Galveston Drug Charge Defense
Texas continues to wage an aggressive War on Drugs, and anyone caught possessing or distributing banned substances faces serious consequences. At Tad Nelson & Associates, we can defend you from the full array of drug charges in state or federal court. Our team is experienced at raising various defenses to these charges, and we will do everything we can to reduce your charges or get them dismissed altogether. Contact our Galveston drug crimes lawyer today for more information.
Drug Penalty Groups
Texas classifies drugs by penalty group. The penalty group is a major factor in what type of sentence you will face if convicted. Drugs in the highest penalty groups are the most dangerous because they carry a serious risk of addiction with little or no corresponding medical value.
Texas has six penalty groups. Here are some of the most common drugs in each group:
- PG1: Methamphetamine, codeine, heroin, oxycodone, cocaine
- P1A-G: LSD
- PG2: Mescaline, PCP, ecstasy, and other hallucinogenic substances
- PG2-A: Compounds that mimic cannabinoids
- PG3: Anabolic steroids, Valium, Ritalin, and other prescription depressants or stimulants
- PG4: Most prescription medications
Generally, PG1 has the harshest penalties, while PG4 has the least serious penalties.
Texas Still Criminalizes Marijuana
Some states are decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use. Texas is not one of these states. Although the state recently passed a medical marijuana law, other people can face time in jail and monetary fines when using the drug for non-approved, non-medical reasons.
Possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor which can send you to jail for a maximum of 180 days and net you a $2,000 fine. Possession of more marijuana can send you to prison for years. The possession of 6 pounds of marijuana could result in a third-degree felony charge, which could send you to prison for 2-10 years.
Tad Nelson Defends Against Many Drug Offenses
Please contact our firm to speak with our Galveston drug crimes lawyer if you are facing any drug-related crime, including:
- Drug possession
- Drug possession with intent to deliver
- Drug manufacture
- Drug cultivation
- Trafficking or sale
- Illegal sale of a controlled substance
- Using the telephone to facilitate a drug sale
- Using a weapon during a trafficking offense
Penalties for Drug Distribution
The penalty you face will depend on the charges, the scheduled drug, and any aggravating factors, like selling near a school zone or with a child present. Consult an attorney to pin down the maximum penalties that a judge could impose.
A conviction for manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with the intent to deliver any substance in Penalty Group 1, such as heroin or cocaine, is very serious. A tiny amount (under a gram) is nonetheless a state jail felony, which could send you behind bars for a maximum of two years.
The more of the drug you distribute, the more severe the penalties. For example, you can face a first-degree felony charge for 4-200 grams of a Penalty Group 1 drug. That means life or 5-99 years, along with steep fines.
If a child was present, then penalties can be increased by one degree. So a second-degree felony could get bumped to a first-degree felony.
Penalties for Drug Possession
The penalties range from a Class B misdemeanor for possessing under 28 grams of a Penalty Group 4 drug, all the way up to life in prison for possession of more than 400 grams of the same drug.
Possession of a drug in a higher penalty group carries more serious penalties. Less than one gram of a Penalty Group 1 is a state jail felony, which can result in a maximum of two years in state prison.
Can You Defend Against Drug Charges?
As soon as you are arrested, you should quickly reach out to our law firm. It is possible to raise certain defenses, but we need time to review all the facts of your case. It makes no sense to raise certain defenses if there is no evidence supporting our claim.
We have had success with certain defenses, including:
- Illegal search or seizure. The police must follow the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches. Generally, police need reasonable suspicion to stop you and probable cause to search you or your possessions. If they didn’t, we will ask a judge to suppress any drugs or other evidence the police find.
- Lack of possession or knowledge of possession. Police might have found drugs in your jacket pocket, but you might have borrowed the jacket from a friend. If you didn’t possess drugs, or didn’t know about them, you can’t be convicted of possession.
- Mistaken identity. Someone else could have sold or possessed the drugs, not you. The prosecutor needs proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a drug crime.
- Valid prescription. You might have had a valid prescription to possess and use the drugs in your possession. Police might charge you because you don’t have your written prescription on you.
- Entrapment. Essentially, entrapment means that you only bought or sold drugs because the police induced you to. Entrapment is more than giving you the opportunity to buy or sell drugs. It is an affirmative defense when the police overwhelm your ability to make your own decision.
- Absence of aggravating factors. Penalties will usually increase if certain aggravating factors are present, like selling near a school. You can reduce the charges you face by challenging whether there is proof of the aggravating factor. Although this isn’t an acquittal, it is one way to reduce any penalties.
The right defense will depend on your case. We can raise one or more defenses, including alibi defenses if you were not involved in the drug bust at all.
Speak with a Galveston Drug Crimes Lawyer
Facing drug charges is scary. For making one mistake, you might be facing a decade or more in jail. Instead of waiting for the criminal process to play out, please contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today. We offer a vigorous defense for anyone facing charges involving marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin, meth, ecstasy, and prescription drugs.
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*The Texas Board of Legal Specialization certifies attorneys in 20 specific areas of law; certification in any of these areas requires substantial demonstrated experience and skill, positive peer evaluations, ongoing legal education commitments, and the passage of a rigorous test.
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