Drug possession charges are serious in Texas, and prosecutors advocate strongly to convict a defendant. The penalties for drug possession depend on several factors, including the penalty group of the drug involved. There are four different penalty groups in Texas. The most dangerous and addictive drugs are in penalty group 1, and the least harmful drugs are in penalty group 4. Penalty group 1-A includes LSD and hallucinogenic salts.
Discuss Your Charges With a Drug Possession Lawyer
Have you or your loved one been charged with possession of a drug in penalty group 1-A? If so, you’re facing a significant prison sentence, fines, and a criminal record. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Ceja Law Firm PLLC have a proven track record of successfully defending clients against drug possession charges. Contact our Houston law firm today to discuss your case with an experienced defense lawyer.
Measuring the Quantity of Penalty Group 1-A Substances
Texas lawmakers carved out a unique drug penalty group for LSD and salts. Penalty group 1-A includes LSD and any isomers, salt, or salts of isomers involved in making LSD. Measuring the quantity of LSD involves a different process than measuring the quantity of other controlled substances. Specifically, the Texas Controlled Substances Act defines the “amount” of LSD by units rather than ounces, grams, or pounds. Typically one unit of LSD refers to one use of LSD or one square of LSD.
Drugs Included in Penalty Group 1-A
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), including its isomers, salts, and salts of isomers, are considered illegal substances in penalty group 1-A in Texas. Penalty group 1-A also includes compounds structurally derived from 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine by substitution at the 1-amino nitrogen atom with a benzyl substituent. These unlawful compounds can be modified by:
- substitution in the phenethylamine ring at the 4-position to any extent (including alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy, haloalkyl, or halide substituents); or
- substitution in the benzyl ring to any extent (including alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy, haloalkyl, or halide substituents);
The Texas Controlled Substances Act sets forth multiple specific chemical compounds that meet these guidelines, including, but not limited to:
- 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxy-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)phenethylamine (trade or other names: 25B-NBOMe, 2C-B-NBOMe)
- 4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxy-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)phenethylamine (trade or other names: 25C-NBOMe, 2C-C-NBOMe)
- 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methyl-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)phenethylamine (trade or other names: 25D-NBOMe, 2C-D-NBOMe)
Penalties for Drug Possession of 1-A Controlled Substances
The penalties for possession of a drug in penalty group 1-A depend on the quantity of the substance. Generally, 1 unit of a 1-A controlled substance equals one square of LSD or a similar substance. The Texas Controlled Substances Act imposes the following penalties for possession of a group 1-A controlled substance:
- Fewer than 20 units: possession of this quantity is a state jail felony that carries a penalty of 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000
- 20 to 80 units: possession of this quantity is a third-degree felony that carries two to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- 80-4,000 units: possession of this quantity is a second-degree felony that carries a penalty between five and 99 years, or a life sentence in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- 4,000-8,000 units: possession of this quantity is a first-degree felony that carries a prison sentence between 15 and 99 years, or a life sentence in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Over 8,000 units: possession of this quantity is classified as an enhanced felony 1 that carries a prison sentence between 15 and 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $250,000
Federal or State Drug Charges
Many drug crimes within individual states are prosecuted as state-level drug crimes. However, there are a few circumstances in which that isn’t the case. You may be facing federal drug charges if the controlled substance in question crossed a state or national border or if the crime involved any type of criminal organization or gang activity. Additionally, if the state of Texas decides to prosecute you in federal court, federal sentencing guidelines and laws will apply to your case.
Defenses Against Penalty Group 1-A Drug Charges
As mentioned above, the Texas Controlled Substances Act uses a different method to measure LSD and other illegal drugs in penalty group 1-A. Prosecutors must prove that the defendant was in actual or constructive possession of the required amount of the drug. Depending on the facts in your case, you may be able to contend that the laboratory examining the drugs allegedly in your possession did so inaccurately. Perhaps they failed to obtain the correct weight or units of the drug. They could have incorrectly examined the chemical components of the drug you allegedly had in your possession.
In other cases, you may be able to contend that the law enforcement officers who discovered the drug violated your constitutional rights. Law enforcement officers must have a reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver, and they must have probable cause to believe the driver committed a crime to search their vehicle. Likewise, police officers must have a valid warrant before searching a suspect’s home, in most cases. When a law enforcement officer violates your rights, your lawyer can request that the court toss out the evidence they gathered against you.
Consult with a Drug Possession Lawyer in Houston Today
Have you been charged with drug possession in Texas? If so, your freedom and future are at risk. There are steep penalties associated with drug possession charges for controlled substances in penalty group 1-A. You need a criminal defense lawyer who will provide you with a strong legal defense. The sooner you discuss your case with a lawyer, the better. Contact Ceja Law Firm PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how we can advocate for the best outcome possible in your case.