Drug Cases


  1. Ranges of Punishment for Common Drug Offenses.

    Possession of Marijuana (Under 2 ounces)
    Fine: up to $2000 County Jail: up to 180 days
    Probation: up to 2 years

    Possession of Marijuana (Under 2 ounces/drug free zone)
    Fine: up to $4,000
    County Jail: up to 1 year
    Probation: up to 2 years

    Possession of Controlled Substance (Less than one gram) (cocaine/methamphetamine)
    Fine: up to $10,000
    State Jail: 180 days up to 2 years
    Probation: 2 to 5 years

    Driver's License Suspensions Are Possible In All Texas Drug Cases, Even if the Drugs Are Not Found in a Vehicle.
  2.  Punishments Are Worse for Possession in a Drug Free Zone. If a person possesses an illegal drug in something called a "drug free zone", such as the area around a school, then potential punishments are increased.
  3. A "usable amount" of Marijuana Is Not as Much as You Think. Even though it is only illegal to possess a "usable amount" of marijuana, Texas courts have held that almost any amount of marijuana that is detectable can be considered a "usable amount."
  4. 4. In Order to Be Found in "Possession" of an Illegal Drug, the Drug Does Not Have to Be Found On Your Person. "Possession" simply means that a person knowingly exercised "care, management, or control" over the illegal drug. For instance, if you have drugs stored in a suitcase or a backpack, you could be deemed to be in possession of the drugs even if you do not have the suitcase or backpack with you when the drugs are discovered. There is no bright line rule for deciding possession. Possession has to be determined from the unique facts of each case.
  5. Merely Being In the Presence of Drugs Does Not Mean You Are in Possession of Them. It is common for police to stop a car, find drugs, and to arrest everyone in the vehicle, regardless of whether everyone exercised care, management or control over the drugs or not. The attitude seems to be "arrest them all and let God and the court system sort them all out." Under Texas law, however, simply being in the same place where drugs are found, even if you are aware of the presence of the drugs, does not make you guilty of possession.
  6. It Is Possible For More Than One Person to Be In "Possession" of the Same Drugs. There is such thing as joint possession of the same illegal drugs. It is possible for more than one person to be prosecuted for the same drugs.
  7. If the Police Find Drugs as the Result of An Illegal Search or Seizure, the Evidence is Not Admissible In Court. If police discover drugs as a direct result of conducting a search without probable cause, or detaining someone without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the drug evidence cannot be used against the person whose rights were violated.
  8. Even If You Consented to a Police Search, a Court Might Find That the Consent Was Illegally Obtained. Police can search without probable cause if a person consents to the search. However, if the person's consent itself was obtained during an illegal detention or arrest, or is found to have been coerced, the consent is invalid and the resulting search is illegal.
  9. You Could Lose Your Car or House Over A Small Amount of Drugs. If it is found that a person used property to commit a felony drug crime, such as having less than a gram of cocaine stored in a car glove box, or having more than four ounces of marijuana growing in a house, then that property could be forfeited to the state. Some counties have gotten aggressive in seizing property, even in simply possession cases involving small amounts of drugs.
  10. The War on Drugs Is Alive and Well in Comal and Guadalupe Counties. Defendants in drug cases routinely go to jail or get place on supervised probation for extended periods in these counties. Even a misdemeanor drug charge should be taken seriously.