Drug Possession Penalties
Across the U.S., the illegal drug trade has become larger than ever before. Millions of people buy and use these drugs on a daily basis. Some of them are caught by law enforcement and face penalties for possession of illegal drugs. Because a wide variety of drugs are used, there are different laws for different substances.
In most cases, simple possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal use is punished less severely than possession of a quantity large enough to sell or distribute. Whether the amount is large or small, defending against drug possession charges can be difficult, and the penalties are serious.
Penalties for Illegal Drug Possession
Several categories of penalties can apply to a particular drug possession case based on the type of substance. For example, some drugs that are considered to be less harmful to society will result in simple fines. Conversely, possession of a drug that is considered to have a high potential for addiction and abuse will be punished more harshly. This is because highly addictive drugs are more likely to cause additional criminal behavior, such as theft crimes.
Some examples of punishments for different substances include:
- Marijuana possession: Illegal possession of marijuana is penalized in a unique way. Because it is one of the most widely used illegal drugs, it would be logistically impossible for law enforcement to punish every case with incarceration. Possession of marijuana under two ounces is often punished with a fine and probation.
- Illegal prescription medication possession: Pills containing ingredients that are derived from the same source as heroin and opium are commonly prescribed after injuries or surgeries. Taken responsibly, these chemicals can help the healing process. When they are misused, they have a very high potential for addiction, and many are sold illegally for high profits. Simple possession of prescription pills can result in a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
- Penalty Group I possession: Penalty Group I refers to the substances that have the most severe punishments attached to them. Some of these drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine or oxycodone. Possession of even a small amount of controlled substances can send a person to jail for a minimum of two years with up to $10,000 in fines.
Accused of Drug Possession in Houston?
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Defending Against Drug Possession Charges
Building a legal defense against drug possession charges is difficult, but not impossible. Qualified drug possession lawyers can challenge the evidence-gathering methods used by police. A good Houston criminal defense lawyer can also try to negotiate a plea deal with the judge that can keep the defendant out of prison. Any type of drug charges, even minor ones, should be met with the assistance and expertise of an experienced criminal justice attorney.
Meet With a Houston Drug Possession Lawyer
Mario Madrid, and the criminal defense attorneys at Madrid Law, proudly represent Houston-area residents in court. When you are facing drug possession charges, and you need the help and guidance of an expert Harris County criminal defense attorney, call us.
For more information about drug possession penalties, schedule a free appointment with Madrid Law by giving us a call at 713-877-9400.