Drug Penalty Groups Fort Worth TX
Texas divides illegal drugs into five different categories called drug penalty groups. What are drug penalty groups? And how does the classification of a substance affect the outcome of any related case?
Penalty Group 1
Penalty group 1 primarily pertains to opiates. This group includes but is not limited to morphine, codeine, heroin, oxycodone and opium derivatives. In Texas, this group includes ketamine and PCP when combined with methylamine and phenylacetone to make meth. The penalty group 1A includes LSD, if you have less than twenty units of LSD. Cannabis is also in this category, though the laws regarding it are their own, distinct separate section of the legal code.
What do these drugs have in come? All schedule 1 drugs are drugs that have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse and addiction. Manufacturing and distributing small amounts of schedule 1 drugs is a state felony. Making or distributing more than a few grams is a felony and a ten thousand dollar fine.
There are a number of factors that will increase the punishment for a given offense. For example, manufacturing these drugs in the presence of a child increases the punishment by one degree. This turns a misdemeanor into a felony. Using a child in the commission of a crime also increases the penalty by one degree.
Penalty Group 2
Penalty group 2 includes PCP, ecstasy, mescaline and marinol. Nearly any hallucinogenic drug falls into this category. Interestingly, LSD is a subcategory of penalty group 1. Any compound derived from 2-aminopropanal falls into penalty group 2.
Some barbituates and pain relievers like Oxycontin are in this category. Any stimulant or depressant not listed elsewhere in the Texas drug laws fall into this category. Note that you’re not going to be arrested if you’re prescribed Qualuudes as a prescription, only if you do not have a valid medical reason to be taking them and lack a prescription for them. However, there is no legal basis for having synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of natural cannabis – and those fall into this category as well.
Mere possession of less than two ounces of these substances is a class B misdemeanor. Having two to four ounces of it is a class A misdemeanor. Having four ounces to 5 pounds is a felony.
If a child is used in the commission of these crimes, the punishment is increased by one degree. If force is used in any way with the child, the crime is automatically prosecuted as a felony. Threatening a kid with ADHD to take their stimulant drugs to control their neurological condition could meet that standard.
Penalty Group 3
Penalty group 3 includes ADHD drugs like Ritalin, anti-anxiety meds like Xanax and Valium and hydrocodone. The penalties only apply if they used by people without a prescription. Use of general stimulants like appetite suppressants is not a crime, unless you are buying and taking so much that you could get high. Dextropropoxyphene is included on this list. Anabolic steroids are not exempt from this classification, either.
Possessing less than 28 grams is a state felony. Having more than 28 grams is a degree felony. If you have more than 400 grams, you’re looking at 10 years to life in prison. If force or children are used in the commission of these crimes, the penalty goes up by one degree.
Penalty Group 4
Penalty group 4 includes compounds that have limited quantities of narcotics like buprenorphine, pyrovalerone, morphine or codeine. The only exception is if you’re taking a drug that is formally approved under a new drug application or otherwise exempted for investigational use. Note that this is always part of a medical study and supervised by medical personnel.
To merely possess a class 4 substances is a misdemeanor, if you have less than 28 grams. If you have more than 28 grams, you’re looking at a felony.
Penalty Group 5
Penalty group 5 includes motefen and dionine. It includes cough suppressants with codeine and anti-diarrheal treatments. Note that legitimate use of over the counter drugs is not a problem. The issue is the purchase and abuse of such substances or buying them in sufficient volume to use them to manufacture other illegal drugs.