Any drug charge is a serious offense in Texas, but cocaine could send you to jail for life. Law enforcement agencies place a high priority on drug crimes. This is because drug abuse is directly responsible for a significant percentage of serious crimes, including domestic violence, aggravated assault and robbery.
Cocaine abusers frequently commit crimes to finance their habit, and the drug causes erratic mood swings and unpredictable behavior. In 2013, the Texas Department of Public Safety arrested nearly 140,000 people for drug crimes, and almost 30,000 of those were for cocaine manufacturing and possession.
If the court finds you guilty of manufacturing or possessing cocaine, you will face significant penalties. Even possessing a small amount of cocaine could have harsh consequences.
It may be in your best interest to contact a criminal lawyer in Dallas to identify the best way to proceed. Call the Law Offices of Robert Gregg at (214) 891-7536 today to discuss your circumstances.
Even if you consider the charges to be light, Texas courts are unlikely to agree. Your entire future is at stake, and you could benefit from professional help. Until then, read on for two facts you should know about cocaine laws in Texas:
- How Texas Courts Handle Sale and Possession of Cocaine
It is illegal to sell or possess cocaine in Texas at both the federal and state levels. The Texas Health and Safety Code stipulates the laws surrounding possession and distribution of cocaine, and several factors may influence the penalties for convicted offenders.
The most important consideration during sentencing is how much cocaine was in your possession at the time of your arrest. Even a small amount can send you to prison for a lengthy period. Possessing a large quantity of cocaine, usually more than 200 grams, could result in lifetime incarceration.
If you were carrying a small amount of cocaine when police arrested you and it is your first offense, there is a chance that you can enroll in a diversion program to avoid jail time. A criminal attorney can help you investigate this option. He or she may be able to negotiate with the state to drop the charges in exchange for participating in a diversion program.
- How Texas Penalizes Cocaine Crimes
If convicted, the penalties you face will depend on how much cocaine was in your possession and what your intentions were for carrying it. Those whom police catch with less than 1 gram typically incur state felony penalties and jail time. Up to 4 grams of cocaine could result in a charge of a third-degree felony, and it is a second-degree felony to carry anything up to 200 grams.
If police catch you with more than 200 grams, you will suffer penalties associated with a first-degree felony. This could earn you anywhere from 10 years to 99 years in jail. Furthermore, you will likely have to pay a $100,000 fine.
Criminal charges are serious in nature, and you could benefit from obtaining legal advice from a criminal lawyer with extensive experience handling drug crimes. The Law Offices of Robert Gregg can help you structure a defense around the specific charges you face. Call us today at (214) 891-7536