Penalties for drug crimes in Texas

Texas treats possession, distribution and trafficking of controlled substances as serious crimes, typically resulting in significant fines as well as prison time. The Texas Controlled Substances Act defines four categories of illegal drugs and outlines consequences for possession and sale of various amounts.

If you face drug charges in Texas, learn more about the potential penalties before your court date.

Drug possession penalties

Possession of controlled substances in Texas results in fines of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. The state charges possession crimes involving more than 4,000 grams or units of a substance as first-degree felony offenses. These convictions carry fines of up to $100,000 and up to 99 years in prison when the person possesses Group 1 drugs, which include prescription opioids, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and other hallucinogenic drugs.

For possession of less than 1 gram, you could receive 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Jail time increases along with the amount of the substance.

Penalties for drug sales and manufacture 

Individuals who sell or manufacture less than 1 gram of a substance with Penalty Group 1 categorization may receive a state jail felony conviction, which results in at least 180 days and up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. For more than 1 gram, jail time increases to between 5 and 99 years, with fines that increase with the amount of the substance. For more than 400 grams, penalties increase to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Extenuating circumstances will also affect the amount of prison time and ordered fines for Texas drug crimes. These include making or selling a controlled substance in the presence of a minor, using a child to commit a drug crime or selling drugs to a minor, especially if that person is more than three years younger than the defendant.