Houston Drug Crime Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been accused of a drug crime in Texas? If so, it’s imperative you seek legal representation right away.
Drug cases have the potential to be highly complex and to present numerous severe penalties if the defendant is convicted. David Breston is an experienced and aggressive drug crimes lawyer in Houston.
Since 1997, we have helped hundreds of clients get charges dropped or dismissed. If you have been accused or suspected of committing a drug crime in Harris County, contact our criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible.
Free Consultation With a Houston Drug Crimes Lawyer
Whether you are charged with large-scale drug trafficking or simple possession of a controlled substance, our criminal defense attorneys draw on years of experience. We can help you fight the charges and, if necessary, secure an effective drug treatment program. We will gather as much evidence is needed to prove you are innocent.
Call the Law Office of David A. Breston immediately for a free consultation if you are facing charges of any type of drug crime in Houston. Without the representation of a skilled drug crimes attorney, it is not likely that you will be able to successfully defend yourself from a wrongful conviction. Drug crimes are severely punished with lengthy prison sentences, so don’t take chances.
Drug Crimes Resources
- Texas Controlled Substance Act
- What are the Penalty Groups?
- Possible Defenses in Drug Crime Cases in Houston
What is Considered a Serious Drug Offense?
In Texas, there are a number of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD, and crystal meth. Criminal defense attorney, David A. Breston, has handled countless cases involving drug crimes, and can competently defend clients charged with the following:
Federal Drug Penalties
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or distribute
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Trafficking and distribution
- Drug Conspiracy
- Driving under the influence of drugs
It is also considered a crime to use a prescription or over-the-counter drug for an illegal purpose. A drug crime conviction in Harris County will result in serious legal ramifications, including long-term jail and prison sentences, probation, large fines, mandatory drug treatment, community service, driver’s license suspension, and a mark on your permanent record. In addition, being charged with possession can seriously damage your reputation and destroy your relationships with family and friends.
We Defend Clients Throughout Houston Who Have Been Charged With Different Types of Drug Crimes
The Houston drug lawyers at the Law Office of David A. Breston are experienced in trial cases as well as prosecution and can defend your case from every angle. Be represented by a powerful legal team that you can trust to fight for your freedom. Our lawyers, Alma Garcia and David Breston, have had extensive success in getting charges reduced and dismissed for our clients. Contact our criminal defense lawyers today at the Law Offices of David A. Breston for a free legal consultation. Don’t just take our word for it though, hear what our clients have to say on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Is a Drug Charge a Criminal Offense in Texas?
Yes, a drug charge is considered a criminal offense under state and federal law in Texas. Drug crimes cases can range from a $500 fine (for a class “C” paraphernalia case) to life in prison (the maximum sentence). There are many factors that determine if you will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. These penalties and factors may include:
- The amount of the drugs in possession at the time of your arrest
- If a minor was involved
- The type of drug
- Your intent in regard to the drug (simple possession or possession with intent to sell)
What Is the Texas Controlled Substance Act?
The Texas Controlled Substance Act is Texas’s primary health and safety code for regulating legal and illegal substances, including drugs. It outlines the state’s complete laws for possession of illegal drugs, as well as additional abuse of prescription drugs and all related penalties.
The Controlled Substances Act organizes drugs into four main categories:
- Narcotics, including opium, morphine, and other opium poppy derivatives
- Depressants, or drugs that slow body functions, such as tranquilizers and alcohol
- Stimulants, or drugs that increase nerve activity, such as cocaine and amphetamines (speed)
- Hallucinogens, or drugs that alter perception, such as LSD, marijuana (cannabis), and ketamine
What are the Penalty Groups for Controlled Substances in Texas?
The Texas Health and Safety code classifies drug charges under penalty groups. The groups are categorized from one to four in order of punishment, level of addiction and severity.
The following are common drugs and their penalty group:
- Penalty Group 1. This group contains cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. In Texas, possession of less than a gram of a group 1 substance is considered a felony.
- Penalty Group 1A. Hallucinogens like LSD are included in this group and sentencing could include life in prison or up to $250,000 in fines. penalties in group 1-a are determined by the number of units one has in possession. Under 20 units is a state felony, punishable by jail of between 180 days and 2 years as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
- Penalty Group 2. This group includes many of the “club drugs” such as ecstasy, mescaline, and molly (MDMA). Life imprisonment and fines up to $50,000 may be imposed for this class of drug possession. Possession of less than one gram of group 2 substance is a felony.
- Penalty Groups 3&4. These groups include the possession of prescription drugs in the absence of a valid prescription. Maximum penalties for these groups include 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Possession of less than 28 grams of a group 3 substance is considered a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. Possession of a group 4 substance can carry a felony charge if you possess between 28-200 grams.
- Marijuana. Classified on its own, marijuana penalties could be as long as 20 years in prison or life imprisonment and $10,000 in fines. Marijuana convictions are more likely than others to be eligible for alternative forms of sentencing such as drug rehabilitation and probation periods as an alternative to prison time.
Our Houston law office has a complex understanding of how these drug penalties are categorized and have successfully handled hundreds of cases in all penalty groups.
Can I Have My Drug Possession Arrest Record Expunged in Harris County?
Under some circumstances, you may be eligible to have your record cleared. For example, if you were arrested for a drug crime in Texas, but were not charged, you may be eligible to have your record expunged. If your case was dismissed due to lack of probable cause or insufficient evidence, you may be able to get your record cleared.
