Drug Charges

Killeen Drug & Controlled Substance Crime Defense Lawyers

When you’re facing drug or narcotic charges in Harker Heights, Waco, Copperas Cove and throughout Central Texas

Convictions for drug offenses here and across the country come with severe penalties. As the nation struggles with the opioid crisis, state and federal prosecutors continue to tighten restrictions around controlled substances and demand harsher sentences for offenders. If you’re facing drug charges or are under investigation, you need solid legal representation and smart defense.

At the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, our Killeen criminal defense attorneys understand that an arrest for possession of drugs doesn’t mean you’re guilty. And, an arrest doesn’t automatically lead to a conviction. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally or knowingly possessed drugs. As a former prosecutor herself, Attorney Harrell knows how to craft a defense with both sides of the law in mind.

What are the various drug charges in TX?

The Texas Controlled Substances Act determines the severity of drug charges according to several variables – the amount of drugs you have in your possession, the type of drug you have in your possession, its schedule classification and any aggravating circumstances. If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Don’t worry; our lawyers can explain any charges against you in detail.

We bring a wealth of expertise and resources to defend a variety of Killeen drug charges, including:

  • Distribution
  • Intent to sell
  • Manufacturing
  • Marijuana charges
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Trafficking
  • Possession in a Drug Free Zone

We’ll help protect your constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as well as fight the charges against you to keep your criminal record clean.

What are drug schedules?

Drugs and controlled substances are assigned by the DEA to different schedules, which are categorized according to their potential for abuse and medical use. Schedule I drugs have a heavy risk for addiction and little to no medical use, while Schedule V drugs have little chance of abuse and common medical use.

  • Schedule V drugs have a lower risk for abuse and include medications like cough suppressants with codeine or some anti-diarrheal treatments.
  • Schedule IV drugs have a low risk for abuse and include prescription meds like Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien and Tramadol.
  • Schedule III drugs have a moderate risk for abuse and include products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone.
  • Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and include combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall and Ritalin.
  • Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use and a high risk for abuse. Examples include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone and peyote.

The state of Texas ties penalties for a drug conviction to the drug’s schedule.

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What are the Texas drug penalty groups?

The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs and controlled substances into four distinct penalty groups, which prosecutors then use when assigning punishments to criminal drug offenses.

Penalty Group I

Substances in Group I include drugs like heroin, methamphetamines, codeine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxycontin, stimulants, speed, hydrocodone, GHB, ketamine, Special K and cocaine. Penalties for conviction of a Group I drug crime can range from:

  • 180 days to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine
  • Up to life in prison (for possession of 400 grams or more) with fines up to $300,000

Penalty Group I-A

This group contains lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) only. Penalties for conviction range from:

  • 180 days to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine
  • Up to life in prison (for possession of 400 grams or more) with fines up to $300,000

Penalty Group II

Group II includes substances like psilocybin, cathinone, magic mushrooms, bath salts, MDMA, ecstasy and other hallucinogens. Penalties for conviction can range from:

  • 180 days to two years in jail
  • Up to life in prison (for possession of 400 grams or more) with fines up to $50,000

Penalty Group III

Substances in Group III include Xanax, Valium, Lysergic acid, Zolpidem, Ambien and other drugs that contain small amounts of narcotics. Penalties for conviction can include:

  • 180 days to two years in jail with fines up to $10,000
  • Up to life in prison (for possession of 400 grams or more) with fines up to $50,000

Penalty Group IV

Group IV contains substances with limited amounts of narcotics but also contain a non-narcotic active medical ingredient(s).

  • 180 days to two years in jail with fines up to $10,000
  • Up to life in prison (for possession of 400 grams or more) with fines up to $50,000

Are marijuana charges treated differently in Texas?

Yes. Cannabis remains illegal in our state and has a separate range of penalties and punishments here in Texas. Marijuana crimes can range from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies, depending on the amount and value of the substance involved.

What is prescription fraud?

Many of our clients find themselves shocked to be charged with a crime for possessing prescription medication. However, it’s only legal to have prescription medication if the prescription is written out to you personally. This includes simply borrowing an Oxycodone from a friend when you have back pain. The nationwide war on opioids has authorities cracking down hard on these types of substances, leading innocent people to seek illegal means of securing painkillers. Our attorneys provide compassionate defense if you’ve been arrested for opioid possession.

You can be arrested for prescription fraud when you illegally acquire prescription drugs for personal use or profit. This can happen via forging prescriptions, stealing forms or doctor shopping. If you’ve been arrested for a prescription drug crime, we can help.

At the Law Office of Mary Beth Harrell, our lawyers have the extensive legal knowledge necessary to fight your charges and defend your rights. You need a tough smart lawyer dedicated to your defense. An effective, experienced lawyer can mean the difference between a conviction and a reduced or dismissed charge.

Killeen drug crime defense attorneys on your side

At the Law Office of Mary Beth Harrell, our legal team understands the stress and consequences of a drug crime charge. Hiring a qualified lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make. Our drug and controlled substances defense attorneys  work hard to try to get your charges dismissed, reduced or win at trial. Let us help. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form. We have offices in Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Waco, and handle in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us.