Possession with the Intent to Distribute
In most cases, individuals convicted of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute them, are punished more harshly than those who are just simply possessing them for personal use. In order to determine if the drugs were to be distributed, law enforcement officers rely on a variety of factors.
Some of these factors can include the presence of large amounts of cash, amounts of drugs that are not consistent with personal use, weapons, scales, and packaging material, among others. If these factors are present, they could lead to an arrest for possession with intent to distribute.
Section 481.112 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act
Section 481.112 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act states that it is illegal for an individual to knowingly possess, deliver, or manufacture any controlled substance with the intent to distribute it.
Penalties for possession with intent to distribute depend on the amount of the drug that was found, as well as which penalty group the drug is categorized in, with the penalties for drugs in Group IV being the least severe and drugs in Group I being the most severe.
Often, the narcotics themselves are the main evidence in a PWID case. Sometimes, they are the only evidence. Your San Antonio drug lawyer may be able to contest the search and seizure, seeking for the evidence to be thrown out. Without that evidence, prosecutors may have no choice but to reduce or drop your charges.
Controlled Substance Penalty Group Classifications
The penalty groups in Texas are outlined under sections 481.101 – 481.105 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. The drugs are categorized based on how addictive or harmful they are perceived to be. Common drugs in each penalty group include:
Penalty Group I – Cocaine, Codeine, Marijuana, Opium, Methamphetamines, Ketamine, Methadone, Oxycodone, and Methadone.
Penalty Group II – Ecstasy, Methaqualone, and Amphetamine.
Penalty Group III – Valium, Methylphenidate, Xanax, and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD).
Penalty Group IV – Compounds or mixtures that contain limited amounts of controlled substances, and one or more active medical ingredients.
Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs from Penalty Group III and IV
If an individual is found with less than 28 grams of a drug from Penalty Group III or IV, he or she can be charged with a state jail felony which is punishable by up to two years in jail, and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
If the amount possessed from either group is between 28 grams and 200 grams, the offender faces a second-degree felony and faces between two and 20 years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
For 200 to 400 grams of a drug in either group, an individual can be charged with a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable by between five and 99 years of imprisonment, and or up to a $10,000 fine.
In scenarios involving 400 or more grams of a controlled substance from Penalty Group III or IV, an individual can be sentenced to between 10 and 99 years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs in Penalty Groups I and II
An offender can be charged with a state jail felony if he or she is found with less than one gram of a substance from Penalty group I or II. A state jail felony carries a potential sentence of up to two years behind bars, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If the amount found is between one and four grams of a controlled substance from either group, the defendant will face second-degree felony charges, and can be punished by between two and 20 years of imprisonment, and/or be ordered to pay up to a $10,000 fine.
For between four and 200 grams of a controlled substance from Penalty Group I, or between four and 400 grams of a drug from Penalty Group II, an individual can be charged with a first-degree felony. This offense is punishable by between five and 99 years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If the amount found is between 200 and 400 grams of a narcotic from Penalty Group one, or 400 grams or more of a drug from Penalty Group II, the individual can be charged with a life felony and sentenced to 10 to 99 years behind bars, and/or up to a $100,000 fine.
If the amount is 400 or more grams and the drugs fall under Penalty Group I, an individual can face between 15 and 99 years behind bars, and/or be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000.
San Antonio Defense Attorney for Possession with Intent to Distribute
If you have been arrested for possession with intent to distribute, you could potentially be facing years behind bars. However, being charged with a serious drug crime does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of the offense. Dave Parent, an experienced possession with intent to distribute attorney in San Antonio can examine the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that could lead to a dismissal of your charges.
The Parent Law Firm represents individuals in Boerne, Comfort, San Antonio, Fair Oaks Ranch, Cross Mountain Ranch, Bandera, Kendall County, and Bexar County who have been accused of possession with intent to sell. Contact him today at 210-819-4111 to set up your free consultation.