Drug possession is one of the most common drug-related offenses in Houston, Texas. Possession charges can be filed when a police officer discovers that a person has some quantity of illegal drugs on his person, in his vehicle or in his home. The punishment for this offense is usually determined by measuring the type and weight of the drugs recovered from the arrest.
Penalties for possessing drugs can range from simple fines to lengthy jail time. Getting caught with drugs and taken into police custody can be a frightening experience. Knowing some information about this crime can help people to consider their legal defense options.
Houston Punishments for Drug Possession
The legal consequences for owning drugs can vary based on a number of factors. Being found with a large quantity of drugs will cause tougher penalties. The punishment can be further amplified if the defendant has a criminal history or is found with a quantity of drugs that is large enough for a distribution charge.
- possession of less than two ounces of marijuana can be punished with a 180-day jail sentence, a small fine and a mandatory drug education class
- possession of a few grams of methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin can lead to a sentence of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine
- possession of less than one gram of Ecstasy, hashish or PCP can lead to a sentence of two years in jail
- possession of a small quantity of prescription drugs like Xanax or Adderall can be punished with a year in jail and up to a $4000 fine
Legal Defenses for Owning Drugs
Preparing a legal defense is important for anyone charged with owning drugs. A defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution and the judge to get the defendant probation instead of jail time.
Claiming that the drugs belonged to someone else isn’t a good strategy. A lawyer may be able to get a lighter sentence in exchange for the defendant participating in drug treatment or community service.