West Texas Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Offenses


Texas drug charges are complicated and can be confusing, even to people who deal with them regularly. If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Lubbock or West Texas, contact me today for a free consultation for your criminal case. As a criminal defense lawyer with years of experience defending clients in the criminal justice system, I can explain in further detail the specifics of your charge, what penalties you could be facing, what your rights are in drug cases, and what I do to provide a strong defense for my clients.


Controlled Substance Penalty Groups in Texas

The Texas Controlled Substances Act divides categories of drugs into various “penalty groups” that are used to determine the classification of your criminal charge and the penalties you can receive for different drug offenses. The penalties you could face for a drug arrest can also vary greatly depending on the amount of the controlled substance that is involved in the offense.

Marijuana Group

Marijuana, or “Marijuana”, as the Texas statutes call it, is classified in its own penalty group. The legal definition of marijuana includes the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not, the seeds of that plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of that plant or its seeds.

Relevant Statute:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(26) — Definition of Marijuana

Penalty Groups 1 and 1A

Common controlled substances that are classified as Penalty Group 1 include:

  • Opiates;

  • Opium derivatives such as heroin, codeine, and morphine;

  •  Opium and its chemical equivalents;

  • Cocaine;

  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol or “roofies”);

  • Methamphetamine;

  • PCP;

  • GHB; and

  • Ketamine.

Penalty Group 1-A includes LSD and similar compounds.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.102 — Penalty Group 1

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1021 — Penalty Group 1-A

Penalty Group 2 and 2-A

The following substances are included in Penalty Group 2:

  • Hallucinogenic substances such as DMT, synthetic THC, MDMA, BZP, psilocybin, and mescaline;

  • Phenylacetone;

  • Other depressant/stimulant compounds such as amphetamine, Vyvanse, and Qualuude; and

  • Compounds derived from 2-aminopropanal such as MDPV and mephedrone.

Penalty Group 2-A consists of synthetic chemical compounds that mimic the pharmacological effects of naturally-occurring cannabinoids.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.103 — Penalty Group 2

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1031 — Penalty Group 2-A

Penalty Group 3

The drugs that are classified as Penalty Group 3 include:

  • Compounds containing stimulants such as Ritalin and Preludin;

  • Compounds containing depressants such as Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin;

  • Nalorphine;

  • Compounds containing limited quantities of narcotics such as codeine, morphine, or difenoxin;

  • Compounds containing other substances such as barbiturates and chloral hydrates;

  • Peyote;

  • Compounds containing other stimulants such as appetite suppressants;

  • Dextropropoxyphene; and

  • Anabolic steroids.

Relevant Statute:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.104 — Penalty Group 3

Penalty Group 4

Finally, Penalty Group 4 contains the following substances:

  • Compounds containing limited quantities of narcotics that include non-narcotic active medicinal ingredients such as codeine, morphine, difenoxin;

  • Compounds containing Buprenorphine or Butorphanol; and

  • Compounds containing pyrovalerone.

Relevant Statute:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.105 — Penalty Group 4

Categories of Texas Drug Offenses

The law identifies three basic categories of drug offenses that will also affect the classification of your criminal charge and the penalties you can receive:

  • Possession (Having the drug)

  • Manufacture (Making the drug)

  • Delivery (Selling the drug)

Possession

Possession is defined as having actual care, custody, control, or management of a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia. For you to be convicted of drug possession, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly and intentionally possessed or controlled a drug without a valid medical prescription.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(38) — Definition of Possession

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121 — Possession of Marijuana

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.115 — Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 1

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1151 — Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 1-A

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116 — Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 2

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1161 — Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 2-A

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.117 — Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 3

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.118 — Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 4

Manufacture and Delivery

Manufacture includes any activity involved in making a controlled substance other than marijuana, including the packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container. Delivery is the act of transferring a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia to someone else (usually through sale) or simply offering to sell any of these.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(8)-(9) — Definition of Delivery

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(25) — Definition of Manufacture

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.120 — Delivery of Marijuana

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.112 — Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1121 — Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1-A

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.113 — Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.114 — Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4