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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

What Drugs Are Legal in Texas? | Drug Laws and the Penalties!

When it comes to drugs, most people think about marijuana, heroin, or cocaine. However, the definition of drugs also covers prescription medications, opioids, opiates, controlled substances, and other illegal drugs. Under Texas law, possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia may lead to serious consequences, which can adversely impact an individual's life.

The criminal charges for drug possession can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Fortunately, the experienced Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Sparks Law Firm have extensive experience protecting the rights of many defendants in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Those who face criminal charges for the possession of drugs must reach out to the skilled attorneys at Sparks Law Firm to discuss their case and learn more about their legal options. They can also answer questions like what is the legal working age in Texas?

Understanding Texas Drug Laws

Understanding Texas Drug Laws

Texas is one of the strictest states when it comes to drug laws. Illegal drug possession could result in criminal charges with serious consequences. Depending on the type and amount of drugs found on a person, the penalties may vary significantly.

The penalties for possession of illegal drugs may include the following:

  • Jail time

  • Hefty fines

  • Probation

  • Driver's license suspension

  • Drug addiction treatment

What Drugs Are Illegal in Texas?

Under Texas drug laws, the following are illegal drugs and can lead to severe consequences if caught by law enforcement officers:

  • Cocaine

  • Heroin

  • Methamphetamine

  • LSD

  • Club drugs like ecstasy and PCP

  • Marijuana (for recreational purposes)

What Drugs Are Legal in Texas?

In Texas, prescription drugs or controlled substances are legal. However, federal law makes selling or distributing these types of drugs illegal.

Another important thing to remember is that individuals without the necessary qualifications cannot prescribe a controlled substance.

Selling controlled substances illegally has far more severe consequences than the possession of these types of drugs.

Possession of drugs without a prescription may lead to a misdemeanor conviction for which the arrested person may have to pay fines.

On the other hand, if an individual gets arrested for selling prescription drugs illegally, they may face a felony conviction, leading to a jail sentence.

Healthcare providers and pharmacists must ensure that they register themselves with the Drug Enforcement Agency (unless they're exempted under Texas law) before they can sell controlled substances legally in Texas.

If caught selling prescription drugs illegally, healthcare providers and pharmacists may face criminal penalties along with the suspension of their licenses.

Penalties for the Possession of Illegal Drugs or Controlled Substances

There are different penalty groups for drug possession in Texas, and the consequences may vary depending on whether the person is making, possessing, or distributing the drugs.

The following are the different penalty groups:

Penalty Group One

The following are the illegal drugs that fall under Penalty Group One:

  • Opioids

  • Opium derivatives

  • Opiates (heroin and others)

  • Painkillers like codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone

  • Cocaine

  • Methamphetamine

  • Ketamine

  • LSD

  • Mescaline

  • Psilocybin and similar hallucinogens

If caught with small amounts of the above-mentioned illegal drugs in Texas, it could lead to a minimum of 180 days in prison (up to two years in jail) and a $10,000 fine.

The consequences are far more severe for possession of 400 grams or more, and these may include the following:

  • A life imprisonment sentence; and

  • Up to $300,000 in fines.

Penalty Group Two

Penalty Group Two addresses the consequences associated with the possession of LSD, Ecstasy (MDMA), PCP, psychedelic mushrooms, and amphetamines.

Under the law, possessing less than one gram of the drugs mentioned above can lead to imprisonment that can last anywhere between 180 days and two years.

However, the penalties for possessing 400 grams or more of LSD, Ecstasy (MDMA), PCP, psychedelic mushrooms, and amphetamines can result in life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Penalty Group Three

Penalty Group Three deals with the following illegal drugs and controlled substances:

  • Opioids not mentioned in Penalty Group One

  • Benzodiazepines

  • Sedatives like Valium and others

  • Anabolic steroids

  • Methylphenidate

  • Other prescription medications that have stimulating effects with the potential for abuse

Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, the penalties for the drugs mentioned above are as follows:

  • Up to two years in jail; and

  • A maximum fine of $10,000.

Suppose a law enforcement officer arrests an individual who is in possession of 400 grams of the drugs listed in Penalty Group Three. In that case, the consequences may include life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Penalty Group Four

Penalty Group Four deals with opioids and opiates that are not listed in Penalty Groups One and Three. This category also includes prescription medications that have the potential for abuse.

The penalties under this group are the same as those mentioned under Penalty Group Three.

Is Marijuana Possession Illegal in Texas?

The Texas Compassionate-Use Act in 2015 made it legal to consume medical marijuana. However, possession of marijuana or recreational use is still illegal in the Lone Star state.

With the recent legalization of hemp and the grey area around the use and possession of marijuana, it has become more difficult for prosecutors to prosecute such cases.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that the misdemeanor charges associated with marijuana possession do not taint the defendant's record.

Legal Defenses for Drug Possession in Ohio

Legal Defenses for Drug Possession in Ohio

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the criminal case, the defenses that the defendants may use for drug possession may vary. Some of these include the following:

Unwitting Possession

This legal defense argues that the defendant did not know or had reasonable knowledge that they were in possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances without prescription.

There are certain situations where one may be able to use this defense, including delivering a package or carrying a bag for someone else without knowing its contents.

Lack of Possession

Under the lack of possession legal defense, the defendant must argue that they did not have control over the controlled substance or illegal drugs.

This might be applicable when the drugs were found in a house with multiple roommates or a car with several passengers.

Constitutional Rights Violation

The law enforcement officers must follow proper procedures and protocols. If they fail to adhere to them, it could lead to the violation of one's constitutional rights.

Any evidence collected during an illegal search without a warrant or an unlawful traffic stop could lead to the dismissal of the criminal case. Sparks Law Frim can also help clarify what is the legal tint in Texas.

Drug Crimes Can Lead to Serious Consequences. Sparks Law Firm Can Provide Legal Assistance!

Those who are facing drug charges in Fort Worth, Texas, should call to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sparks Law Firm. They can assess the facts surrounding the criminal case and fight to reduce the drug possession penalties or have the case dismissed.


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