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Texas Drug Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a drug related offense in Texas, contact attorney Mark Thiessen at 713-864-9000 or request a free case evaluation. Mark is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ease your concerns and protect your freedom.

If you have been charged with a drug crime, then you need immediate representation. These crimes include drug possession; marijuana possession (POM); cocaine or other controlled substances possession (PCS); possession of chemicals for manufacturing drugs; manufacture or cultivation of controlled substances; dealing, delivery, importation or transportation of narcotics; or drug distribution, sales or trafficking.

Drug Offenses in Texas Criminal Courts

The State of Texas and the Federal Government investigate and prosecute the same types of drug cases. State courts handle small-amount drug delivery and possession cases that are classified as state jail or 3rd degree felonies. Depending on which agency works the case, most drug cases end up in federal district court, with some landing in state court.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office now has special drug prosecution divisions assigned to handle the larger cases. The Harris County DA will prosecute cases involving as much as twenty kilos of cocaine.

In some respects, the state court is a more attractive court for the accused. Unlike federal court, a state judge is not required to consult guidelines to determine the proper sentence. Also, in Texas, the accused may submit punishment decisions to the jury. As a result, Thiessen has been very successful in obtaining probation for cases in state court that would have concluded differently in federal court. Thiessen has also had drug cases dismissed.

No matter the amount of drugs, defenses for drug cases generally fall into three categories:

  1. The seized goods were not illegal drugs
  2. The drugs were not “possessed” by the defendant
  3. The drugs were seized illegally. This defense is usually addressed through a pretrial motion to suppress; however, in Texas, a defendant can submit to the jury a factual dispute relating to a constitutional issue under Article 38.23.

Four drug penalty groups exist, with penalty group one being the most severe and carrying the most punishment. Depending on the amount, possession of a drug in penalty group four or three may be a misdemeanor. Keep in mind, though, that a conviction for a drug offense may carry with it collateral punishment, such as a driver’s license suspension.

Common State Drug/Narcotics Offense Punishment Ranges:

Class C Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 0-$500 fine
Class B Possession of Marijuana (0-2 oz) 0 – 180 days in jail
Class A Possession of Marijuana (2-4 oz) 0-1 year in jail
4th Degree Possession of Marijuana (4 oz – 5 lbs)
Possession of Penalty Group 1
Less than 1 gram (such as Cocaine, Heroin, etc.)
6-24 months in state jail
3rd Degree Possession of Marijuana (5 lbs – 50 lbs)
Possession of Penalty Group 1
1-4 grams
2-10 years in prison
2nd Degree Possession of Marijuana (50 lbs – 2000 lbs)
Possession of Penalty Group 1
4-200 grams
2-20 years in prison
1st Degree Possession of Penalty Group 1
200-400 grams
5 years – life in prison
1st Degree
Possession of Penalty Group 1
over 400 grams
10 years – life in prison

Illegal Search and Seizure

Mr. Thiessen will investigate all avenues of a drug arrest to determine whether the government violated the search and seizure laws. Because illegal search and seizure is a threat to the freedom and privacy of all Americans, it is called the poisonous fruit doctrine. The reason for this name is that if the drugs were obtained illegally, they are poison and should not come into evidence.

Representation in a Variety of Cases

Mr. Thiessen can help if you are facing drug charges involving marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, mescaline, amphetamines, methamphetamine (meth, ice), ecstasy, GHB (water), Rohypnol, steroids, testosterone, and prescription narcotics and drugs such as Xanex, Vicodin, Valium, Percocet, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, SOMA and Oxycontin (oxycodone).

NOTE: This information is not legal advice. It is provided for educational use only. If you need legal advice regarding a drug-related offense in the State of Texas, please contact Mark Thiessen at 713-864-9000, or request a free case evaluation.

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