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Possession of a Controlled Substance

Houston Possession of a Controlled Substance Attorney

The first emotions after a charge for possession of a controlled substance are often fear and confusion. Texas does not take charges for possession of a controlled substance lightly. These offenses can bring imprisonment and steep fines, not to mention serious indirect consequences. If convicted, misdemeanor or felony charges can affect future employment, housing, and even education opportunities.

It's important to understand exactly what charges you face. Remember: just because you have been arrested for a crime does not mean you are guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney can closely examine your case, looking for instances where your rights were violated, whether in the arrest, investigation, or prosecution. This can be a great asset in presenting your case and fighting for dismissed or minimized charges.

Houston Possession of a Controlled Substance Attorney

Criminal defense attorney Matt Horak is dedicated to defending the rights and futures of individuals who have been charged with misdemeanor or felony drug crimes in Houston, TX. His experience as a former Harris County Assistant District Attorney has proven invaluable for the clients that he defends each and every day. Matt's insight into prosecution, investigation, and arrest procedure can be a great asset as you defend your case.

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Houston or the surrounding communities, it's important to get immediate legal counsel. The more time you wait to contact an experienced Houston attorney for a possession of a controlled substance charge, the more time you give the prosecution to build their case against you. Call (713) 225-8000 today for a free consultation.


Texas Possession of a Controlled Substance Resource Center


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Possession of a Controlled Substance Categorization

For the purposes of classification, Texas health statute has divided controlled substances (including materials, compounds, and mixtures) into Penalty Groups 1 through 4.

  • Penalty Group 1 consists of certain opiates (such as Ketobemidone, Methadol and Properidine), opium derivatives (such as Codeine methylbromide or Heroin), powdered opium, raw opium, cocaine, ketamine, and others.
  • Penalty Group 1-A consists of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), including LSD salts and isomers.
  • Penalty Group 2 consists of certain hallucinogenic substances (such as Bufotenine or Diethyltryptamine), Amphetamine, Etorphine Hydrochloride, and others.
  • Penalty Group 3 consists of certain stimulants, depressants (such as Pentazocine or Lysergic acid amide), Nalorphine, Peyote (unless unharvested and kept in its natural state), Barbital, Dextropropoxyphene, certain anabolic steroids (such as Testosterone), and others.
  • Penalty Group 4 consists of certain compounds or mixtures containing the narcotic drug Buprenorphine or Butorphanol or pyrovalerone (unless specifically exempted in another penalty group). It also limits the quantities of narcotic drugs and nonnarcotic active medicinal ingredients. This is limited to:
    • not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams;
    • not more than 100 milligrams of dihydrocodeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams;
    • not more than 100 milligrams of ethylmorphine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams;
    • not more than 2.5 milligrams of diphenoxylate and not less than 25 micrograms of atropine sulfate per dosage unit;
    • not more than 15 milligrams of opium per 29.5729 milliliters or per 28.35 grams; and
    • not more than 0.5 milligrams of difenoxin and not less than 25 micrograms of atropine sulfate per dosage unit;

For the purposes of prosecution of possession, manufacture, or delivery, Penalty groups 1, 1-A, and 2 include controlled substances that are chemically similar to those listed in the penalty group. It also includes chemical structures that are specifically designed to produce an effect similar or greater than the controlled substance listed in the applicable penalty group.


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Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1 (Sec. 481.115.)

Unless specifically exempted under law, it is a criminal offense for a person to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, unless obtained under a valid prescription. The following are classifications for this offense:

  • State Jail Felony – Less Than 1 Gram of Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1
  • 3rd Degree Felony – 1 to 4 Grams of the Controlled Substance
  • 2nd Degree Felony – 4 to 200 Grams of the Controlled Substance
  • 1st Degree Felony – 200 to 400 Grams of the Controlled Substance

Felonies that exceed 400 grams of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 are publishable by 10 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.


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Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1-A (Sec. 481.1151)

A person commits a criminal offense if they knowingly possess a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1-A. Classification for these offenses are:

  • State Jail Felony – If the number of units of the controlled substance is less than 20
  • 3rd Degree Felony – If the number of units of the controlled substance is more than 20, but less than 80
  • 2nd Degree Felony – If the number of units of the controlled substance is more than 80, but less than 4,000
  • 1st Degree Felony – If the number of units of the controlled substance is more than 4,000 but less than 8,000.

If the number of units of a controlled substance is 8,000 or more, it is an offense punishable by imprisonment of 15 to 99 years or for life, including a fine of up to $250,000.


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Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2 (Sec. 481.116.)

Unless the person obtains the controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 2 under a valid prescription, they are guilty of a criminal offense. These offenses are classified as follows:

  • State Jail Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is less than 1 gram
  • 3rd Degree Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is more than 1 gram, but less than 4 grams
  • 2nd Degree Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is more than 4 grams, but less than 400 grams.

In situations where 400 grams or more of the controlled substance is possessed, it is an offense punishable by life in prison or a term between 5 and 99 years, in addition to a fine of up to $50,000.


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Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 3 (Sec. 481.117.)

It is a criminal offense to possess a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 3, unless legally obtained under a valid prescription. Exemptions are also given for members of the Native American Church with more than 25% Native American blood. Offenses for these acts are classified as follows:

  • Class A Misdemeanor – The amount of the controlled substance is less than 28 grams
  • 3rd Degree Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is more than 28 grams, but less than 200 grams.
  • 2nd Degree Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is more than 200 grams, but less than 400 grams.

Life in prison or a term of 5 to 99 years and a fine of up to $50,000 may be given as penalties for persons in possession of a controlled substance of 400 grams or more.


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Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 4 (Sec. 481.118.)

Unless obtained through a valid and legal prescription, it is considered a criminal offense to possess any substance listed under Penalty Group 4. The offenses are categorized as follows:

  • Class B Misdemeanor – The amount of the controlled substance is less than 28 grams
  • 3rd Degree Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is more than 28 grams, but less than 200 grams
  • 2nd Degree Felony – The amount of the controlled substance is more than 200 grams, but less than 400 grams

Persons who possess 400 grams or more of a controlled substance in this category may receive life in prison or a 5 to 99-year sentence, in addition to a fine of up to $50,0


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Horak Law | Houston Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in, then contact Houston criminal defense attorney Matt Horak. His experience and attention to detail can help you through this difficult time.

During your free consultation, he will help you understand the charges you face and plan for a favorable outcome. Call (713) 225-8000 or fill it the online contact form to begin building a solid defense today.

Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014