Posted on 5/11/20

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Texas, you might be confused about your charge and the potential penalties you face. Texas drug laws are complicated and often hard to understand. The Texas Controlled substances Act and the Texas Penal Code regulate drug policy and laws. 

Defendants convicted of drug crimes in Dallas/Fort Worth face jail time, probation, large fines, mandatory drug addiction treatment, and suspension of their driver’s license. Contact Able Law Firm today to speak to an experienced drug crime defense lawyer. 

Texas Drug Penalty Groups

Under Texas drug laws, the charges and punishments for drug possession are based on four different drug classifications or Penalty Groups. These categories, or classifications, include Penalty 1, 2, 3, and 4. Marijuana is separate and in its own group. 

Penalty Group 1:

  • Opioids including codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone

  • Opium derivatives and/or opiates (heroin and others)

  • Cocaine

  • Methamphetamine

  • Ketamine

  • LSD

  • Mescaline

  • Psilocybin 

  • Other similar hallucinogens

The penalties for Group 1 range from 180 days to two years in jail as well as a $10,000 fine. Penalties in this group can be incredibly serious, including life in prison for possession of 400 or more grams of drugs in this category, with serious fines of up to $300,000.

Penalty Group 2:

  • LSD

  • Ecstasy (MDMA)

  • PCP

  • Psychedelic mushrooms and amphetamines

Penalties in Group 3 start at 180 days to two years in jail for possession of less than one gram of one of these controlled substances. Defendants charged with a drug crime involving a Penalty Group 2 drug can face a maximum sentence of life in prison for possession of 400 grams or more along with fines up to $50,000.

Penalty Group 3:

  • Opioids and opiates not listed in Penalty Group 1

  • Anabolic steroids

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

  • Benzodiazepines and sedatives like Valium 

  • Other prescription drugs that have a depressant or stimulant effect and potential for abuse

In this group, the penalties are a maximum of 180 days to two years in prisons as well as fines of up to $10,000. The maximum sentence for a drug crime involving a Penalty Group 3 for possession of 400 grams or more is life in prison and a fine up to $50,000.

Penalty Group 4:

  • Opioids and Opiates not listed in penalty 1 group that range from various chemical compounds and a range of prescription medications

Defendants with less than 28 grams of a Penalty Group 4 drug face a jail sentence of at least 180 days in jail, but not more than two years. Those in possession of 400 or more grams face a prison sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison. 

Marijuana Group

  • Marijuana (cannabis)

  • Synthetic marijuana 

  • Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2 and Spice)

The minimum penalty for a marijuana charge in Texas involves probation and participating in mandatory drug treatment. Judges will sometimes dismiss the criminal charges after the defendant completes a drug treatment program successfully. 

If you are found in possession of two ounces or less of marijuana, you face up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $2,000. Even those discovered with a very small amount of marijuana can face a driver’s license suspension for six months. 

Contact Our Experienced Drug Defense Lawyers

If you are in need of an advocate because you are facing drug charges, contact our Dallas/Fort Worth criminal law attorneys as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation. 

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office