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Fort Worth Texas Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
As a resident of Texas, it is paramount that you understand the very strict laws here when it comes to drug trafficking. In most cases, offenders will face fines, probation, and possible state prison sentences. If you are charged with distributing drugs in Texas, call a drug trafficking defense attorney right away so that they can begin building your defense to protect your freedom and future. Drug trafficking convictions carry some of the heftiest sentences and fines in the State. Unlike getting charged with possession of a small quantity of drugs, drug distribution charges for trafficking could lead to an extended prison sentence if convicted.
Most of the violations regarding charges for drug trafficking and drug distribution come under the Texas Penal Code, the Texas Controlled Substances Act, and the Health and Safety Code. This guide seeks to serve you with an easily understandable outline of what you need to know about all the offenses associated with drug trafficking charges in Texas. However, this should only act as a guideline, as the drug distribution laws in Texas are subject to change from time to time. In addition, various parts and acts of these laws are used in different ways, depending on the circumstances of a case, and the judge presiding over it. For these reasons, it is crucial that you retain an experienced drug trafficking lawyer that is knowledgeable about the current drug trafficking laws in Texas.
If you or a loved one is incarcerated at a Tarrant County jail for drug distribution or trafficking charges, call our office 24 hours a day to have our bail bondsman get you bonded out.
Texas Controlled Substances Act
The Texas Controlled Substances Act defines ‘distributing’ as the act of delivering a controlled substance, other than by administering or dispensing. This means that in Texas, an act of delivery is treated as an act of selling drugs, even if there is no money exchanged at the time of delivery.
Texas Drug Trafficking Penalties
The state of Texas enforces very harsh penalties for anyone convicted of drug trafficking or drug distribution. There are maximum and minimum sentences, dependent on a variety of reasons. The most common reasons include the amount of drugs involved, the type of drug, and the surrounding aggravating circumstances. For example, the sentence will be harsher if an individual under 18 years of age was involved in receiving drugs, or other crimes were committed while the transaction was taking place, such as possession of a firearm. Some of the most common Texas drug trafficking laws and penalties are as follows:
- Manufacturing or delivery of controlled substances- A conviction of this charge attracts a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a jail term of up to 99 years. The minimum jail term here is 180 days.
- Possession of controlled substances- This also attracts a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a jail term of up to 99 years; with 180 being the minimum jail term days.
- Possession of marijuana- A fine of up to $250,000 may be given, and/or a jail term of up to 99 years; with 180 being the minimum jail term days.
- Delivery of marijuana- This attracts a fine of up to $100,000, and/or a jail term of up to 99 years; with 180 being the minimum jail term days.
- Possession of drugs under federal law- Possession of drugs attracts a fine of up to $5,000, as well as any investigation costs incurred, and/or a jail term of up to 20 years.
- Manufacturing, dispensing, and distributing drugs under federal law- This attracts a fine of up to $ 8,000,000. You can also face life imprisonment, although there is a likelihood of parole.
- The distribution of drugs to individuals under 21 years of age- This attracts two to three times the penalties given under the federal law.
Drug Penalty Groups
Texas classifies illegal drugs into 6 Penalty Groups. Below is a table of the most commonly trafficked drugs, the penalty group that they fall into, and the penalties based on the amounts of said drug. Feel free to download it, share it, or save it.
There are five illegal drug penalty group classifications in Texas, then marijuana charges have their own group. These penalty groups include:
- Penalty Group 1. Drugs here include heroin, cocaine, ketamine, oxycodone, methamphetamine, hydrocodone and GHB.
- Penalty Group 1A. LSD, that is, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.
- Penalty Group 2. Ecstasy, Mescaline, Marinol, and PCP.
- Penalty Group 3. Valium, Ritalin, and Xanax.
- Penalty Group 4. Compounds that contain Morphine, Motofen, Pyrovalerone or Buprenorphine.
The health code defines Marijuana as any Cannabis sativa plant whether in growing or not. Therefore, this includes the seeds of the plant as well as any preparation of the plant such as a joint or package with dried or shredded buds.
The punishments for weight or amounts of drugs in the above five penalty groups are;
1. For drug penalty group 1;
- Less than 1 gram = State jail felony = penalty is 180 days to 2 years’ jail imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10,000.
- 1 gram to 4grams = Second degree felony = 2 to 20 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $ 10, 000.
- 4 grams to20 grams = First degree felony = 5 to 99 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10,000.
- 200 grams to 400 grams = Enhanced first degree felony = 10 to 99 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $100,000.
- 400 grams or more = Enhanced first degree felony = 15 to 99 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
2. For drug penalty 1A;
- Less than 20 units = State jail felony = 180 days to 2 years’ state imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10, 000.
- 20 to 80 units = Second degree felony = 2 to 20 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10, 000.
- 80 to 4, 000 units = First degree felony = 5 to 99 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10,000.
- 4,000 units or more = Enhanced first degree felony = 15 to 99 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
3. Drug penalty group 2;
- Less than 1 gram = State jail felony = 180 days to 2 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10, 000.
- 1 gram to 4 grams = Second degree felony = 2 to 20 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10, 000.
- 4 to 400 grams =First degree felony = 5 to 99 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10,000.
- 400 grams or more = 10 to 99 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.
4. Drug penalty group 3 and 4;
- Less than 28 grams = Class A misdemeanor = Less than 1 year in county jail or a fine of up to $4,000.
- 28 to 200 grams = Second degree felony =2 to 20 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10, 000.
- 200 to 400 grams = First degree felony = 5 to 99 years’ imprisonment and or a fine of up to $10,000.
- 400 grams or more = Enhanced first degree felony = 10 to 99 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Usable amount less than 2 ounces = Class B misdemeanor
- Between 2 to 4 ounces = Class A misdemeanor
- 4 ounces to 5 pounds = State jail felony
- 5 lbs. to 50 lbs. = Third degree felony
- 50 lbs. to 2,000 lbs. = Second degree felony
- Over 2, 000 lbs. = First degree felony
Contact a Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Fort Worth
Charged with trafficking drugs in north Texas? As you can see, the consequences of a conviction for these charges are extremely severe. The “war on drugs” fills prisons over capacity across Texas. If you or a loved one is facing distribution allegations, call a drug trafficking lawyer right away. Contact The Hampton Law Firm to schedule a free consultation at 817-435-2909 or fill out a contact form online to request an appointment. Jeff Hampton will sit down with you to discuss the details of your case and start building your defense.
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