What You Need to Know if You’re Facing First-Time Drug Possession Charges in Texas

What You Need to Know if You’re Facing First-Time Drug Possession Charges in Texas

If you or a loved one are facing first-time drug possession charges in Texas you’re likely wondering how severe drug possession penalties in Texas really are, and what options you have. Texas courts are tough on all drug charges — even first-time possession charges. If you have a good attorney, however, the courts will sometimes lighten certain charges for first-timers through alternate sentencing programs.

If you are facing a drug possession charge, contact an attorney that you can trust immediately. Javier Guzman of Guzman Law Firm, an experienced and relentless Laredo criminal defense attorney, is here to give you the facts about facing first-time drug possession charges in Texas.

Types of drug possession charges in Texas

You’re likely asking yourself “Do first-time drug offenders go to jail in Texas?”, or “What is the mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession in Texas?” The answer to both of these questions depends on the type of drug possession charge you are facing. 

Possession of drug paraphernalia

It is illegal to possess drug paraphernalia, or equipment designed and used for drug use. First-time offenders that find themselves facing a possession of drug paraphernalia charge can expect a Class C Misdemeanor. Items that can be considered drug paraphernalia include but are not limited to:

  • Pipes, bongs, or vaporizers
  • Scales
  • Plastic bags
  • Grinders
  • Syringes
  • Equipment for warming intravenous drugs (beakers)
  • Rolling papers
  • Glass, rubber, or paper tubes for snorting powdered drugs

Although individual paraphernalia charges are the least serious of the drug-related charges, ranging from a Class C to Class A misdemeanor, they rarely come alone. Paraphernalia charges are usually accompanied by other charges, whether they be drug charges or being arrested for DWI, that carry much more serious consequences. Additionally, certain pieces of paraphernalia like baggies or scales can contribute to upgraded charges and allegations of intent to distribute. 

Possession of a controlled substance

Possession of a controlled substance is the most common type of drug possession charge, which varies severely based on how much of the substance is allegedly possessed, and what “schedule” said substance is. Federal law categorizes all controlled substances into drug penalty groups called schedules. These schedule groups are as such:

Schedule I

  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Mushrooms
  • LSD
  • Marijuana

Schedule II

  • Cocaine
  • Opium
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin)

Schedule III

  • Ketamine
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Combination products with less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine)

Schedule IV

  • Xanax
  • Valium

Schedule V

  • Cough medicine containing codeine 

Please note that these are just the more common substances and that the Texas schedules of controlled substances contain hundreds of illegal substances that are not commonly found during arrests, including lists of prescription drugs and research chemicals.

Distribution of a controlled substance

Distribution of a controlled substance is a type of drug dealing charge, essentially. Money does not have to exchange hands in order for someone to be charged with distribution, and the charge will vary greatly depending on the schedule and amount of substance. This charge is always a felony. 

Possession with intent to manufacture

Intent to manufacture is another type of drug dealing charge that comes with even steeper consequences than distribution. If you are caught with a drug in the process of being manufactured or distributed from the manufacturer then you will be charged with intent to manufacture. This charge also varies based on the schedule and amount of the substance and is also always a felony. 

Whether you are facing paraphernalia or manufacturing charges you need the right lawyer by your side. Wondering how to choose the right attorney? Find someone with experience, who you can trust. Javier Guzman knows how to fight drug charges, and is the ONLY ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist practicing in Laredo, TX.

Drug possession penalties in Texas

You won’t really know what penalties you could be facing without the specifics of the charge, but these classifications generally come with these penalties.

Class C MisdemeanorUp to $500Community service
Class B MisdemeanorUp to $2,000Up to 180 days
Class A MisdemeanorUp to $4,000Up to 1 year (county)
State Jail FelonyUp to $10,0006 months – 2 years (state jail facility)
3rd Degree FelonyUp to $10,0002 – 10 years (state prison)
2nd Degree FelonyUp to $10,0002 – 20 years (state prison)
1st Degree Felony$50,000 to $250,0005 – 99 years or 15 – 99 years (state prison)

Texas courts won’t go easy on you just because it’s your first-time possession charge, much like they won’t go easy on you for your first DWI in Texas. If this is your first offense, you need an experienced lawyer  to give yourself a chance at freedom. 

Facing first-time drug possession charges in Texas? Call Javier Guzman for relentless representation

If you’re facing first-time drug possession charges in Texas there is only one thing to do, and that is finding a qualified attorney that you can trust. Do not attempt to navigate the process without an attorney, as a lot of important decisions, that determine the options for your entire care, are made early on. 

Javier Guzman of Guzman Law Firm is a trustworthy and relentless defense attorney in Laredo, TX, who is as passionate about justice and the wellbeing of his clients. Protect your freedom, give Guzman Law Firm a call today at 956-333-3977, or schedule a consultation online.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.