In the state of Texas, the penalties for possession of a controlled substance vary considerably depending on the classification and quantity of the drug in question. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, better known as the DEA, classifies controlled substances into five separate schedules:
- Schedule I substances are considered to have a significant potential for abuse and are not generally accepted for medical use in the U.S. Examples include heroin, marijuana, Ecstasy, and LSD.
- Schedule II controlled substances include narcotics and stimulants that offer some medical value but are also considered likely to cause psychological or physical addiction. Common examples include amphetamines, Ritalin, methamphetamines, morphine, codeine and other pain-relieving opiates.
- Schedule II substances are considered moderately addictive when used without medical supervision. Examples of these medications include Vicodin, anabolic steroids, codeine, and acetaminophen combinations and ketamine.
- Schedule IV substances have a low likelihood of abuse or addiction. This category includes Valium, lorazepam, Xanax, and Halcion.
- Schedule V controlled substances generally contain narcotics in small amounts and are considered unlikely to cause addiction or to lead to abuse. Cough medicines with codeine are included in this general category.
The severity of the charges against you if you have been arrested for possession or possession with intent to distribute in the state of Texas may depend on the schedule in which the specific drug is listed. Typically, possession of drugs from Schedule I or Schedule II can lead to the most severe penalties.
Whether you will be charged with simple possession or with possession with intent to distribute or to sell will depend primarily on the amount of drugs allegedly found in your possession. Generally, possession of less than one gram of a substance listed in DEA Schedule I is not considered possession with intent to sell. However, it is critical that you obtain the legal services of a Houston drug lawyer with experience in both federal and state drug possession charges as soon as possible after your arrest. Law enforcement officials on both the state and the federal level will use any statements you make against you and may even seek additional charges. Remaining silent until you can speak to a qualified Houston criminal defense lawyer may be your best hope for avoiding extended jail time.
Texas law enforcement agencies are highly motivated to prosecute drug offenses and to seek the highest penalties possible. If packaging or weighing materials are found in your home, you may be charged with possession with intent to distribute regardless of the amount of drugs found in the vicinity. If you are arrested for possession with intent to distribute, you need the most effective defense to avoid felony convictions and extended jail time for these alleged offenses.
Matthew Gallagher can provide you the most effective defense for cases of possession, possession with intent to distribute, and for alleged drug sales. If you or someone you care about has been arrested or charged in connection with drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, or alleged drug sales, contact Matthew Gallagher immediately to protect your legal rights.