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Possession of a Controlled Substance

Updated: May 10, 2022

Drug possession is a serious offense in Texas. Under state law (Texas Controlled Substances Act, Health & Safety Code and Texas Penal Code), a conviction, and sometimes even just an arrest, for possession of a controlled substance is subject to strict criminal penalties. So, what exactly are the penalties for drug possession in Texas? The short answer is that they vary widely — with the two most important factors being what the specific substance is classified as and the amount of that substance someone is accused of being in possession of.

Texas law classifies controlled substances in one of four penalty groups. The penalty groups are numbered from 1 to 4. Generally, the severity of the substance and the criminal charge, starts at penalty group 1 and goes all the way up to penalty group 4, decreasing in severity as the penalty group increases. Nonetheless, every charge and case is unique. So, no matter which penalty group the controlled substance falls under, the consequences will be steep.

The next important factor has to do with the weight of the controlled substance. With weight, the issue is the same regardless of which group the controlled substance falls under. Texas law dictates the level of the offense based on how much of the controlled substance is at issue. As you may have guessed, the offense’s severity is dependent on how much the controlled substance weighs.

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