State Jail Felony Drug Charges
Texas has stringent laws for drug trafficking and possession. Selling or possessing even the smallest amount of certain controlled substances can result in a state jail felony. If you’re convicted, you could face up to 24 months in state jail and a $10,000 fine.
Handling drug charges can be overwhelming and stressful. However, a felony conviction can lead to even more grief. You could struggle with the label of “felon” after your release. Felons have issues gaining employment, housing and maintaining personal relationships.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a state jail felony drug charge, it’s important that you seek trusted legal representation.
Attorney for State Jail Felony Drug Charges in Austin, Texas
Have you been charged with possessing or selling a controlled substance? If so, then you must find legal representation now. Possessing even the smallest amount of controlled substances can result in a state jail felony. This means you could face jail time for up to two years.
Don’t make any further decisions without the guidance of Kevin Bennett. Kevin Bennett is a skilled attorney with a love for criminal defense. He takes the time to handle each case personally. Kevin Bennett vows to always answer your questions and work tirelessly for the best possible result for your case.
Call today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents people accused of drug crimes throughout the greater Travis County area including Sunset Valley, Pflugerville, Del Valle, Austin and Lakeway.
Overview of State Jail Felony Charges
- Penalties for a State Jail Felony
- Penalty Groups in Texas
- State Jail Felony Drug Charges
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Delivery or Manufacture of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Additional Resources
Penalties for a State Jail Felony
Texas separates felonies into different degrees based on the seriousness of the crime. However, state jail felonies are a bit of an exception. State jail felony charges can only result in state jail time with the felony label. Other felony offenses include prison time in their penalties.
However, this doesn’t mean you should take a state jail felony charge lightly. You still face the same hefty fine as any felony charge. In addition, you may face conflict with the label of “felon” on release. Many felons have issues with employment, receiving loans, or applying for a home.
A state jail felony is punishable by:
- Minimum jail sentence of up to 180 days;
- Maximum jail sentence of up to 24 months; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Penalty Groups in Travis County, Texas
The legal consequences for drug offenses depend on the drug’s penalty group. Texas has five penalty groups that separate controlled substances based on their potential for abuse and medicinal use. Listed below are the different penalty groups found in the Texas Controlled Substance Act.
- Penalty Group 4 – Controlled substances found in penalty group 4 are safe to consume with a low potential of abuse. Some drugs under penalty group 4 can be used for a medicinal purpose. A few examples of a penalty group 4 drug include compounds containing limited quantities of codeine, diphenoxylate, and ethlymorphine.
- Penalty Group 3 – The drugs in penalty group 3 can be used in a medical setting and has a low addictive quality. Some controlled substances listed under penalty group 3 include Barbital, Alprazolam and Tramadol.
- Penalty Group 2 & 2A – The controlled substances listed under penalty group 2 have a much higher risk of addiction. They also don’t serve a medical purpose. A few examples of penalty group 2 drugs include MDMA, mescaline, phenylacetone, and amphetamine. Penalty group 2A is reserved for synthetic cannabinoids, which is commonly referred to as spice.
- Penalty Group 1A -Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) has its own penalty group. LSD has a very high rate of addiction and can cause lasting side effects after use. It also serves no purpose in the medical field.
- Penalty Group 1 – All drugs found under penalty group 1 have a high risk of chemical dependency. None of the drugs listed under penalty group 1 have a medical purpose. Some examples of a penalty group 1 drug include ketamine, methadone, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine.
State Jail Felony Drug Charges in Travis County, Texas
Possessing a controlled substance is illegal in the state of Texas. The penalties for possession depend on the amount of the drug found and their penalty group. Texas Penal Code § 481 lists the penalties if you’re convicted for possessing or selling a controlled substance.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
It’s unlawful to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. Actual possession is when a person has the drugs on their body. For example, their purse, pocket or in their hand. Constructive possession is when you are deemed to have total control and authority of where the drug was found. For example, if illegal drugs were found in a locked box and you had the key, then you would be in constructive possession.
The penalties for possession rely on the quantity of drugs found and their penalty group. Possessing even trace amounts of a controlled substance can result in a state jail felony charge.
Listed below are the state jail felony charges for possessing a controlled substance.
- Penalty Group 1 – Less than one gram;
- Penalty Group 1-A – Less than 20 units of LSD;
- Penalty Group 2 – Less than one gram; and
- Penalty Group 2-A – Five pounds or less, but more than four ounces.
Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance
Texas has harsh laws for people who sell or manufacture drugs. This includes if you possess drugs with the intent to sell it eventually. It’s common for law enforcement to charge you with possession with the intent to sell if there’s a large quantity of controlled substances found.
The legal consequences for delivering or manufacturing drugs heavily depend on the penalty group and the amount of drugs seized. Listed below are the state jail felony charges for delivering, manufacturing or possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell.
- Penalty Group 1 – Less than one gram;
- Penalty Group 1A – Less than 20 units of LSD;
- Penalty Group 2 or 2A – Less than one gram; and
- Penalty Group 3 or 4 – Less than 28 grams.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
You can also be criminally charged for possessing drug paraphernalia. The term “drug paraphernalia” refers to anything used to produce, prepare, consume, conceal or store controlled substances. Some examples of drug paraphernalia include pipes, scales and plastic baggies used to store drugs.
Simply possessing drug paraphernalia is a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine. However, your charges can be enhanced to a state jail felony if you’re over the age of 18 and sell drug paraphernalia to a minor.
Texas Drug Laws – Visit the official website for Texas state laws and legislation to gain access to their drug laws. Access the statutes to learn more about drug offenses, possible enhancements and admissible defenses that can be used in court.
Federal Drug Schedules – Did you know that there are federal drug penalty groups that are referred to as drug schedules? Visit the official website for the Drug Enforcement Administration to learn more about federal drug schedules, the controlled substances found under each category and how they classify their schedules.
Lawyer for State Jail Felony Drug Charges in Travis County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with a state jail felony drug charge, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The longer you wait to gain legal representation the less time you have to plan your defense. Don’t hesitate for another moment. Contact Kevin Bennett to speak to an experienced attorney today.
Kevin Bennett is a criminal defense attorney in the Travis County area. He is a lifelong Austin resident who has a passion for defending others. In addition, he has years of experience that are valuable to formulating a strong defense. Call today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Austin area including Rollingwood, Sunset Valley, Lago Vista and Lakeway.