Possession of a dangerous drug in Texas can be surprisingly confusing. What exactly is dangerous drug possession? Is it getting caught with weed? What’s dangerous? Is the possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas illegal? Even if the answers to those questions were clear, Texas has its own drug laws over federal drug law.

In the state of Texas, drugs are categorized into into 5 penalty groups. You’re going to want to understand which drugs are considered the hard stuff, the most big-league, dangerous drugs that come with the most big-league, life-altering penalties: penalty group one.

Few people know, and are therefore more likely to get caught off guard by the severe consequences of being caught. Do yourself a favor: read up on the possession of a dangerous drug in Texas if you’re interested in avoiding huge fines and very long prison sentences.

What counts as a dangerous drug in Texas?

Possession of a dangerous drug in Texas can be different from other states and federal law. Texas likes to do its own thing, and it’s no different when it comes to Texas drug laws, classification system and penalties (Further reading: The Drug Classification Guide, Texas Edition).

In Texas, the group designated for the most dangerous drugs is penalty group 1, which also has the most severe penalties; the least dangerous penalty group is group 4. (Penalty group 5, if you were wondering, is for marijuana alone. Also related: about synthetic weed in Houston.)

What puts the “dangerous” in possession of a dangerous drug in Texas? The drugs in penalty group 1 are dangerous for their potential to be highly addictive and to cause extreme and lasting harm. So naturally, possession of a dangerous penalty group 1 drug in Texas, except at the smallest level or when used medicinally with a prescription, comes with strict penalties (the penalties from other Texas penalty groups, especially penalty group 2, are no walk in the park, either). Penalty group 1 drugs include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Ketamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Oxycodone

Every single possession conviction that involves drugs from this penalty group is a felony conviction. Every. Single. One.

If you’re convicted of possession of a dangerous drug in Texas, the amount of your life you will spend in jail and the amount of money that’ll come out of your pocket depends on the amount of drugs in your possession. For less than 1 gram, you can get 6 months of jail time, and the court can fine you up to $10,000 bucks. For 400 grams, you can get 99 years in jail, and 200+ grams can cost you $100,000.

A special note on LSD before we move on: LSD, like marijuana, has its own penalty group— penalty group 1A—because it’s measured in units rather than grams. Possessing even less than 20 units can land you in jail for up to 6 months and cost you $10,000, with jail time and money owed increasing exponentially if you’re caught with more units.

Is possession of Xanax & other prescription drugs a felony in Texas?

You may have noticed that several prescription painkillers, such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone made their way onto the penalty group 1 list. Charges for possession of prescription drugs in Texas catch many citizens by surprise.

Now, nobody is going to arrest you for doing as your doctor told you and going to the pharmacy to fulfill your prescription of Oxycodone. But if you’re caught distributing, taking part in prescription forgery, or in possession Oxycodone without a valid reason, you’ve committed a felony. You’re going to be doing jail time for possession of a dangerous drug in Texas and coughing up $10,000 – $100,000 in fines.

The same can be said for Xanax, a benzodiazepine found in penalty group 3. Xanax, a prescription drug also known as bars, handlebars, footballs or sticks, help treat depression and anxiety, and is one of the most frequently abused prescription drugs on the market. As you probably predicted, Xanax’s popularity means that it’s also one of the most illegally acquired drugs, too.

Possession of even just 28 grams of Xanax (or less) is a 3rd degree felony, with 2-10 years of jail time and substantial in fines. Possession of Xanax with the intent to distribute is a much more serious crime, and can lead to even stricter repercussions such as a felony charge. Possession of Xanax with the intent to distribute is punishable by time in state prison, as well as large fines and probation.

No matter how you slice it, possession of a dangerous drug in Texas could mean serious harm to yourself, harm to others, and harm to your freedom and reputation.

Charged with possession of dangerous drugs Texas?

If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, you need immediate representation. As you read this, a district attorney is working with police to build a case against you.

Protect your freedom, choose an aggressive and experienced Houston drug crime attorney who will fight tirelessly for your rights. Thiessen Law Firm is an award-winning criminal defense firm for the Houston, Galveston, and surrounding areas in Texas. We understand the penalties you face. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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Mark Thiessen