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The Consequences of Drug Trafficking in Texas

The State of Texas takes the crime of drug trafficking exceptionally seriously and the charges range from state jail felonies all the way to enhanced first-degree felonies. Drug trafficking generally refers to the sale and distribution of illegal drugs and it is illegal at the local, state and federal level. The most important point to keep in mind, however, is that a charge of drug trafficking is not the same as a conviction, which makes bringing your strongest defense paramount and for that you are going to need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Houston drug trafficking defense attorney.

Drug Trafficking Defined

In the State of Texas, drug trafficking is defined as the manufacture or possession with intent to deliver or manufacture of a controlled substance. And it’s a far more serious crime than simple possession. Federal drug trafficking laws, on the other hand, apply to drug trafficking crimes that cross either state or national borders, such as the borders between Texas and Mexico. Federal drug trafficking is defined as any of the following in relation to a controlled substance or a counterfeit substance:

  • Manufacture of
  • Import or export of
  • Distribution of
  • Dispensing of
  • Possession of with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute or dispense

If you are charged with drug trafficking, the level of the charge will hinge on the kind of drug involved, where it falls on the penalty group schedule and the amount of the drug involved.

Texas Penalty Groups

The State of Texas breaks controlled substances down into basic penalty groups and these basic categories include the following:

  • Penalty Group I include opiates, Cocaine and Methamphetamine.
  • Penalty Group IA includes LSD.
  • Penalty Group II includes hallucinogens other than LSD.
  • Penalty Group III includes barbituric acid and pentobarbital.
  • Penalty Group IV includes narcotics.

Marijuana is in a penalty group all on its’ own in the State of Texas.

Federal Drug Schedules

State penalty groups roughly correlate with the federal government’s five drug schedules including:

  • Schedule I includes drugs and other substances that have no accepted medical use and are extremely likely to be abused. Prime examples include: Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy and Marijuana.
  • Schedule II includes drugs and other substances that have known or accepted medical uses but remain highly likely to be abused. prime examples include: Methadone, Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet and Fentanyl.
  • Schedule III includes drugs and other substances that have known or accepted medical uses and have a slight potential for abuse. Prime examples include Dilaudid and Methadone
  • Schedule IV includes drugs and other substances that have known or accepted medical uses and have a lower potential for abuse, such as: Xanax, Darvocet and Valium.
  • Schedule V includes drugs and other substances that have known or accepted medical uses with very little potential for abuse. A prime example includes cough medications with low doses of codeine.

In other words, the drug trafficking category of charges is comprehensive and defending your legal rights from the outset is key. This makes your trusted drug trafficking defense lawyer your first and best line of defense.

Breaking Down the Offense, the Charge and the Penalties

Because drug trafficking charges are predicated on the class and amount of the drug in question, it’s important to have a grasp of how the charges break down in Texas.

Consider the following basics:

  • For less than 1 gram of a Penalty Group I drug, is a state felony charge which carries 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • For 1-4 grams of a Penalty Group 1 drug, the charge is a second-degree felony, which carries 2-20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • 4-200 grams of a Penalty Group 1 drug, the charge is a first-degree felony, which carries 5-99 years or a life sentence and fines up to $10,000.
  • 200 to 400 grams of a Penalty Group I drug conviction carries 10 years to life in prison and fines up to $100,000.
  • For more than 400 grams of a Penalty Group I drug, a conviction carries 15 years to life in prison and fines up to $250,000.

Each penalty group is similarly structured and as the amount rises, so do the associated penalties.

A Note about Texas

If you have been arrested for or charged with drug trafficking in the State of Texas, it’s important to keep in mind that it has some of the harshest drug laws in the nation. While neighboring states have seriously relaxed their laws related to marijuana, this is not the case in Texas and drug trafficking charges and their associated penalties clearly reflect this fact. Taking action by reaching out and consulting with a seasoned drug trafficking attorney early in the process is always in your best interest.

Helping Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Bring Your Strongest Defense

Drug trafficking charges in Texas require serious legal attention, and your formidable drug trafficking defense attorney will get busy protecting your rights in all the following primary ways from the start:

  • Determining a solid defense strategy, such as establishing that the drugs in question were not in your possession or did not belong to you or establishing that the substance was not for human consumption.
  • Focusing on any constitutional rights of yours that might have been trampled on, such as whether or not the police had the right to stop and search your person or vehicle in the first place
  • Rooting out any evidence of entrapment on the part of the police, which generally involves an undercover agent or confidential informant who oversteps legal boundaries.

Additionally, your focused drug trafficking attorney will begin moving your case forward by engaging in all the following:

  • Gathering all the available evidence, including anything the prosecution and the police may have.
  • Knowledgeably discussing a charge reduction with the prosecution or requesting that the charge against you be dropped altogether based on legal flaws in your case.
  • Deftly negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution when it is to your advantage to do so, which is not always the case.
  • Helping you navigate the criminal justice system as smoothly as possible while protecting your own rights along the way.
  • Doing a deep dive into all the documentation, evidence, eyewitness testimonies and related reports to ensure they have a thorough working knowledge of your unique case and are in the best position to pursue justice for you.

An Experienced Houston Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney Is Standing by to Help

The very capable drug trafficking defense attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan dedicate its’ imposing practice to staunchly champion for the rights of each of our clients and we welcome the opportunity to also help you. Your case and your future are important to us! Please don’t delay by contacting us at 281-810-9760 for more information today.

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