Possession of Controlled Substances

In Texas, a controlled substance can be anything from a medication that is illegal to possess without a valid prescription up to and including typical “street drugs” like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. These offenses can be either felony or misdemeanor offenses based on the “penalty group” of the substance. Simple possession of less than one gram (PG 1 or 2) is a State Jail Felony and is punishable by 6 months to two years in a state jail facility and a fine of $10,000 or less. However, these punishments can go up to 1st degree and beyond, depending on your priors and how much you were in possession of. However, it is possible for simple possession of a PG 3 can be a class a misdemeanor with a range of punishment of up to a year in jail and a fine of less than $4,000.

What is included in the different penalty groups?

Penalty group 1: cocaine, mescaline, ketamine, methamphetamine, opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc…), opium derivatives or opiates (like heroin), and some levels of hallucinogens (like LSD).

Penalty group 2: Ecstansy (MDMA), PCP, hashish and other cannabinols made from cannabis like those found in edibles or vape pens. Keep in mind that the weight will include any adulterants and dilutants.

Penalty group 3: opiates and opiods that are not included in pg1, anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (Xanex), sedatives (Valium), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and other prescription drugs that have a stimulant or depressant effect with the potential for abuse.

Penalty group 4: Any opiods or opiates not included in PG1 or 3, and other chemical compounds and prescription medications with the potential for abuse.