Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian

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McKinney Drug Offenses

There has been a shift in some states regarding the use and sale of certain controlled substances. There is no doubt that the conversation around drug usage is changing, but that doesn’t make using or selling drugs in the state of Texas any less illegal. Regardless of what other states allow within their borders, the state of Texas maintains and enforces strict drug policies. Any violation of those policies can result in severe, even life-altering consequences. Even when found in small amounts, the state of Texas will pursue swift and aggressive action against those caught with any type of controlled substance.

If you’ve been accused of a drug-related offense, you need experienced and comprehensive legal representation. That’s where the legal team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian comes in. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling a variety of drug-related cases and will step in to protect your rights. We want to work with you to provide a solid defense strategy based on the circumstances of your particular situation. Texas is serious about its drug laws, and at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, we are serious about protecting you. Contact our firm at (972) 369-0577 today for a review of your case.

Federal Versus State Drug Crimes

First and foremost, there is a significant distinction that needs to be made when it comes to drug-related offenses. An individual may face charges on a state level, or they may end up facing charges on a more severe federal level depending on the arresting officials and the nature of the crime. The two legal jurisdictions typically work independently or one another but may collaborate on certain cases. Typically, if you are arrested by local law enforcement you will be subject to state laws and penalties. However, if you are arrested by the FBI, DEA, or the ATF, or if you are somehow caught up in a large drug bust, you are most certainly going to be facing federal charges and will be pursued legally by large and powerful agencies. These agencies have little patience for drug offenders and a huge amount of resources at their disposal to pursue legal action against you. The punishment for violating federal drug laws can be quite severe.

What Does Possession of a Controlled Substance Mean?

Possession of a controlled substance is the legal terminology for finding drugs on an individual. Being charged with possession of a controlled substance means that a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that you have either the “actual care, custody, control or management” of an illegal substance. While the concept seems simple enough, Texas law can get very complicated when it comes to drug-related offenses. The type of drug, the amount being possessed, and aggravating factors can all come into play and impact a case.

Texas Drug Classifications

Texas uses a classification system for drug-related offenses. This classification system groups different types of drugs together based on their properties and what they are derived from. For example, Penalty Group 1 drugs are opiates or opium derivatives. Depending on the type of drug, the amount, and the nature of the offense, penalties for a drug offense will be based upon which category the drug you had in your possession is placed into. The drug classification in Texas is as follows:

  • Penalty Group 1- This group is made up of drugs that are considered opiates or are derivatives of opium. Drugs in this category include:
    • Cocaine
    • Methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth)
    • Ketamine
    • Prescription painkillers (without a legal prescription)
      • Hydrocodone
      • Oxycodone
      • OxyContin
      • Codeine
    • Heroin
    • LSD is considered a Penalty Group 1-A drug because it is typically sold by dose, not weight
  • Penalty Group 2- The majority of this category is made up of substances that are cannabinoids or derived from cannabis and drugs that are hallucinogenic in nature, including:
    • Molly
    • Ecstasy
    • MDMA
    • Mushrooms
    • Penalty Group 2-A drugs include synthetic cannabinoids such as “spice” or “K2”
    • THC, the active chemical in marijuana, is considered a Penalty Group 2 drug
  • Penalty Group 3- The drugs in this category tend to be considered depressants such as barbiturates. These drugs include:
    • Valium
    • Xanax
    • Ritalin
    • Anabolic steroids
  • Penalty Group 4- These drugs are typically small dose narcotics mixed with other drugs or substances. These may include:
    • Buprenorphine
    • Butorphanol
    • Tylenol with codeine

It is important to note that prescription drugs aren’t a get out of jail free card. You can be charged with drug-related crimes for being in possession of a prescription drug if you do not have a valid prescription. Many types of prescription drugs are narcotics and must be administered and used under a doctor’s care.

Penalties for Drug-Offenses

The penalties that you may face for drug-related offenses can vary. That’s because there are a number of circumstances that are taken into consideration when determining punishment. The amount of the drug in your possession, your intentions, and other aggravating factors will all come into play when it is time to determine punishment. In general, here are the penalties for possession associated with each drug classification:

  • Penalty Group 1
    • Less than one gram 
      • 180 days up to two years in state jail
    • At least one gram but less than four grams
      • Two years up to10 years in prison
    • At least four grams but less than 200 grams
      • Two years up to 20 years in prison
    • At least 200 grams but less than 400 grams 
      • Minimum of 5 years in prison up to life or 99 years
    • 400 grams or more 
      • Minimum of 10 years in prison up to life or 99 years
      • Fines up to $100,000
  • Penalty Group 2
    • Less than one gram 
      • 180 days up to two years in state jail
    • At least one gram but less than four grams
      • Two years up to10 years in prison
    • At least four grams but less than 200 grams
      • Two years up to 20 years in prison
    • 400 grams or more 
      • Minimum of 5 years in prison up to life or 99 years
      • Fines up to $50,000
  • Penalty Group 3
    • Less than 28 grams
      • State jail sentence of not more than one year and/or a fine
    • At least 28 grams but less than 200 grams
      • Two years up to 10 years
    • At least 200 grams but less than 400 grams
      • Two years up to 20 years
    • 400 grams or more
      • Minimum of 5 years in prison up to life or 99 years
      • Fines up to $50,000
  • Penalty Group 4
    • Less than 28 grams 
      • Up to 180 days in state jail and/or a fine
    • At least 28 grams but less than 200 grams
      • Two years up to 10 years in prison
    • At least 200 grams but less than 400 grams
      • Two years up to 20 years in prison
    • 400 grams or more
      • Minimum of 5 years in prison up to life or 99 years
      • Fines

The punishments for simple drug possession are severe and often include prison time. The penalties are even more severe for those accused of manufacturing or selling illegal substances. Penalties may also be increased in certain circumstances where a death or serious injury results from a drug offense or when children or minors are in any way involved in the drug violation.

Punishments can also be increased if a violation is committed in what is known as a “drug-free zone”. These zones include schools and playgrounds and can result in a punishment being enhanced by one level. For example, if you committed a Class B misdemeanor offense but it took place in a drug-free zone, you would end up facing a Class A misdemeanor.

In addition to these drug possession penalties, penalties may also be added on for related crimes. Possession of drug paraphernalia is the most common charge added to a possession drug offense. Possession of paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor and can be punishable by a fine of $500.

Types of Drug Cases We Handle

Texas drug laws are complex. The drug categories, the penalties, the aggravating circumstances, it can get very confusing, very quickly. Thankfully, the team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to handling McKinney drug cases. Our legal team can help you with charges related to a wide variety of drug-related offenses. Some of the cases we handle include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Mushrooms
  • Opioids
  • Prescription drugs
  • Possession of paraphernalia
  • Possession in a drug-free zone
  • State drug charges
  • Federal drug charges
  • Felony arrests
  • Drug addiction problems

Contact an Experienced Drug Offense Defense Attorney

Facing a serious drug offense is frightening. Looking at the list of possible penalties you may face, you quickly come to understand just how serious Texas takes drug-related offenses. You need the experience of a skilled defense attorney in your corner as soon as possible. At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian we treat you with compassion and respect as we aggressively fight for your rights and build a solid defense strategy based on the facts surrounding your case.

If you are facing the frightening prospect of a drug-related offense contact the office of Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian at (972) 369-0577. Let us review your case and give you your legal options today.