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DRUG CHARGES IN TEXAS

Are you or someone you care about facing criminal charges for the possession, distribution, or manufacture of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marihuana or other illegally obtained substances such pain pills? If so, you or your friend, relative, or loved one, is facing the possibility of being fined thousands of dollars and incarcerated in a local jail for up to a year, or, much worse, prison for anywhere from 2 years up to 99 years or life.

Law enforcement in Texas is tough on crime, and even tougher on the "war on drugs." Your driver's license, reputation, career, and freedom are on the line. With so much to lose, you want an attorney who understands what you are going through, and who has the specialized knowledge to successfully handle drug cases.

Since Texas and the United States government declared a war on drugs, and built new prisons to house drug offenders, law enforcement and prosecutors have zealously and sometimes ferociously gone after drug-related crimes. As a result, it is not uncommon for drug possession and distribution allegations to involve informants who lie, invalid search and arrest warrants, crime lab mistakes, discrepancies between the arresting officer and the crime lab in the type of substance and/or its weight, and weak or no "affirmative links" of an accused to the drugs.

To get the best outcome for you on a drug charge, a lawyer must know the complex law surrounding drug crimes. The stakes are high in these cases, and there is no substitute for the experience and skill of a qualified drug crime lawyer. Contact JD Slaughter today at 512-808-0280 to arrange a free initial consultation.

CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

WHAT IS A "CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE?"

Any illicit drug or prescription medication for which the manufacture, possession, or use is regulated by the state or federal government is referred to as a controlled substance. Both federal and state law classify controlled substances into different "schedules" or "penalty groups."

The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places all substances which were in some manner regulated under existing federal law into one of five schedules. This placement is based upon the substance's medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability. See, Title 21 United States Code, chapter 13 §801 et seq.. The CSA defines a controlled substance as "a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of this subchapter. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986."

The Texas Controlled Substances Act, found in Texas Health & Safety Code § 481.001 et seq., organizes controlled substances in Texas into "penalty groups," broken down according to the substance's potential for abuse, addiction, or medical use. It defines a controlled substance as "a substance, including a drug, an adulterant, and a dilutant listed in Schedules I through V or Penalty Group 1, 1-A, 2, 2-A, 3, or 4. The term includes the aggregate weight of any mixture, solution, or other substance containing a controlled substance."

DRUGS, SCHEDULES AND PENALTY GROUPS?

Controlled substances are placed into five schedules under the federal CSA. Common examples include:

  • Schedule I - Heroin, LSD, marijuana (cannabis), Ecstasy/MDMA/Molly, methaqualone, and peyote;
  • Schedule II - Includes combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin;
  • Schedule III - Includes products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone;
  • Schedule IV - Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and Tramadol; and,
  • Schedule V - Includes cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.

The Texas Controlled Substance Act has six different classifications referred to as Penalty Groups. Common examples include:

  • Penalty Group 1 - Oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine;
  • Penalty Group 1-A - Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and its analogs;
  • Penalty Group 2 - Phencyclidine (PCP) and 3,4-methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly);
  • Penalty Group 2-A - Includes materials, compounds, mixtures, or preparations that contains any quantity of a natural or synthetic chemical substance;
  • Penalty Group 3 - Methylphenidate (Ritalin), zolpidem (Ambien), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax); and,
  • Penalty Group 4 - Includes compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing limited quantities of narcotics.

If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact an attorney who knows the law and the court system. There is a lot at stake if you are convicted. Fighting the charge is your primary chance of protecting your rights and securing your freedom. Contact the Law Office of JD Slaughter today at 512-808-0280 for a free initial consultation.