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Felony Drug Charges

It’s an unfortunate fact that Texas has some of the strictest drug laws in the nation. Many nonviolent citizens are sentenced to lengthy prison terms for possessing or selling controlled substances. Not to mention the collateral consequences a drug offense could have on your career, education, or housing situation.

A felony drug charge could rearrange your whole life. If you’re convicted, you could spend years behind bars. When it comes to your future, you shouldn’t take any chances. If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony drug crime, it’s imperative you gain legal representation.

Attorneys for Felony Drug Charges in Houston, Texas

Have you been arrested for a felony drug crime recently? It is crucial for you to contact the attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc.. Our attorneys have years of experience representing people with drug allegations. We can address your charges, uncover legal options and create a strong defense for your case.

Contact us today at (713) 224-5529 and schedule a case evaluation. We will analyze your charges to assess what the best possible option is for you. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. defends people accused of drug crimes throughout the Harris County area including Houston, Pasadena, Bellaire and West University Place.

Overview of Felony Drug Crimes in Texas


Penalty Drug Groups in Texas

Texas classifies drugs under penalty groups through the Texas Controlled Substances Act. The penalty group divides controlled substances by their potential for addiction and their usage in the medical field. Texas law uses these penalty groups to determine the penalties of a drug offense.

Listed below are the four penalty groups used in Texas law.

  • Penalty Group 1 – Drugs under penalty group 1 have a very high risk of addiction. They also don’t serve a purpose in the medical field. Some drugs found under penalty group 1 include heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and methamphetamine (meth).
  • Penalty Group 1-A – This penalty group is reserved only for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which is a hallucinogen usually taken in unit tabs. It can create a chemical dependency and has no use in medical practice.
  • Penalty Group 2 or 2-A – Controlled substances under this group can lead to chemical dependency. The majority of these drugs serve absolutely no medical purpose. Some drugs under penalty group 2 or 2-A include synthetic THC, MDMA, ecstasy, phencyclidine (PCP) and mescaline.
  • Penalty Group 3 – Some drugs under penalty group 3 can be used by doctors and medical personnel. They also have a moderate possibility of addiction if used too often. Some under penalty group 3 are Tramadol, Barbital, zolpidem (Ambien), alprazolam (Xanax) and methylphenidate (Ritalin).
  • Penalty Group 4 – The drugs under penalty group 4 have little to no risk of chemical addiction. Many drugs used under penalty group 4 are over the counter medications in high doses. Some penalty group 4 drugs include compounds, salts and mixtures of codeine, diphenoxylate and other narcotics.

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Felony Charges for Possessing Drugs in Texas

A common crime in Texas is possession of a controlled substance. Texas law states you can be in actual or constructive possession of a drug. Actual possession is when you have the drug on your physical body. For example, if you have marijuana in your pocket then you are in actual possession.

Constructive possession is when you have control or authority of where a controlled substance is. This means you don’t have to be physically holding drugs to be charged with possession. In fact, the drugs don’t even have to be anywhere near your person. An example of constructive possession is if you had a lockbox filled with cocaine and only you possessed the key. If law enforcement found the cocaine, then you would be charged with constructive possession of cocaine.

Listed below are the felony charges for possessing drugs in Texas.

Felony Possession Charges for Penalty Group 4

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison or Jail Term Maximum Fine
Group 4 Third-Degree Felony 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Up to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 400 grams or more Minimum of five years and maximum of life in prison Up to $50,000

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Felony Possession Charges for Penalty Group 3

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison or Jail Term Maximum Fine
Group 3 Third-Degree Felony 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Up to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 400 grams or more Minimum of five years and maximum of life in prison Up to $50,000

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Felony Possession Charges for Penalty Group 2 or 2-A

The primary drug under penalty group 2 is hallucinogens. Some drugs that are considered hallucinogens would be MDMA and psilocybin (mushrooms). While penalty group 2 is reserved for mostly hallucinogens, penalty group 2-A focuses on synthetic cannabinoids. These are also referred to as K2 or spice and can sometimes be found in general stores.

