law enforcement.
The U.S. Constitution establishes the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
If a court finds that an illegal or unreasonable search took place, any evidence obtained during that search cannot be used against the defendant in a criminal proceeding. Your drug possession attorney will know how to mount a defense using this argument. This is known as the Exclusionary Rule. If the evidence was obtained through an unreasonable or illegal search, the State may have incentive to dismiss the case.
Contact Our Law Firm Today!
Drug charges are serious and require the assistance of a qualified drug possession attorney. If you are facing drug charges, call Joseph & Hartshorn today for effective and competent legal representation.