If you plead guilty or were found guilty of a drug crime by a judge or jury, you won’t be eligible for record expunction.
What are the 4 Major Drugs that are Associated with Crimes?
Drug crimes are widespread across the state of Texas, and unfortunately, many people struggle with addiction every day. According to the statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety, manufacturers can sell and create synthetic drugs – that are often life-threatening – at alarmingly high rates, which may be contributing to the overdose crisis throughout the state and across the country.
The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) published a report in November 2018 on the drug use patterns and trends observed in Texas during the previous calendar year. This report provides the following statistics on the prevalence of certain drugs in Texas communities, as evidenced by admissions data for rehabilitation centers and other addiction programs.
- Approximately 10,724 people sought help from a Texas drug and alcohol rehab center for marijuana addiction during 2017, comprising 21.7% of admissions for that calendar year.
- 8,481 admissions occurred when people sought treatment for methamphetamine addiction, comprising approximately 17.2% of admissions during 2017.
- 8,238 admissions occurred when people sought treatment for heroin addiction, making up 16.7% of admissions.
- 3,382 admissions occurred when people sought treatment for cocaine or crack addiction, making up 6.8% of admissions.
- 2,841 admissions occurred when people sought treatment for prescription opioids, approximately 5.8% of admissions.
- The most common primary substance for rehabilitation admission was not an illegal drug – it was alcohol, leading to 11,511 admissions making up 23.3% of total admissions during 2017.
The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970
Due to the spike in recreational drug use during the 1960s, the United States federal government passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 to help address the sale, use, possession, and manufacturing of illicit drugs such as heroin or amphetamines. The Act allows for the government to define and classify certain drugs, as well as research and create treatment programs for drug abuse.
THIS ACT IS COMPRISED OF TWO MAIN PARTS: TITLE II AND TITLE III.
- Title II is the Controlled Substances Act, which consolidated different laws on the manufacturing and distribution of all types of drugs throughout the United States. Title II defines the drug schedule, which classifies different drugs into five different categories based on the severity of addiction and dependence potential and the use of the drug for medical purposes.
- Title III involves import and export of drugs, criminal forfeiture and seizures, and different drug law amendments. Title II provides the necessary legal framework for establishing the drug laws and processes that are in place throughout the country today.
Possible Defenses in Drug Crime Cases in Houston
With so many factors playing a part in drug possession cases, many defenses exist to either dismiss a charge or reduce the level of penalties. Possible defenses can include:
- The defendant was not aware he or she was in possession of a controlled substance.
- The drug has a Federal, Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act approved new drug application.
- The drug is a prescribed medication from a medical doctor.
- The defendant did not intend the drug for human consumption.
- The defendant’s conduct was in accord with a Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act approved investigational use.
- The defendant did not possess a sufficient quantity of the drug for the applicable charges.
- Unlawful search and seizure brought the drug into law enforcement’s possession.
- The drugs belong to a party other than the defendant.
- The prosecution has insufficient crime lab analysis to prove that the drug in question is an illicit substance.
- The prosecution cannot produce the actual drugs.
- Another party planted the drugs in the defendant’s possession.
While all these possible defenses are usable in a drug possession case, the defendant’s addiction to a substance is not. Having an addiction to an illegal or controlled substance indicates that the defendant once possessed the substance to form an addiction in the first place.
With the potentially serious consequences of drug possession, you should not attempt to face charges alone. Our skilled attorneys will provide you with the knowledge you need about Texas’s drug laws, how they apply to your case, and any possible defenses you may use in court. We will also stay by your side and fight to disprove any false charges.
Texas Drug Crime Statistics
Drug crimes are common in the state of Texas, from manufacturing to possession to sales. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, police officers arrest thousands of people every year on these charges. The Texas Crime Report for 2018 provides the following statistics on drug crimes in the state.
- 125,754 arrests for drug possession occurred in 2018, along with 128,003 arrests in 2017.
- 22,693 arrests occurred for drug sale and manufacturing in 2018 – an 18% increase in the crime from 2017, when 19,228 arrests occurred.
- Police officers in Texas seized approximately 10,118 pounds of heroin, 165,232 pounds of marijuana, and 17,098 pounds of cocaine during 2018.
- Other common drugs seized by Texas law enforcement include codeine, morphine, and hallucinogens such as LSD, PCP, mushrooms, and peyote. Texas police officers also charged individuals with the possession, abuse, and manufacturing of drugs such as barbiturates, amphetamines, and tranquilizers.
- Approximately 58.4% of drug sale and manufacturing arrests involved synthetic narcotics in 2018, including methadone, pentazocine, and the incredibly deadly and dangerous drug fentanyl.
- 1% of drug sale and manufacturing arrests involved marijuana, 17.2% involved opium or cocaine, and 12.3% of these arrests involved other drugs.
- 148,447 arrests occurred for drug abuse charges in Texas during 2018, a 0.8% increase from the number of arrests in 2017.
- 50% of drug possession arrests in 2018 involved marijuana, while only 9.5% involved synthetic narcotics and 18.4% involved opium or cocaine.
Client Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Mr. Breston did an amazing job and told me he could get my husband home. He done what other attorneys said was impossible. Or they were going to charge me an outrageous amount. He did it the first time at a reasonable price. Thank you Mr. Breston you are awesome.