Tarrant County Drug Lawyer
The Texas Controlled Substance Act establishes mandatory minimum sentences for some drug-related offenses and allows judges the discretion to administer lengthy prison terms. The stress of facing a drug charge that carries such potentially harsh penalties can place significant pressure on a charged individual’s family and professional life.
If you are charged with a drug offense in Tarrant County, do not wait to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your options. A skilled Tarrant County drug lawyer could fight a drug charge on procedural grounds or work to minimize the sentence you may face upon conviction, which in some cases may only be probation.
Penalty Groups in Tarrant County
Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code is known as the Texas Controlled Substances Act. This act categorizes controlled substances into four “penalty groups” of differing degrees.
Penalty Group 1 includes oxycodone, opium, cocaine and methadone. Penalty Group 2 includes mescaline, amphetamine, and psilocybin. Penalty Group 3 includes peyote, LSD, barbital, clonazepam, and lorazepam. Penalty Group 4 mostly includes very small quantities of various substances.
These examples are not a fully inclusive list of substances included in each penalty group. A Tarrant County Drug lawyer could provide more detailed information about which group a particular drug falls into.
Varying Punishments for Different Penalty Groups
For each group, the severity of the possible punishment increases with the amount of the drug involved, and whether a defendant is charged with possession, manufacturing, distribution, or another related offense. For example, 200 milligrams or less of codeine per 100 grams would be classified under Penalty Group 4.
Punishments vary for each penalty group according to the quantity of the substance, with Group 1 drugs carrying the most severe punishments. Possession of less than one gram of a Penalty Group 1 drug, for example, is considered a felony, while possession of less than one half ounce of a Penalty Group 3 substance is only a misdemeanor.
The possession of extremely large amounts of a substance listed in any Penalty Group could result in a sentence of life in prison.
A Tarrant County attorney specializing in drug law could help advocate on a defendant’s behalf for a lesser sentence based on the circumstances.
Special Considerations for Marijuana
Texas law takes a slightly more lenient approach to controlling marijuana as compared to other substances. However, it is still a Class B misdemeanor to possess less than two ounces of marijuana in Tarrant County. This means that it is a crime in Tarrant County to possess any amount of marijuana, punishable by up to 180 days in jail.
At the most extreme end of marijuana sentencing in Tarrant County, possession of over two thousand pounds remains punishable by life in prison according to the Texas Controlled Substance Act.
Speak with a Tarrant County Drug Attorney Today
There is no reason to face a drug charge alone. The potential consequences in Tarrant County, even for marijuana, simply do not make it worth the gamble to fight a drug charge without counsel. Likewise, a plea arrangement made without the help of an attorney may not be as favorable as desired.
If you are charged with any offense in Tarrant County related to a controlled substance, speak with a drug attorney right away to start examining your possible options.