Texas has stringent laws regarding drug offenses, and being charged for drug-related crimes can land you in prison for quite a few years if you are convicted. Drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine top the list of drug problems in the city, while cocaine still ranks on the top in Harris County.
If you live in Houston, Texas, and have been charged with federal drug offenses, then you need a Houston drug lawyer to represent you. The lawyer will tell your side of the story, help you understand the crimes you have been charged with, and try to get the least possible penalties for you.
Types of Federal Drug Offences
Federal drug offenses are under the jurisdiction of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA. They are responsible for bringing drug offenders to justice and supervising controlled substances’ manufacture and distribution under the Controlled Substance Act. Houston witnessed 374 cocaine-related deaths, while fentanyl took 249 lives in 2020.
Based on this act, drugs are divided into five categories depending on their potency for abuse and lack of safety while using them.
- Drug Trafficking
According to this schedule, a person intentionally manufactures, distributes, or possesses controlled substances and tries to sell them to someone for monetary gains. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and up to 1 million dollars in fines.
- Drug Possession
This is mostly considered a first offense if a person intentionally and knowingly possesses drugs. In that case, the person is given one year in prison with up to a thousand dollars in fine. For subsequent possession, the fines can be high as $250,000 and three years in jail.
- Drug Smuggling
The person or organization can get up to twenty years in prison for illegally smuggling drugs into the United States.
There are other charges related to racketeering, money laundering, and narco-terrorism.
In addition, Texas has its laws when it comes to handling drug charges.
- Controlling Pill Mills
Pill Mills are terms used for pharmacies and unethical medical professionals who distribute prescription drugs illegally without a prescription for non-medical uses. The rising cases of opioid abuse have resulted in law enforcement officers keeping an eye on clinics and pharmacies that have sold an unusually high number of prescription pain meds.
- Cocaine and Marijuana Charges
Possession of cocaine, or its manufacturing or delivery, is a severe offense in Texas, with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice even sentencing the offender for life. It is considered illegal substances classified under Penalty Group I of Controlled Substances Act. No one but the most experienced Houston drug lawyer will be able to defend you successfully.
In the case of marijuana, possessing more than two ounces can land you in jail for six months and a fine of two thousand dollars.
A drug lawyer will represent you and go through the intricacies of the case, investigating various parameters like the type of drug you used, the amount of drugs you possessed, the purpose of keeping the drug, the exact location where the drug was found in your possession and whether the drug use led to another offense. They will try to minimize the penalties as much as possible and give you a fighting chance of defending yourself.