Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

5 elements considered in drug possession charges

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Federal Crimes

Being in possession of an illicit drug in Texas is a crime. Suspects who are caught in possession or distributing illicit substances may face severe fines and incrimination. Penalties for drug possession are not always similar from one suspect’s conviction to the next. There are a few elements that the courts consider before deciding a defendant’s penalties. 

Here are five elements that are considered when dealing with a drug possession acquisition: 

Drug schedule 

Under the Controlled Substance Act, drugs are categorized in schedules by their medical usage and addictive nature. There are five schedules in total. Schedule III, IV and V drugs are on the lower end of the scale. These drugs. such as cough medicine, steroids and testosterone can be purchased over the counter or with prescriptions and used in many hospitals because they have many medical uses and low addiction tendencies. Schedule I and II drugs, such as cocaine and heroin have very limited to no medical uses and high abuse ratings. Being in possession of a Schedule drug with a higher abuse rating can lead to harsher criminal charges. 

Quantity of illicit substances 

A criminal conviction can greatly change depending on the quantity of an illicit substance found in possession. A large quantity of a lower-schedule drug could have similar criminal implications as someone caught with a small quantity of a higher Schedule drug. The more of a drug found, the more likely it is suspected to be trafficked or manufactured. 

Concealment of drugs

If a drug was found on someone’s person there may be less harsher penalties than if someone was caught hiding illicit substances in a secret compartment in a vehicle with the intent of smuggling it across borders. 

Possession of drug paraphernalia

A suspect may not be in possession of illicit substances to face criminal charges. The possession of tools or instruments used to ingest or manufacture illicit substances could lead to severe penalties.  

Previous convictions  

A suspect who is facing drug possession charges for the first time may have lesser penalties than someone who is a repeat offender. 

It can help suspects to learn about their legal defense options as they challenge a drug possession charge.