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What Is the Difference Between Drug Possession and Delivery in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Midland County criminal defense attorney drug possession

The state of Texas takes drug crimes very seriously, and if you are facing criminal charges related to controlled substances, you may be looking at a lengthy prison sentence, steep fines, and other consequences. In drug cases, the charges and penalties can be different depending on whether you have been accused of simple possession of a controlled substance or whether you allegedly sold, transferred, or distributed drugs to others. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you understand the specific charges you are facing and the best defense strategies that will help you avoid a conviction or minimize your potential consequences.

Drug Possession Versus Drug Delivery

Texas law defines possession as the “actual care, custody, control, or management” of a controlled substance. Typically, possession charges are based on drugs being found in a person’s physical possession or in their home or vehicle. The penalties for possession will depend on the type and amount of drugs. Possession of less than one gram of “hard drugs” like methamphetamines, cocaine, or heroin is a state jail felony, which carries a prison sentence of 180 days to two years. Possession of these drugs in higher amounts can result in more serious felony charges that carry longer jail sentences.

Drug delivery, which is sometimes referred to as drug distribution or drug trafficking, is taken more seriously, and charges can result in steeper penalties. Under Texas law, delivery involves transferring a controlled substance to someone else or offering to sell drugs to someone. In many cases, possession of large amounts of controlled substances may be seen as evidence that a person intends to sell and distribute these drugs. 

As with possession, the penalties for drug delivery will depend on the type and amount of drugs. Delivery of more than one ounce of heroin, cocaine, or other substances included in Penalty Group 1 is a second-degree felony, which carries a jail sentence of 2-20 years in Texas. Delivery of larger amounts will result in higher felony charges with longer potential jail sentences.

In addition to facing charges for drug delivery under state laws, distribution or trafficking of controlled substances may also result in federal charges. Federal agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may become involved in a case if charges involve the trafficking of drugs across state lines or international borders or if a person is accused of violating federal laws. Federal drug charges are often more severe than state-level charges, and a conviction may result in mandatory minimum sentences in federal prison.

Contact a Travis County Drug Crimes Attorney

If you are facing charges of drug possession or drug delivery, Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC can provide the strong legal representation you need. We will help you understand the best approach to take during your defense, including determining whether you can receive probation or other alternative sentencing options. Contact our distinguished Austin, Texas criminal defense lawyers today at 512-474-2222 to set up a free consultation.


Sources:
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.481.htm
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

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