Texas takes all types of drug crimes seriously. If you’re facing possession charges, your life can drastically change even if you’re not convicted. It’s important to know the consequences you could face for a conviction.
What is drug possession?
Drug possession is a crime that occurs when a person knowingly holds illegal drugs or controlled substances. This could include prescription drugs, but it’s considered a crime if the individual possesses those drugs without a lawful purpose. A person can be arrested and charged if they knowingly possess the substance. In other words, if the drug was planted in the person’s home, vehicle or somewhere else without their knowledge or consent, they could not be convicted.
What are the penalties for drug possession?
A person who is convicted of drug possession can face serious consequences. In addition to criminal penalties, they can have trouble finding or holding a job, getting college loans, joining the military or owning a gun.
Penalties for a conviction vary depending on the substance and the severity of the crime. The least severe drug possession conviction is charged as a class C misdemeanor, which results in a fine of up to $500.
A class B misdemeanor carries a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a maximum fine of $2,000.
A class C misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
However, if a person is convicted of a state jail felony drug possession offense, they can face a sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and a fine of up to $10,000. Those penalties increase to two to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for a third-degree felony conviction, two to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for a second-degree felony and five to 99 years in prison and fines ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for a first-degree felony conviction.
Even if a person is convicted for a first drug possession offense, they could still receive harsh penalties.
Regardless of the severity of the charges, if you are arrested for drug possession, protecting your rights is crucial.