Texas prosecutors take drug crimes seriously. Over the past decade, several changes to Texas drug laws have increased the penalties for drug crimes. If you are convicted of a drug crime in Texas, you may be subjected to an extensive prison sentence, substantial monetary fines, a criminal record, and other serious penalties without proper defense.
Discuss Your Case With a Houston Drug Crime Defense Attorney
Whether you’ve been charged with drug possession, drug trafficking, or another drug-related crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. If this is your first drug-related offense, you may be able to obtain a reduction of charges or qualify for a diversion program. Contact our criminal defense lawyer today to learn more about our criminal defense services. We have a proven track record of successfully advocating for our clients in drug crime cases.
Types of Drug Crime Defense Cases We Handle
The criminal defense attorneys at Ceja Law Firm PLLC are well-versed in all federal and state drug crime charges, including those involving cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, ecstasy, and other types of drugs. Our attorneys provide excellent legal advice and trial representation to Texas residents facing the following types of drug crime charges:
- Drug possession
- Intent to sell / intent to deliver
- Manufacturing, sale, trafficking, and distribution of drugs
- Drug crime charges involving proximity to schools and churches
- Drug-related weapons charges
- Civil asset forfeiture
- Driving while under the influence of drugs
- White-collar criminal charges related to money laundering or racketeering
- Federal narcotics charges
- Felony drug charges
- Intent to distribute drugs
- Conspiracy to commit drug crimes
- Prescription drug charges for Adderall, Xanax, Vicodin, etc.
Texas Drug Crime Laws
Texas is notorious for prosecuting a large number of drug-trafficking cases due to its proximity to the Mexico border. The legislature and courts have taken steps to increase the enforcement of and penalties for drug crimes to address the number of illicit drugs coming across the border. In Texas, drug possession is a crime that can result in varying degrees of charges. For example, a person may be charged with a simple misdemeanor for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Alternatively, they could be charged with a complex felony or under federal law, resulting in more serious fines and penalties.
Drug Possession and Use Defense
In many cases, drug possession charges are the least serious drug crime charges. However, it’s important that you don’t take drug possession charges lightly. Prosecutors can charge defendants with class C misdemeanors for possessing small amounts of marijuana to felony drug possession charges for more serious drugs, such as heroin. In drug possession cases, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant had care, custody, and control of the illegal drug.
Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute
Facing a charge of drug possession with the intent to distribute increases the seriousness of any drug-related charge. Multiple factors can lead prosecutors to bring this charge against the defendant. For example, if the defendant stored controlled substances in small packages or had a notebook with schedules and phone numbers of drug clients in his or her home, they may increase the drug possession charges to drug possession with intent to distribute.
Drug Trafficking and Manufacturing
In Texas, drug trafficking occurs when a person knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings a controlled substance or illegal drug into Texas. Under the Texas penal code, a person cannot knowingly or intentionally:
- Possess a list of chemicals with the intent to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance, or
- Possess or distribute a list of chemicals knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it will be used to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance
Texas prosecutors take drug trafficking in manufacturing charges seriously, and drug trafficking charges have one of the highest levels of potential prison time and fines. The maximum incarceration time for drug trafficking charges is 99 years. If you’re charged with a first-degree felony for drug trafficking, you will face 15 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Drug smuggling involves transporting controlled substances into Texas illegally with the intent to possess or distribute the drugs. Drug smuggling is a crime that involves crossing state lines. As a result, it is a federal crime. Defendants charged with the crime of drug smuggling will be subjected to federal sentencing guidelines.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
In Texas, possession of drug paraphernalia is a separate crime. Suppose a police officer finds a suspect with an item that could be used for packaging, processing, or consuming drugs. In that case, prosecutors may bring drug possession charges and additional possession of drug paraphernalia charges, a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. Possession of drug paraphernalia carries a fine of up to $500. However, if the suspect is charged with distribution or possession of paraphernalia with the intent to distribute or sell drugs, the suspect will face a Class A misdemeanor charge.
Marijuana Drug Crimes
Although several states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana in recent years, Texas has not. Possession of marijuana is still a crime in Texas. In most cases, defendants will face misdemeanor charges unless they are in possession of a large quantity of marijuana. In Texas, marijuana possession is defined as possessing any cannabis Sativa plant. Any preparation of the marijuana plant, such as a joint or a package with dried marijuana buds in it, is considered a crime.
The penalties range from 188 days to 99 years in jail, depending on the quantity of marijuana involved. Defendants can also face fines, driver’s license suspension, and other serious penalties. If you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related crime, it’s essential that you take it seriously and reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Contact a Houston Drug Crime Defense Attorney Today
At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we have extensive experience representing clients in DUI, DWI, and drug crime cases. Our attorneys have successfully defended clients in drug crime cases throughout the greater Houston area. If you face drug crime charges in Houston and need a skilled criminal defense attorney, we can help. Contact Ceja Law Firm PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.