Houston Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance or POCS, you are not alone. Over one million people are charged with POCS every year in America, according to the FBI. This is a serious charge that can end with huge fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges and possible job loss. Do not risk your future by representing yourself at court; make sure you hire a knowledgeable possession of a controlled substance attorney.
What is a Controlled Substance?
“Controlled substance” is a broad term covering street drugs like heroin and addictive prescription drugs like the painkiller Oxycontin. In the state of Texas, all drugs are placed into five categories known as Penalty Groups:
- Penalty Group I (PG-1): These include prescription and illegal opiates including crystal meth, heroin, cocaine, the veterinarian sedative ketamine and opium poppy.
- Penalty Group I-A (PG-1A): This is a category just for LSD and its derivatives, although in some cases they may be categorized as Penalty Group III.
- Penalty Group II (PG-2): These drugs are prescription and illegal drugs that cause hallucinations (except for LSD), including mescaline, Ecstasy and psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms.
- Penalty Group III (PG-3): These are narcotic drugs and medications, which include Valium, Xanax (alprazolam) and morphine. People are only allowed to keep certain amounts of these drugs and need a prescription proving that these drugs have been legally acquired.
- Penalty Group IV (PG-4): Basically, anything else that doesn’t fit into the above four categories.
Misdemeanor Vs. Felony
You can get charged with one of two types of POCS – a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony is considered a worse crime and has more severe penalties and longer time in confinement than for a misdemeanor. There are different degrees of felonies and misdemeanors which your possession of a controlled substance attorney can describe to you. The following factors help prosecutors charge you with a misdemeanor or felony:
- The danger factor: Some controlled substances are considered more dangerous than others. This danger factor changes from year to year. If the material is dangerous enough, then it is automatically listed as a felony, no matter how much you were caught with.
- Amount: If you are caught with a few ounces of a controlled substance that you have no right to carry, that’s a misdemeanor. If you’re caught with a truckload, that’s a felony. The more you are caught with, the more severe the charge.
- Intent: If the prosecutor thinks you were going to distribute (and not merely possess drugs), you will be charged with “intent” as in you intended to deal.