Everyone knows cocaine itself is dangerous, but some people underestimate just how much they’re putting at risk simply by being charged with cocaine possession in Texas. Now that Harris County has updated the its Texas pot laws to be a tiny bit more forgiving, some seem to think that drug possession penalties, including cocaine charges in Texas, aren’t what they used to be. This mistake can cost you dearly.
Not only is cocaine possession in Texas still a crime, it’s always a felony, and one that can land you with significant jail time if you aren’t careful. Before you decide to pick up some party favors for your buddy’s bachelor party or your next night at the club, make sure you know the penalties for cocaine charges in Texas.
Penalties for cocaine possession in Texas
“How much jail time do I get for possession of coke in Texas?” is an incredibly common question, but it’s also one that many are intimidated to ask until it’s too late. If you are found with cocaine on you, you are considered to be in possession of a controlled substance (as opposed to being found in possession of a dangerous drug, such as possession of Xanax in Texas).
To put it simply, possession of cocaine in Texas in any quantity is a felony offense, and it doesn’t take much to bump cocaine charges up to a 2nd degree felony in Texas or a 3rd degree felony in Texas.
Factors that influence drug possession penalties in Texas
No doubt you’ve noticed that the ranges of potential consequences for cocaine possession in Texas are pretty wide. Yes, you may be sentenced according to the amount of cocaine you have on you, but what determines if you get two years in prison or ten? Does the fact that you may be a first time offender with a felony drug charge in Texas change anything?
There are, in fact, a few important factors that influence whether or not the judge decides to throw the book at you for cocaine charges in Texas.
Your criminal record
Texas judges understand that sometimes even good people have blooper moments. While cocaine charges in Texas are harsh, if you’re caught with a small amount of cocaine and have never been charged with anything beyond a speeding ticket before now, you have a much better chance at a lower sentence or a strong plea deal.
On the flip side, if you’ve been convicted of past felonies or drug-related charges, your sympathy card may not get much play in court. The same also applies to cocaine possession in the midst of another crime.
For instance, if you’re caught with cocaine while being pulled over on suspicion of DWI, there are consequences for DWI in Texas, and your mini-crime spree may result in harsher sentencing than you might receive for either of those crimes on their own.
Being charged with possession of cocaine vs. possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
The state of Texas doesn’t want anyone using cocaine, so imagine the level of fondness they have for the people who sell it. Being caught with a gram of cocaine in one bag with no scales, weapons or other signs of drug dealing is one thing.
Being caught that same gram broken down into smaller baggies and/or alongside the items listed above is another thing, and one that implies intent to distribute. This implication can enhance both your cocaine charges in Texas as well as your punishments.
Quality of legal representation
Oftentimes, your cocaine charges in Texas and your sentencing are determined in large part by the agreements you and your lawyer are able to make with the prosecution. Most large Texas counties have bigger fish to fry than someone accused of cocaine possession. Some prosecutors are willing to agree to reduced sentencing or charges in exchange for a guilty plea or a probation agreement.
In other words, the result of being caught with cocaine possession in Texas can change drastically with quality legal representation.
Arrested for cocaine possession in Texas?
Fighting your cocaine charges in Texas is not as impossible as it may seem. You are still innocent until proven guilty—it’s just that when it comes to cocaine possession in Texas, the line between the two can feel incredibly thin.
Building an effective case and/or reaching a favorable agreement takes time, experience and expertise. Mark Thiessen and his team at the Thiessen Law Firm can provide the aggressive defense your case deserves, helping you handle everything from initial hearings and trial strategies if your dealing with drug charges and child custody disputes.
The sooner you hire a strong criminal defense attorney to help you fight your Texas cocaine possession charges, the better. Request a consultation online or call the Thiessen Law Firm at (713) 864-9000 to begin your battle for freedom today.
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