If you have been charged with a drug possession crime in Tarrant County, Texas you can expect to face harsh drug possession laws with a high likelihood of being charged with a felony crime. While many drug possession cases are charged as a felony, your specific case could be anywhere from a misdemeanor all the way up to a first degree felony. It’s important to understand that being charged with possession of a controlled substance in Tarrant County, Texas can have a severe impact on your life. That’s why our Fort Worth drug possession attorneys at Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C. are prepared to fight to get your drug possession charges reduced or your drug possession charges dismissed completely.
When you need legal counsel that you can trust to understand how to maneuver with your case and how the prosecutor for the state will act and then be able to provide you the best possible outcome with potentially receiving a full dismissal of your drug possession case, then choose Cofer Luster. We have the track record for fighting the hard battles in court and winning. We’ll fight for a full dismissal every time. So, give us a call at 682-777-3336 to discuss your case with an experience Fort Worth defense attorney today!
Which Drug Possession Cases are Felonies?
Drug possession cases are defined by drug penalty groups under Texas law. These cases are assigned under Texas law based on the controlled substance and the amount of said substance that you were alleged to have possessed. However to better understand the penalty groups, how they’re organized, and what you could be facing, we need to look at the groups themselves under the Texas Controlled Substances Act within the Texas Health and Safety Code.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act breaks down controlled substances into six different categories called penalty groups. The only exception we typically see with this is marijuana.
As we mentioned above, the severity of a drug possession conviction under Texas law depends on the nature of a controlled substance and the amount you are alleged to have possessed. But to understand the potential penalties you face, you will first need to understand the penalty groups that all drugs are assigned to under Texas law. The penalty groups are as follows:
- Penalty Group 1
- Penalty Group 1-A
- Penalty Group 2
- Penalty Group 2-A
- Penalty Group 3
- Penalty Group 4
There are differing punishments for each category of drug possession starting with Penalty Group 1 being the most severe to Penalty Group 4 being the least severe. At Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C., we always fight to reach a full dismissal of your drug possession case. There are many valid defenses that we may use to help you with your drug possession case in Tarrant County that may help us reach a reduced penalty or even a dismissal. You have a better chance at trial in front of a jury of your peers than from taking a plea deal. To discuss your drug possession charges, contact Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C. today for a consultation. We’ll discuss your options and show you how we’ve handled similar cases in the past that led to positive outcomes.
Let’s break down the penalty groups so that you know what you’re facing prior to the help of our experienced and successful drug possession attorneys in Fort Worth.
Penalty Group 1
The drugs in Penalty Group 1 are the heaviest regulated in the State of Texas and carry the highest penalties for illegal possession charges. This group includes opioids such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone and opium derivatives.
If you are found in possession of a Penalty Group 1 substance it will always be charged as a felony. Even for the illegal possession of small amounts of these drugs, felony convictions can result in sentences of 180 days to 2 years in state jail along with a fine of up to $10,000. If found with larger amounts, you could be sentenced between 15 and 99 years in prison with a maximum fine of $100,000.
Penalty Group 1-A
Penalty Group 1-A is exclusively for LSD and its derivatives and carries a similar penalty to Group 1 in sentencing time, but with a fine of up to $250,000. Derivatives include any salt, isomer, or salts of isomers. LSD is treated differently than other drugs of Penalty Group 1 because LSD is measured differently. While most other drugs are measured by weight in grams, LSD is usually measured in “units” that are typically a small square of paper soaked in LSD.
If you are found in possession of a Penalty Group 1-A substance it will always charged as a felony under Texas law. For small amounts, you will face a state jail sentence of between 180 days and 2 years in addition to a fine of up to $10,000. For higher amounts, you will face a prison sentence of between 15 and 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Penalty Group 2
Penalty Group 2 typically includes hallucinogenic drugs like Ecstasy, PCP, and peyote. If you are found in possession of a Penalty Group 2 substance you will be charged with a felony.
Convictions for possessing less than a gram of one of these substances comes with a sentence of 180 days to 2 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. For possession of more than a gram, the sentence can be 5 to 99 years and a fine of up to $50,000.
Penalty Group 2-A
Penalty Group 2-A is made up of the artificial chemical compounds that mimic cannabinoids. Substances named K2 and Spice fall within Penalty Group 2-A, with the smallest amounts being charged as a misdemeanor and the highest amounts being a 1st degree felony with 5 to 99 years in state prison and a fine up to $50,000.
Penalty Group 3
Penalty Group 3 contains alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), zolpidem (Ambien), and methylphenidate (Ritalin). These prescription drugs have either a stimulant or depressant effect. Possession of small amounts of these substances are considered misdemeanors under Texas law. These charges carry a county jail sentence of up to 1 year as well as a maximum fine of $4,000. Possession of 28 grams or more of a Group 3 substance is a felony, with a maximum penalty of up to 99 years in state prison for possession of more than 400 grams.
Penalty Group 4
Penalty Group 4 is made up of a variety of prescription medications as well as the chemical compounds that go into those medications. They are typically prescription drugs that have a high potential for abuse that is not included in any of the other penalty groups.
Much like with Penalty Group 3, the possession of less than 28 grams of a Penalty Group 4 drug is treated as a Class B Misdemeanor under Texas law. If convicted, you would face up to 180 days in county jail as well as a fine of no more than $2,000. However, the possession of 28 grams or more of a Penalty Group 4 substance will lead to felony charges. If you are convicted for possessing more than 400 grams, you will face a prison sentence of between 5 and 99 years as well as a maximum fine of $50,000.
Marijuana is a Misdemeanor
Marijuana, a.k.a. marihuana within the Texas code doesn’t qualify under the primary six penalty groups, but similar to the lowest category, in small amount marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor under Texas law.
Penalty for Possession of Marijuana in Texas
If you’re found in possession of:
- Less than 2 ounces, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor;
- 2 – 4 ounces, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor;
- 4 ounces to 5 pounds, you will be charged with a state jail felony;
- 5 – 50 pounds, you will be charged with a 3rd degree felony;
- 50 – 2000 pounds, you will be charged with a 2nd degree felony;
- 2,000 pounds or more, will be punishable by life imprisonment not to exceed 99 years and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
If money exchanges hand over that ¼ of an ounce of marijuana or less then it will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor. Anything beyond that is a felony and Texas is known for severe punishments of up to 99 years in state prison and a maximum fine of up to $100,000 if you’re found in possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana.
Hire the Experience Fort Worth Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in the Fort Worth / Tarrant County area, you need experienced legal counsel that you can depend on to render the best outcome. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the reality is that a conviction can cost you for years to come, if not your entire life. Not only do you face the potential for substantial fines and jail time, but you could also find it difficult to find and maintain decent employment and housing because of your criminal record. With an experienced Fort Worth drug crimes lawyer, you may be able to avoid a conviction entirely and receive a full dismissal of your case.
Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C. has decades of experience and success in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. We’ve been nominated as the top lawyers in Fort Worth, TX in 2019 and 2020. Attorney Cody Cofer is a board-certified expert in criminal defense law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To discuss your particular drug possession case with an expert in criminal defense, contact the Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C. to set up your consultation.