Drug possession is a serious offense in Texas, and if you’re caught with illegal drugs, the consequences can be severe. A drug possession conviction can have a long-lasting impact on your life, affecting your ability to find employment, obtain housing, and even vote. In this blog post, we’ll explore the consequences of a drug possession conviction in Texas and what you can do to protect your rights.
Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession in Texas
The criminal penalties for drug possession in Texas depend on several factors, including the type of drug and the amount in your possession. Texas law classifies drugs into different penalty groups, with penalty group one being the most serious and penalty group four being the least severe. Here are the penalties for drug possession in Texas:
- Penalty group one: Drugs in this group include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and LSD. Possession of these drugs can result in a felony charge and up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 depending on the amount of the substance.
- Penalty group two: Drugs in this group include ecstasy, PCP, and mescaline. Possession of these drugs can result in a felony charge and up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 depending on the amount of the substance.
- Penalty group three: Drugs in this group include Xanax, Ritalin, and Valium. Possession of these drugs can result in a felony charge and up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 depending on the amount of the substance.
- Penalty group four: Drugs in this group include codeine, morphine, and other prescription drugs. Possession of these drugs can result in a misdemeanor charge and up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 depending on the amount of the substance.
In addition to these penalties, a drug possession conviction can also lead to other consequences, including:
Difficulty in Finding Employment
Having a drug possession conviction on your record can make it difficult to find employment. Many employers conduct background checks on potential employees, and a drug conviction can be a red flag that you may not be a reliable or trustworthy employee.
Inability to Obtain Professional Licenses
If you have a drug possession conviction, you may be barred from obtaining certain professional licenses, such as those required to work in healthcare, law, or education. This can limit your career opportunities and make it difficult to pursue your chosen profession.
Difficulty in Obtaining Housing
Landlords often conduct background checks on potential tenants, and a drug possession conviction can make it difficult to find housing. Landlords may view you as a liability or a risk, and may be hesitant to rent to you.
Loss of Voting Rights
In Texas, individuals who are convicted of a felony lose their right to vote. This means that if you’re convicted of drug possession and receive a felony charge, you may lose your right to vote.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Rights
If you’re facing drug possession charges in Texas, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights. Here are a few things you can do:
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Your attorney can negotiate with prosecutors, argue your case in court, and help you understand your legal options.
If you’re struggling with drug addiction, seeking treatment can help you overcome your addiction and avoid future legal troubles. A drug possession conviction can be a wake-up call that it’s time to seek help for your addiction.
Understand Your Legal Rights
As a defendant, you have legal rights that protect you from unfair treatment. It’s important to understand these rights, including your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
Drug charges in Texas can have serious consequences that can impact your life in many ways. If you’re facing drug charges, it’s important to understand your legal options and take steps to protect your rights. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, seeking treatment for addiction, and understanding your legal rights are all important steps you can take to defend yourself against drug charges. Remember, a drug charge is not the end of the road, and with the right legal representation and support, you can navigate the legal system and move forward with your life.