Possession of a Controlled Substance

Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

//Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a Controlled Substance - Haddad Law Firm

Caught With A Controlled Substance?

In Texas, possession of a controlled substance can be a criminal offense ranging from a misdemeanor, felony or even a federal charges. As a result, controlled substance charges can result in harsh penalties including jail, fines and probation. However, in many cases, it is possible for a skilled defense attorney to negotiate a better deal or even have the charges dropped. If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney before making important decisions regarding your case.

What Constitutes Possession?

Controlled substance charges are often complicated and confusing. Very often, the word possession is misunderstood when dealing with drug charges. Generally, possession means a person must have actual care, custody, or control of an illegal substance. Unfortunately, the concept is used very broadly for drug offenses. In other words, it is not very difficult for an officer to make an arrest for possession of a controlled substance.

Don’t Plead Guilty

Remember, pleading guilty to any criminal offense results in a permanent conviction, which can never be removed from your record. A conviction for Poss CS can affect your life in many ways, even after a case has been resolved.

A conviction for a controlled substance charge can have very serious consequences, even if it’s just a misdemeanor. For example, controlled substance convictions can result in:

  • Permanent conviction on your record
  • Jail / Fines / Probation
  • Suspension of driver’s license or driving privileges
  • Deportation or exclusion from the United States

Drug charges can also significantly impact many crucial aspects of every-day life. For example, a drug conviction can prevent you from:

  • Housing approval
  • Employment opportunities
  • Pursuing certain college programs
  • Licensed professional occupations

Was There A Valid Stop?

An officer must have a legal reason for initiating contact.

Stay Calm & Be Polite

Just because an officer stops you doesn’t mean you committed a crime. Ask the officer if you are free to leave.

Was The Search Legal?

You have the right to refuse an officer's request to search.

Don't Get Tricked!

Without consent, police officers must have a proper legal basis to search a person, vehicle or house.

Was Arrest Legitimate?

An officer must have probable cause to make an arrest.

Remain Silent

What you don’t say can’t hurt you.

Penalty Groups / Offense Levels / Punishment Ranges

The Texas Controlled Substances Act categorizes drugs into four different penalty groups. However, it is important to note that marijuana is classified in a separate category of its own. Accordingly, each penalty group has its own offense levels and punishment ranges.

Texas controlled substances laws are particularly strict. However, punishment for possession of a controlled substance varies widely depending on the level of the offense. For example, sentencing depends on several factors such as the type of drug, quantity, how the drug was stored or concealed, possession of paraphernalia like scales, baggies or large amounts of cash and even the location of the offense.

Drugs commonly found in Penalty Group 1 are opiates, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, GHB,  and ketamine. Penalty Group 1-A includes LSD.

The quantity of the drug involved controls the punishment range for possession of a PG1 controlled substance:

Quantity/Weight of DrugsOffense LevelPunishment Range
Less than 1 gramState Jail Felony180 days-2yrs State Jail, fine<$10,000
More than 1 gram, less than 4 grams3rd Degree Felony2-10yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 4 grams, less than 200 grams2nd Degree Felony2-20yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 200 grams, less than 400 grams1st Degree Felony5-99yrs prison, fine<$10,000
400 grams or more1st Degree Felony10-99yrs prison, fine<$100,000
Drugs commonly found in Penalty Group 2 are PCP, mescaline, MDMA and tetrahydrocannabinols other than marijuana.

Similarly, the quantity of the drug involved controls the punishment range for possession of a PG2 controlled substance:

Quantity/Weight of DrugsOffense LevelPunishment Range
Less than 1 gramState Jail Felony180 days-2yrs State Jail, fine<$10,000
More than 1 gram, less than 4 grams3rd Degree Felony2-10yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 4 grams, less than 400 grams2nd Degree Felony2-20yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 400 grams1st Degree Felony5-99yrs prison, fine<$50,000
Drugs commonly found in Penalty Group 3 are opioids and opiates not listed in Penalty Group 1, benzodiazepines, sedatives and anabolic steroids.

However, punishment for possession of a PG3 controlled substance is different than the two groups above.

Quantity/Weight of DrugsOffense LevelPunishment Range
Less than 28 gramsClass A MisdemeanorUp to 1yr county jail, fine<$4,000
More than 28 grams, less than 200 grams3rd Degree Felony2-10yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 200 grams, less than 400 grams2nd Degree Felony2-20yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 400 grams1st Degree Felony5-99yrs prison, fine<$50,000
Penalty Group 4 drugs include many types of prescription drugs not included in the first 3 groups.

