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What are the laws on drug possession in Texas?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Like every state, Texas takes drug offenses seriously. As such, facing drug possession charges or other related crimes carries harsh consequences. However, there are certain requirements that must be established in a drug possession case; if those are not in place, you cannot be convicted of the crime.

Understanding drug possession

Drug possession is one of the many drug violations a person can face. This offense can be charged on the state and even federal level, but a defendant can only be found guilty if the elements of drug possession apply to the case. The person must have possessed the drug and knew that it was a controlled substance. Additionally, they must have knowingly and intentionally possessed that drug. This refers to constructive possession, which means that the person had immediate access to the drug even if it was not on their person when they were arrested.

Drug penalty groups

Texas recognizes different drug penalty groups. This means that if a person is convicted of drug possession, the penalties they face depend on the group the drug falls under. Penalty group 1 carries the harshest penalties because the drugs that fall into that category carry the highest risk of addiction. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and oxycodone are penalty group 1 drugs.

The higher the penalty group number, the less severe the penalties for a conviction of drug possession. Penalty group 2 includes MDMA, PHP, THC and more hallucinogenic substances that carry some medicinal value. Meanwhile, penalty group 3 includes anabolic steroids, Xanax and other drugs used medicinally that carry a mid-range risk of abuse.

Penalty group 4 drugs have the lowest rate of abuse and are often used in medical situations. They include opioids not included in the penalty group 1 category.

If the elements of drug possession cannot be established in your case, the charges might be reduced or dropped in your case. Regardless, you need a strong defense to back you up.