Texas law enforcement agencies sometimes cooperate with the federal government in prosecuting drug crimes that occur within the state. When used this two-pronged approach to drug offenses can present serious problems for defendants’ accused of any of the following crimes:
- Possession of controlled substances
- Possession with intent to sell controlled substances
- Distribution of drugs
- Cultivation of marijuana
- Manufacturing of controlled substances
- Trafficking and transportation of drugs
- Prescription fraud
You may face significant jail time, fines, and other penalties if you are convicted of any of these drug offenses. Seeking the help of a knowledgeable Houston drug lawyer can help you navigate the challenges of federal and state drug charges and to ensure that you receive the best possible representation for your case.
Penalties and charges for drug crimes depend on three primary factors:
- The type of drug involved
- The amount of drugs found in the defendant’s possession
- Any previous convictions for felonies or drug crimes
Federal drug laws categorize controlled substances into one of five classifications that include the following:
- Schedule I: Marijuana, LSD, GHB, Ecstasy, Mescaline and PCP , among others
- Schedule II: Codeine, Cocaine, Oxycodone and most other opiates
- Schedule III: Anabolic steroid compounds, barbiturates, and some morphine derivatives
- Schedule IV: Valium, Xanax, and Darvon
- Schedule V: Codeine-based cough and cold medications and mild opiates
Penalties for possession or distribution of substances listed in Schedule I are much harsher than those assessed for drug offenses involving the medications and drugs listed in Schedules II through V.
Depending on the amount of drugs allegedly found in your possession, you may be charged with simple possession or possession with intent to distribute. For example, possession of four ounces or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor; anything over four ounces, however, is considered felony possession under Texas law. These felony charges carry mandatory minimum sentences in the state of Texas upon conviction. Sale of less than seven grams of less of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense; the sale of over seven grams is a felony and is once again subject to mandatory minimum sentencing requirements in Texas.
Cultivation of marijuana plants is illegal. If you are arrested for this offense, the total aggregate weight of the marijuana plants will be used to determine whether to charge you with simple possession or with possession with intent to sell.
Finding the right Houston criminal lawyer for your case can help you avoid the mandatory minimum sentences for a wide range of drug offenses. Whether a state or federal drug case Matthew Gallagher has the skills necessary to represent you in both state and federal court and to negotiate effectively to achieve a dismissal of charges, obtain a favorable plea agreement, or try your case to a jury. When you enlist the help of Matthew Gallagher, your case will be handled effectively and he will work to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your federal or state drug case.