Many people think that having drugs in your possession isn't a big deal unless you are carrying a large quantity of the drug. This is absolutely false in Texas. It doesn't matter what type of drug you are said to be in possession of, you need to understand a few basic points about possession charges.
There is one drug that is handled a bit differently from others in Texas. That drug is marijuana. Here are a few points to remember if you are facing drug possession charges:
Classification of charges
With the exception of marijuana, all drug possession charges are felony charges. It is possible to face a felony charge for possession of marijuana if the amount is large enough. Smaller amounts of marijuana are considered Class B misdemeanors at a minimum.
As you can imagine, there are several impacts that can come from these charges. If you are facing a felony, a conviction automatically means that you are going to be labeled as a felon for life. This can make it hard to find housing or a job.
Possible penalties of a possession charge
The classification of the charge, the amount of the drug and the type of drug all determine what penalty you are facing for the possession charge. A misdemeanor charge for less than two ounces of marijuana can lead to up to 180 days in a jail, but more than 400 grams of cocaine can lead to 10 to 99 years or possibly life in prison.
On top of the incarceration possibility, you are also facing fines. The misdemeanor marijuana charge can lead to up to $10,000 in fines. The highest fine that a person might face is up to $250,000.
Alternative sentences are sometimes possible
It is sometimes possible to receive an alternative sentence for possession charges. Often, these are made available if someone doesn't have a criminal history and doesn't have any violent charges. Alternative sentences like drug court are preferable to incarceration for some individuals because these programs get them help for drug addiction.
No matter what type of drug possession charge you are facing, you need to learn about the specific penalties that you are facing. An understanding of this will help you evaluate the possible resolutions. Make sure that you think beyond the criminal penalties you face. You also need to think about the impact to your reputation and the collateral consequences you are facing.