Possession of Cocaine

By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972)562-7549

www.thecollincountylawyer.com

Possession of Cocaine in any amount is a felony offense in Texas. Texas Health & Safety Code Sections 481.115 and 481.102 are the governing statutes. Section 481.102 places Cocaine in Penalty Group 1 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act, and Section 481.115 is the statute which makes it’s possession illegal. That law says:

“(a) Except as authorized by this chapter, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, unless the person obtained the substance directly from or under a valid prescription or order of a practitioner acting in the course of professional practice.

“(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a state jail felony if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, less than one gram.

“(c) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, one gram or more but less than four grams.

“(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, four grams or more but less than 200 grams.

“(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the first degree if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams.

“(f) An offense under Subsection (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000, if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, 400 grams or more.

Texas Penal Code Section 1.07(39) legally defines possession as actual care, custody, control or management. Further, it is an extremely common defense to challenge the legality of the search where the cocaine was procured.

There are other aggravating factors under Texas State law which can enhance charges such as possession in a drug free zone or possession with intent to distribute.

Finally, under Texas law, first-time drug offenses which are in the State Jail Felony category MUST be punished by probation where there has been a conviction as the legislature has made recent strides towards rehabilitation in the past few sessions.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any situation you should directly consult an attorney licensed in your state.

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