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Texas Penalty Groups

In Texas, controlled substances are categorized by their penalty group. Penalty groups are drug classifications based on the drug’s potential for addiction and medical use. These penalty groups were introduced in the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

The penalties for drug offenses heavily depend on their penalty group. Penalty group 1 drug offenses tend to have harsher consequences than a penalty group 4 crime. Marijuana is an exception to this rule. While cannabis is a penalty group 1 drug, it doesn’t carry the same penalties of other penalty group 1 substances.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, it’s important that you seek trusted legal representation.

Lawyer for Penalty Groups in Travis County, Texas

Have you been arrested for possessing, using or selling a controlled substance? It’ important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can assess what penalty group your case is associated with. They can also collect evidence, file motions and create a strong defense plan.

Don’t look any further than Kevin Bennett. He has years of experience representing people with drug crime allegations in Texas. Kevin Bennett also handles each case personally. Your questions, suggestions and concerns will always be heard and never dismissed.

Contact Kevin Bennett now at (512) 476-4626 for a free consultation. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Austin area including Rollingwood, Lago Vista, Pflugerville and Lakeway.


Overview of Penalty Groups in Texas


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Penalty Groups in Travis County, Texas

Texas uses penalty groups to determine the penalties for a drug crime. Each penalty group is categorized by their medicinal usage and potential for abuse. Texas Penal Code § 481.102 lists the penalty groups for controlled substances set forth by the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

Penalty Group 1 – The drugs found under penalty group 1 have no medicinal purpose and a very high risk of abuse. Penalty group 1 drugs tend to have the highest penalties.

  • Examples include: Methadol, cocaine, oxycodone, methamphetamines, ketamine, heroin, Morphine, Fentanyl, Desmoprhine or “Krokodil”, and types of codeine.

Penalty Group 1-A – This penalty group is reserved for the controlled substance called lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). LSD is known to have little to no medical usage and a high risk of dependency.

Penalty Group 2 and 2-A – Controlled substances for penalty group 2 have a high potential for chemical dependency and some medical use. Penalty group 2-A is reserved solely for synthetic cannabinoids, otherwise known as “spice.”

  • Examples include: MDMA or ecstasy, Mescaline, amphetamine, psilocin (mushrooms), tetrahydrocannabinols other than marijuana.

Penalty Group 3 – Drugs found under penalty group 3 have a mid-level potential of abuse and can be used for medical purposes in some situations. Most substances found under penalty group 3 are generally classified as depressants.

  • Examples include: Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Alprazolam (Xanax), Pentobarbital, peyote, Lorazepam (Ativan), Diazepam (Valium), and anabolic steroids.

Penalty Group 4 – All drugs under penalty group 4 contain small doses of narcotics with other drugs such as codeine in Tylenol. Nearly all controlled substances found under penalty group 4 have a medical purpose and little risk of dependency.


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Penalties for Possessing a Controlled Substance in Texas

The chart below lists the penalties for possessing a controlled substance in Texas.

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 1State Jail FelonyLess than 1 gramUp to 2 years in jailUp to $10,000
 Third-Degree Felony1 gram or more, but less than 4 gramsUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony4 grams or more, but less than 200 gramsUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony200 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony400 grams or moreUp to 99 years or life in prison with minimum of 10 yearsUp to $100,000

 

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 1-AState Jail FelonyLess than 20 unitsUp to 2 years in jailUp to $10,000
 Third-Degree Felony20 or more, but less than 80 unitsUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony80 or more, but less than 4,000 unitsUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony4,000 or more but less than 8,000 unitsUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony8,000 or more unitsUp to 99 years or life in prison with minimum of 15 yearsUp to $250,000

 

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 2State Jail FelonyLess than 1 gramUp to 2 years in jailUp to $10,000
 Third-Degree Felony1 gram or more, but less than 4 gramsUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony4 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony400 or moreUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $50,000

 

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison/Jail  TermMaximum Fine
Group 2-AClass B Misdemeanor2 ounces or lessUp to 180 days in jailUp to $2,000
 Class A Misdemeanor4 ounces or less, but more than two ouncesUp to 1 year in jailUp to $4,000
State Jail Felony5 pounds or less, but more than 4 ouncesUp to 2 years in jailUp to $50,000
Third-Degree Felony50 pounds or less, but more than 5 poundsUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony2,000 pounds or less, but more than 50 poundsUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
 First-Degree FelonyMore than 2,000 poundsUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $50,000

