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Drug Possession vs Drug Distribution in Texas: What’s the Difference?

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Drug Possession vs Drug Distribution in Texas: What’s the Difference?

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Have you noticed the local gas station suddenly selling CBD or hemp products? Have you heard about marijuana dispensaries making billions in other states?

Since the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018, there have been a lot of nationwide changes when it comes to the marijuana plant.

Some states have completely decriminalized marijuana, while others now allow stores to sell hemp products. All these changes have a lot of people wondering – is marijuana still illegal?

Thousands of arrests across the nation confirm that it is. You can still get charged with drug possession if you’re caught carrying marijuana in Texas. If you’re found with a large quantity, then you could even get charged with drug distribution!

Are you unclear about the differences between drug possession and drug distribution in Texas? Learn everything you need to know about these two different criminal charges, the penalties associated with them and how to defend yourself below.

Understanding Drug Possession Charges in Texas

How does Texas law define drugs? Drugs are controlled substances that are specifically defined and listed out in the Texas Controlled Substances Act. A full list of these substances can also be found in the federal Controlled Substances Act. Here’s an overview of some of the substances mentioned:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Mushrooms (psilocybin)
  • LSD
  • Mescaline
  • Hydrocodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Cocaine
  • PCP
  • Ketamine
  • Xanax
  • Valium

Each substance is classified based on its perceived danger. The potential for the drug to be used as medication also plays a role in how each substance gets classified.

According to the law, anyone who is found intentionally and knowingly possessing one of these substances without a prescription is committing a crime. This crime is called drug possession. While society’s perception of marijuana seems to be shifting, it’s still considered a crime to have any amount in your vehicle, home, or possession.

Have you been charged with drug possession?
Contact attorney Greg Tsioros today 

Penalties for Drug Possession in Texas

You might think drug possession is a straightforward crime, but it’s not. Your charges could be either minor or severe depending on:

  • The type of controlled substance you were caught with
  • Your past criminal convictions
  • How much of the controlled substance you were caught with
  • How the drug was stored
  • If you were also found with any paraphernalia

At the very least, your drug possession charge will be classified as a misdemeanor. While misdemeanors aren’t as serious as felonies, they still carry the potential of up to one year in jail. You could also get charged up to $4,000 in fines.

If you had a large quantity of dangerous drugs, then you could get hit with a first-degree felony. This very serious crime carries the most extreme penalties. You could get sentenced to life in prison, and you could be liable for fines of up to $250,000.

Schedule a free consultation with attorney Greg Tsioros »

Everything You Need to Know About Drug Distribution Charges

Is drug possession is the worst crime you can get charged with if you’re caught carrying a controlled substance? Not quite. Authorities have a number of charges they can levy against you if they discover a significant amount of drugs on you. These charges include:

  • Drug distribution
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Possession of paraphernalia

Drug distribution is even more serious than simple possession. If you’re charged with distribution, then it means the authorities had a reason to believe you were either selling the controlled substance or offering to sell it. They might be led to believe that if they find specific evidence on your possession, too. That might include a lot of cash or individual baggies. You could also be charged with distribution simply for having a lot of the substance.

Drug manufacturing charges mean that police believe you were creating the controlled substance for sale. You could also get charged with possessing drug paraphernalia if you’re caught with smoking devices, rolling papers, or other items that are used to consume the controlled substance.

Penalties for Drug Distribution in Texas

The severity of your drug distribution charges directly hinges on how much of the substance you were caught with and what type of substance it was. Similar to drug possession, the penalties for drug distribution can range anywhere from 180 days in jail to a life sentence. You could face significant fines anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000.

Drug distribution is considered more serious than drug possession. If possible, then you’ll want to try to get your charges reduced to simple possession.

Do I Need a Lawyer After Getting Charged?

Were you recently arrested for drug possession or drug distribution in Texas? If so, then you need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. If you’re a first-time offender and you’re only charged with simple possession, then you might be able to avoid jail time. An attorney can help you get into a diversionary program instead of jail when possible.

If your charges are more serious, then an attorney will work hard to get them reduced. If that’s not possible, then your lawyer will advocate for the best possible outcome. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to defend yourself. Remember, your freedom is at risk if you get convicted.

Drug Possession vs Drug Distribution: What’s the Difference?

Whether you were accused of drug possession or drug distribution, you likely found yourself handcuffed and taking a trip downtown. Controlled substances are still taken very seriously by a majority of Americans.

The penalties associated with possessing drugs usually aren’t as severe as those connected with drug distribution. Despite that, both situations warrant the use of a criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will work hard to mitigate the penalties levied against you. In some situations, they may be able to get your charges reduced and keep you out of jail.

Are you ready to hire a legal representative you can trust? Reach out to our firm now to learn more about how we can help.

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