Penalty Group 2:

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 2 State Jail Felony Under 1 gram Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony 1 gram or more, but less than 4 grams Up to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 4 grams or more, but less than 400 grams Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony Over 400 grams Minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison Up to $50,000

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Penalty Group 2-A:

 

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 2 -A State Jail Felony 4 ounces or more, but less than 5 pounds Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony More than 5 pounds, but less than 50 pounds Up to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony Over 2,000 pounds Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony Over 400 grams Minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison Up to $50,000

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Felony Possession Charges for Penalty Group 1 or 1-A

Substances that are found under penalty group 1 have the greatest risk of dependency. They also carry the harshest penalties. Possessing even trace amounts of a penalty group 1 drug will result in felony charges. Penalty group 1-A is also associated with heavy penalties and is solely reserved for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). In addition, LSD is measured in unit tabs instead of grams, ounces, or pounds.

Penalty Group 1-A:

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 1-A State Jail Felony Less than 20 units Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony More than 20 units, but less than 80 Up to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony More than 80 units, but less than 4,000 Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony More than 4,000 units, but less than 8,000 units Minimum of 5 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony Over 8,000 units Minimum of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $250,000

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Penalty Group 1:

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 1 State Jail Felony Less than 1 gram Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony More than 1 gram, but less than 4 Up to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony More than 4 grams but less than 200 Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony More than 200 grams, but less than 400 grams Minimum of 5 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony Over 400 grams Minimum of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $100,000

Felony Charges for Selling or Manufacturing Drugs

Texas law enforcement has been known to conduct sting operations to find drug dealers or manufacturers. Many police officers will go undercover and even follow your whereabouts, so they can catch you delivering drugs. If you’re arrested for selling or manufacturing a controlled substance, you may want to be prepared for some heavy penalties.

You are only authorized to manufacture or sell a controlled substance if you are licensed in a relevant scientific or medical field. Selling or manufacturing a controlled substance can land you in some hot water. Texas groups the charges for selling, delivering or manufacturing controlled substances under the same statute. Delivering, selling or manufacturing a drug will likely result in felony charges.

Felony Delivery of Manufacturing Charges for Penalty Group 3 & 4

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 3 or 4 State Jail Felony Under 28 grams Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 200 grams or more, but less than 400 Minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 400 grams or more Minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison Up to $100,000

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Felony Delivery of Manufacturing Charges for Penalty Group 2 & 2-A

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 2 and 2-A State Jail Felony Less than 1 gram Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 1 gram or more, but less than 4 grams Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony More than 4 grams, but less than 400 Minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 400 grams or more Minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison Up to $100,000

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Felony Delivery of Manufacturing Charges for Penalty Group 1 & 1-A

Penalty Group 1-A:

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 1-A State Jail Felony Less than 20 units Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 20 or more units, but less than 80 Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 80 or more units, but less than 4,000 Minimum of 5 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony Over 4,000 units Minimum of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $250,000

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Penalty Group 1:

Penalty Group Sentence Weight (Grams) Prison Term Maximum Fine
Group 1 State Jail Felony Less than 1 gram Up to 180 days in state jail Up to $10,000
Second-Degree Felony 1 gram or more, but less than 4 grams Up to 20 years in prison Up to $10,000
Fist-Degree Felony 4 grams or more, but less than 200 Minimum of 5 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams Minimum of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $100,000
First-Degree Felony Over 400 grams Minimum of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison Up to $250,000

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Additional Resources

HPD Narcotics Division – Visit the official website for the Houston Police Department (HPD) to learn more about their narcotics division. Access the site to learn more about their multifaceted strategies to suppress the use of drugs on Houston streets.

Drug Schedules – Visit a document provided by Texas Health and Services to learn more about drug schedules. The Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) introduced drug schedules across the nation. Texas builds their penalty groups off these schedules. If you’re charged in a federal court, then your charges would be determined by drug schedules instead of penalty groups.


Lawyers for Felony Drug Charges in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony drug crime, it’s crucial you contact an experienced attorney. Find that attorney today with Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc.. We focus on criminal defense and have a passion for protecting people’s rights.

Call today at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. for a case evaluation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represents clients throughout the greater Harris County area including River Oaks Bellaire, Pasadena, and Houston


This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019. 

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