 

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 3Class A MisdemeanorLess than 28 gramsUp to 1 year in jailUp to $4,000
 Third-Degree Felony28 grams or more, but less than 200 gramsUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony200 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony400 grams or moreUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $50,000

 

Penalty GroupSentenceWeight (Grams)Prison TermMaximum Fine
Group 4Class B MisdemeanorLess than 28 gramsUp to 180 days in jailUp to $2,000
 Third-Degree Felony28 grams or more, but less than 200 gramsUp to 10 years in prisonUp to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony200 grams or more, but less than 400 gramsUp to 20 years in prisonUp to $10,000
First-Degree Felony400 grams or moreUp to 99 years or life in prisonUp to $50,000

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The criminal process can be incredibly confusing. Most people are forced to quickly learn legal procedures, so they are prepared in court. If you have a loved one in jail for a drug offense, you may see legal abbreviations. These abbreviations are used to quickly explain the offender’s charges. Understanding these abbreviations is your first step to bailing your loved one out of jail.

Listed below are the legal abbreviations used for possession of a controlled substance.

Penalty Group 1:

POSS CS PG 1 <1G

POSS CS PG 1 >=1G<4G

POSS CS PG 1 >=4G<200G

POSS CS PG 1 >=200G<400G

POSS CS PG 1 >=400G

Penalty Group 1-A:

POSS CS PG 1-A <20IU

POSS CS PG 1-A >=20IU<80IU

POSS CS PG 1-A >=80IU<4,000IU

POSS CS PG 1-A >=4,000IU<8,000IU

POSS CS PG 1-A >=8,000IU

Penalty Group 2:

POSS CS PG 2 <1G

POSS CS PG 2 >=1G<4G

POSS CS PG 2 >=4G<400G

POSS CS PG 2 >=400G

Penalty Group 2A:

POSS CS PG 2-A <2OZ

POSS CS PG 2-A >=2OZ<4OZ

POSS CS PG 2-A >=4OZ<5LB

POSS CS PG 2-A >=5LB<50LB

POSS CS PG 2-A >=2,000LB

Penalty Group 3:

POSS CS PG 3 <28G

POSS CS PG 3 >=28G<200G

POSS CS PG 3 >=200G<400G

POSS CS PG 3 >=400G

Penalty Group 4:

POSS CS PG 4 <1G

POSS CS PG 4 >=1G<4G

POSS CS PG 4 >=4G<200G

POSS CS PG 4 >=200G<400G

POSS CS PG >=400G

Listed below are the legal abbreviations used for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.

Penalty Group 1:

MAN DEL CS PG 1 <1G

MAN DEL CS PG 1 >=1G<4G

MAN DEL CS PG 1 >=4G<200G

MAN DEL CS PG 1 >=200G<400G

MAN DEL CS PG 1 >=400G

Penalty Group 1-A:

MAN DEL CS PG 1-A <20IU

MAN DEL CS PG 1-A >=20IU<80iU

MAN DEL CS PG 1-A >=80IU<4,000IU

MAN DEL CS PG 1-A >=4,000G

Penalty Group 2 or 2-A:

MAN DEL CS PG 2/2-A <1G

MAN DEL CS PG 2/2-A >=1G<4G

MAN DEL CS PG 2/2-A >=4G<400G

MAN DEL CS PG 2/2-A >=400G

Penalty Group 3 or 4:

MAN DEL CS PG 3/4 <28G

MAN DEL CS PG 3/4 >=28G<200G

MAN DEL CS PG 3/4 >=200G<400G

MAN DEL CS PG 3/4 >=400G

If the drug found on you isn’t in a penalty group, you may see an abbreviation similar to this: POSS CS NOT IN PG.


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Additional Resources

Texas Drug Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Health and Safety Code to learn more about penalty groups. Access the statute to find more information about drug possession, drug trafficking and other related offenses in Texas.

Drug Scheduling – Federal laws classify drugs into schedules rather than penalty groups. Visit the official website of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to learn more about drug schedules. Access the site to learn the drugs listed under each penalty group, facts about controlled substances and the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).


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Lawyer for Penalty Groups in Austin, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug offense, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Find that attorney today with Kevin Bennett. He has years of knowledge defending people accused of drug offenses in the Travis County area.

Start your defense plan today. Contact Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Austin area including Rollingwood, Pflugerville, Bee Cave, Lago Vista and Manor.


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