Drug Offenses

The punishment for possession of marijuana varies greatly depending on the amount of marijuana that is on your person and the intent of use of the marijuana. Even a paraphernalia conviction can have serious immigration consequences so make sure you understand all the consequences of a plea bargain before signing.

While most drug related offenses are going to be felony offenses, there are still some classifications of substances that are misdemeanors, like Xanex. No matter the offense level, many come with license suspensions and can eliminate your chances of adjusting your status and remaining in the United States. There are pre-trial diversion programs available so contact us to see if you qualify!

Possession of Marijuana/Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

A conviction of possession of drug paraphernalia under Texas law is treated as a Class C misdemeanor so long as there are no factors present that upgrade the crime to a more serious charge. For example, giving or selling such items to a minor can enhance this to felony offense.

  • Class C Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (prosecuted in municipal courts) - punishable by a fine up to $500.

  • Class A Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, and up to a $4,000 fine.

  • State Jail Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a State Jail Facility and up to a $10,000 fine.

Possession of Marijuana

Attitudes about marijuana have been rapidly changing, and although several states have passed laws permitting medical and/or recreational use of marijuana, in Texas, possession of even a small amount of marijuana for personal use can land you in jail and, in some cases, prison. Even marijuana result in some severe immigration consequences, however, there are several options available to help you avoid a conviction and those consequences.

  • Class B Possession of Marijuana < 2 oz – punishable by up to 180 days in county jail, and up to a $2,000 fine.

  • Class A Possession of Marijuana 2 oz > 4 oz – punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, and up to a $4,000 fine.

  • State Jail Felony Possession of Marijuana: 4 oz > 5 lbs – Punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a State Jail Facility and up to a $10,000 fine.

  • 3rd Degree Felony Possession of Marijuana: 5 lbs > 50 lbs – Punishable by 2 to 10 years in TDCJ and up to a $10,000 fine.

  • 2nd Degree Felony Possession of Marijuana: 50 lbs > 2,000 lbs – Punishable by 2 to 20 years in TDCJ and up to a $10,000 fine.

  • 1st Degree Felony Possession of Marijuana: > 2,000 lbs – Punishable by 5 to 99 years (or life) in TDCJ and up to a $10,000 fine.

various-abusive-drugs-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Drug-possession-.jpg

Possession of Controlled Substances

In Texas, a controlled substance can be anything from a medication that is illegal to possess without a valid prescription up to and including typical “street drugs” like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. These offenses can be either felony or misdemeanor offenses based on the “penalty group” of the substance. Simple possession of less than one gram (PG 1 or 2) is a State Jail Felony and is punishable by 6 months to two years in a state jail facility and a fine of $10,000 or less. However, these punishments can go up to 1st degree and beyond, depending on your priors and how much you were in possession of. However, it is possible for simple possession of a PG 3 can be a class a misdemeanor with a range of punishment of up to a year in jail and a fine of less than $4,000.

What is included in the different penalty groups?

  • Penalty group 1: cocaine, mescaline, ketamine, methamphetamine, opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc…), opium derivatives or opiates (like heroin), and some levels of hallucinogens (like LSD).

  • Penalty group 2: Ecstansy (MDMA), PCP, hashish and other cannabinols made from cannabis like those found in edibles or vape pens. Keep in mind that the weight will include any adulterants and dilutants.

  • Penalty group 3: opiates and opiods that are not included in pg1, anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (Xanex), sedatives (Valium), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and other prescription drugs that have a stimulant or depressant effect with the potential for abuse.

  • Penalty group 4: Any opiods or opiates not included in PG1 or 3, and other chemical compounds and prescription medications with the potential for abuse.