Punishment for possession of a PG4 controlled substance is as follows:

Quantity/Weight of DrugsOffense LevelPunishment Range
Less than 28 gramsClass B Misdemeanor180 days county jail, fine<$2,000
More than 28 grams, less than 200 grams3rd Degree Felony2-10yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 200 grams, less than 400 grams2nd Degree Felony2-20yrs prison, fine<$10,000
More than 400 grams1st Degree Felony5-99yrs prison, fine<$50,000

Drugs commonly found in PG1 are opiates, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, GHB, and ketamine. Penalty Group 1-A includes LSD.

Primarily, the quantity or weight of drugs determines the offense level and punishment range for possession of a PG1 controlled substance:

WeightLvlPunishment
<1gSJF180d-2yrs, <$10k
1g<4gF32-10yrs, <$10k
4g<200gF22-20yrs, <$10k
200g<400gF15-99yrs, <$10k
400g +F110-99yrs, <$100k

Drugs commonly found in PG2 are PCP, mescaline, MDMA and tetrahydrocannabinols other than marijuana.

Click Here for a full list of PG2 substances.

Click Here for a full list of PG2-A substances.

Similarly, the quantity or weight of the drug determines the punishment range for possession of a PG2 controlled substance:

WeightLvlPunishment
<1gSJF180d-2yrs, <$10k
1g<4gF32-10yrs, <$10k
4g<400gF22-20yrs, <$10k
400g +F15-99yrs, <$50k

Drugs commonly found in PG3 are opioids and opiates not listed in PG1, benzodiazepines, sedatives and anabolic steroids.

Click Here for a full list of PG3 substances.

However, punishment for possession of a PG3 controlled substance is different than the PG1 and PG2:

WeightLvlPunishment
<28gMA1yr jail, <$4k
28g<200gF32-10yrs, <$10k
200g<400gF22-20yrs, <$10k
400g +F15-99yrs, <$50k

PG4 drugs include many types of prescription drugs not included in the first 3 groups.

Click Here for a full list of PG4 substances

Punishment for possession of a PG4 controlled substance is as follows:

WeightLvlPunishment
<28gMB180d jail, <$2k
28g<200gF32-10yrs, <$10k
200g<400gF22-20yrs, <$10k
400g+F15-99yrs, <$50k

Have you been arrested for possession of a controlled substance?

Call Haddad Law Firm today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer about your case or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys and staff are experienced in defending all types of drug charges. Remember, a conviction is permanent and cannot be undone!

What Are My Options?

Just because you may have been caught with a controlled substance does not mean that you have to plead guilty to the charges. There are many ways to avoid a conviction for possession of a controlled substance or even have the case dismissed.

For example, the following is a list of possible ways a drug possession case may be dismissed:

  • Pretrial Diversion Programs
  • Conditional Dismissal
  • Class C Reduction
  • Plea and Bar
  • Set the Case for Trial
  • An Acquittal

What Client’s Say

Mr. Haddad is a very professional and reliable attorney. He was always quick to my texts/calls whenever I had a question regarding the case. He is very straightforward and honest and will keep you updated with important court dates. I would highly recommend Mr. Haddad.

Rating: ★★★★★
Paul W., Client
He was a court appointed attorney, but man he sure didn’t work as if he was one to me. He is genuinely a good guy inside and out that works hard for you and your case to provide the best outcome. I am more then grateful for him and his services! Two thumbs all the way up!

Rating: ★★★★★
Roberto L., Client
Mr. Haddad Law Firm was sufficient and prompt in handling our case along with answering any concerns we had. We would definitely work with this team again.

Rating: ★★★★★
Perry W., Client

Why Choose Our Firm

At Haddad Law Firm, we understand that facing criminal charges can be stressful and overwhelming. More importantly, we recognize that every case is unique and affects different people in different ways. That’s why we take our job of defending clients against criminal charges very seriously. After all, if your case isn’t the same as everyone elses, why should your lawyer be?

  • We provide honest, effective legal representation at affordable prices.
  • Our attorney and staff are experienced in defending criminal offenses.
  • Let us worry about your case, so you don’t have to!
  • Communicate with your lawyer directly about your circumstances.
  • We keep our clients fully informed about their case progress and updates.
  • If we can’t help you, we will do our best to help you find someone who can.