Texas is notoriously tough on drug crime, and that plays out in its possession laws. However, drug crime laws are highly circumstantial. The charge and penalties associated with a conviction depend on the type and quantity of the drug as well as any extenuating circumstances or considerations. Texas law categorizes drugs into six classes.
Which drugs can get you a felony conviction?
The complicated answer is any illegal drug if you have enough of it. Illegal drugs are sorted into “Penalty Groups,” which classify the severity of the drug and the sentencing guidelines. Texas law is as follows:
- Penalty Group 1 includes opioids, opium derivatives, methamphetamine, ketamine, mescaline and hallucinogens: Possession of any of these substances is a felony and penalties range from 180 days to 99 years in prison. Fines can amount to $100,000.
- Penalty Group 1A includes LSD and derivatives of LSD: Possession of LSD or a derivative can result in prison time of 180 days to 99 years and cost up to $250,000 in fines.
- Penalty Group 2 includes hallucinogenic drugs like Ecstasy, PCP and peyote: Possession can result in prison time of 180 days to 99 years and cost up to $50,000 in fines.
- Penalty Group 2A includes artificial compounds that mimic cannabis like K2 and Spice: This is only a felony if you are convicted of possessing more than 4 grams by weight. Penalties can include from one to 20 years in prison and cost up to $10,000 in fines.
- Penalty Group 3 includes opiates and opioids with stimulant or depressant effects not listed in Group 1: Possession of 28 grams or more is a felony; penalties can include up to 99 years in prison.
- Penalty Group 4 includes a variety of prescription medications and chemical compounds: Possession of more than 28 grams is a felony charge, which can result in between 5 and 99 years in jail with a fine of up to $50,000.
- For possession of anything more than ¼ of an ounce of marijuana, you can be charged with a felony in Texas.
Texas is tough on drugs, but a strong defense is possible. An arrest does not equal a conviction. Know the law and know your rights.