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Texas drug crimes: Possession facts

Texas residents, or even visitors to the state, who are charged with drug possession may find themselves in tough legal spots. While many believe this is the least serious of all all drug crimes, it does not mean it is something that the state treats lightly. This week this column will address the ins and outs of possession.

What constitutes drug possession? By definition, possession is intentionally and knowingly possessing a controlled substance -- whether it is a street drug or a prescription medication without a prescription. The intent or knowledge is what prosecutors have to prove in order to achieve a conviction in criminal court.

What are the penalties for possessing a controlled substance? In order to determine potential consequences the court looks at a number of factors. These include drug type, amount in possession, drug paraphernalia, previous drug crime convictions and purpose of drug possession. Charges range from Class B misdemeanors to first degree felonies which have consequences that may include fines, jail time or imprisonment.

What, if any, defense options are there? As with any crime, there are always various defense option available. For drug possession some of these include:

  • Deny
  • Lack of intent to consume or distribute
  • Drug is prescribed
  • Insufficient quantity
  • Drug is being studied by FDA

When facing charges for drug crimes, such as possession, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Thankfully, those accused of such crimes in the state of Texas do not have to go through criminal proceedings alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help one every step of the way.

Source: FindLaw, "Texas Drug Possession Laws", Accessed on Jan. 10. 2018

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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