Meaning Of Drug Possession In The State Of Texas
Drug possession is a crime in some circumstances, but the terminology can be confusing to some. It doesn’t help when you could be arrested and convicted of drug possession for having a large stockpile of legal prescription or OTC medications. What is considered an illegal drug? And what does it mean to “possess” a drug in Texas?
When is it a crime to possess certain drugs?
Drug possession refers to the possession of any drug unsafe for safe self-medication or unsupervised use. Having reasonable amounts of over-the-counter medications is not a crime. It is when you have ten boxes of Sudafed or twenty bottles of cough syrup that it starts to hit the legal threshold. The laws against drug possession specifically state that it is a crime to have so many of these substances that it is almost certain to be part of a plan to make and/or distribute illegal drugs. This is covered by Texas’ Penalty Group 5.
Things That Make Possession Of Drugs A Crime
If you have a prescription for an anti-depressant or pain medication, you’re not guilty of a crime even if you have a full bottle of the medication. You’re guilty of the crime of possession if you have the restricted substances and you don’t have a legal reason to do so. This is covered in many cases by penalty groups 2 and 3 in the Texas code. LSD is part of penalty group 1.
You’re always guilty of drug possession if you have a modest amount and intend to sell it to others. That’s possession with the intent to distribute. Making and distributing illegal drugs is always a felony.
Penalty For Drug Possession
Penalty group 1 drugs are those that have no currently accepted medical use as well as a high potential for abuse and addiction. They’re the greatest concern for the state. For very small amounts of penalty group 1A drugs, it will typically be a felony. You might get six months in a state jail for small amounts.
Facing Severe Penalties For Drug Possession
The threshold for having small amounts versus large amounts of a drug varies based on the type of drug. For certain drugs, you’ll be guilty of a felony if you have more than 28 grams of it. In other cases, you’re guilty of a serious offense for possessing it at all. In these cases, just having 2-3 grams can get you in trouble. For example, simply having cocaine, LSD or heroin will result in severe penalties. Cannabis extracts that are not marijuana-like hashish and concentrated cannabis oil are in penalty group 2. If you have less than four ounces of any drug in penalty group 2, you’re guilty of a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Drug paraphernalia refers to any item related to drug manufacturing, consumption, packaging, and consumption. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a crime under section 481.001(17) of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. A crack pipe is an obvious example. If you simply possess a bong, you can be found guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
Yet household items like scales, bowls, bags, and spoons can be classified as illegal drug paraphernalia. This can result in a conviction with a misdemeanor as well as level up the charges if they find drugs on the premises.