(512) 476-4626

Felony and Misdemeanor Drug Charges

Illegal Drugs charges

If you are found possessing illegal drugs you can face very serious criminal charges. The severity of the charge depends on the drug possessed, the quantity of the drugs possessed, the presence of aggravating factors, and the defendant’s past criminal history.

If you are charged with a drug crime in Austin or the surrounding areas in Travis County, Texas, then contact Kevin Bennett to discuss your case. He fights cases involving the possession, possession with intent to distribute, sale, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances.

The Texas Health and Safety Code divides drugs into 5 penalty groups.

Penalty Group

Drug

1

Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, GHB, ketamine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

1A

LSD

2

Ecstasy (MMDA/Molly), PCP, mescaline, (resinous extractives of Cannabis, not Marijuana)

3

Valium, Xanax, Ritalin

4

Dionine, Motofen, Buprenorphine or Pyrovalerone

 

In the chart below you will find the penalties and charges for specific penalty groups based on the amount of the substance possessed for each penalty group.
Penalty Group 1

AMOUNT

CLASSIFICATIONPENALTY
Less than one gramState jail felony180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
1 gram or more, less than 4 gramsThird-degree felony2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
4 grams or more, but less than 200 gramsSecond-degree felony2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
200 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsFirst-degree felony5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
400 grams or moreEnhanced first-degree felony10 to 99 years and a fine of not more than $100,000

Penalty Group 1A

AMOUNT

CLASSIFICATION

PENALTY

Fewer than 20 unitsState jail felony180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
20 or more units, but less than 80 unitsThird-degree felony2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
80 units or more, but less than 4,000 unitsSecond-degree felony2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
4,000 units or more, but less than 8,000 unitsFirst-degree felony5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
8,000 units or moreEnhanced first-degree felony15 to 99 years in a state prison and a fine of not more than $250,000

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Penalty Group 2

AMOUNT

CLASSIFICATION

PENALTY

Less than one gramState jail felony180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
1 gram or more, less than 4 gramsThird-degree felony2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
4 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsSecond-degree felony2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 400 gramsEnhanced First-degree felony5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $50,000

Penalty Group 3 & 4

AMOUNT

CLASSIFICATION

PENALTY

28 grams or lessClass A misdemeanorNo more than 1 year in a county jail and/or a fine $4,000 or less
More than 28 grams, but less than 200 gramsThird-degree felony2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 200 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsSecond-degree felony2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 400 gramsEnhanced First-degree felony5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $50,000

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Marijuana Possession

Texas law provides for a separate sentencing scheme for marijuana crimes. The chart below describes the penalties for possessing cannabis in Texas.

AMOUNT

CLASSIFICATION

PENALTY

2 ounces or lessClass B misdemeanorNot more than 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $2,000
More than 2 ounces, but less than 4 ouncesClass A misdemeanorNot more than 1 year in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $4,000
More than 4 ounces, but less than 5 poundsState jail felony180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 5 pounds, but less than 50 poundsThird-degree felony2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 50 pounds, but less than 2,000Second-degree felony2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
More than 2,000 poundsEnhanced first-degree felony5 to 99 years and a fine of not more than $50,000

If you are a first-time offender charged with possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana, you may be eligible for admittance into a pretrial diversion program. Upon completion of the terms set forth including community service, drug treatment and negative drug test, the state will drop charges against you. After charges are dropped you can petition for an expunction. This will remove the charge from your criminal record.

If you are charged with intent to distribute drugs, your penalties will be higher since that is an aggravating factor. Typically the charge goes up one penalty group. For example, if the amount of drug one possess’ is under the misdemeanor B range, and they were in a school zone, the penalties will correlate with those for a misdemeanor A.


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Drug Paraphernalia

If you are caught possessing a drug you may find yourself facing drug paraphernalia charges as well. Under section 481.002 (17) of the Texas Controlled Substances Act, drug paraphernalia includes equipment, products, or materials that are used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, or concealing a controlled substance.

Examples of Drug Paraphernalia

The most common examples of drug paraphernalia crimes in Texas involve one of the following items:

  • Kits used for planting and growing illegal controlled substances.
  • Grinders/sifters for breaking down and separating drugs
  • Baggies to sell drugs in
  • Materials and mixtures used or intended for use in manufacturing, producing, converting, and preparing controlled substances
  • Mixing devices
  • Pipes
  • Needles

Finding an Attorney for Drug Crimes in Travis County, TX

If you are facing criminal drug charges in Austin or Travis County, Texas, then contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626 today for a free consultation. Kevin Bennett is experienced in fighting drug cases throughout the area. He often represents college students at the University of Texas after a charge of possession of marijuana or another controlled substance.

In many of these cases he will file and litigate motions to suppress evidence illegally seized without a warrant and motions to dismissed for insufficient evidence, especially in constructive possession cases.

With an experienced lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that Kevin Bennett will work hard to resolve all aspects of your case.

This page was last updated on November 23, 2016. 

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The Law Office of Kevin Bennett