Around the United States, drug crimes are on the rise. Drug possession and related crimes involving drug use are one of the leading causes of arrest. In fact, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is an average of one drug arrest every 20 seconds.
However, is there a difference between partaking in an illegal substance such as cocaine or methamphetamine and willfully possessing it? Yes. Drug possession is a serious crime that has many consequences.
What Is Drug Possession?
Drug possession is defined as the willful possession of illegal substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. For willful possession to apply, the individual must know they have illegal substances on their person, in their vehicle, etc. The individual must also know that the drug is, in fact, illegal at the time of discovery.
The drug doesn’t have to be in your physical possession to be considered a crime. According to Justia, there are two forms of drug possession including actual possession and constructive possession.
- Actual possession: Applies to those who are in control of the drug at the time of discovery such as in their pocket.
- Constructive possession: Applies to those who have access to the drug such as in their medicine cabinet at home.
What Are the Consequences of Drug Possession?
There are consequences for drug possession under both federal and state laws. An individual can be found guilty of possessing the drug or possession with the intent to distribute the drug. In Texas, for the possession of a controlled substance, consequences may include:
- A minimum sentence involving confinement in jail for a term of no more than 180 days or a fine not to exceed $2,000 or both
- A maximum sentence involving confinement for life or for a term of not more than 99 years nor less than 10 years, a fine to not exceed $250,000
For the delivery of a controlled substance other than marijuana, the consequences are the same with a minimum fine of no more than $10,000.
For marijuana, the minimum fine will not exceed $2,000 and the maximum will not exceed $100,000. Additionally, other consequences can’t be ruled out, depending on the seriousness of the offense, the type of drug and the amount in possession.
Are You Facing a Drug Possession Charge?
If you are facing a drug possession charge, you should remain proactive and seek out the consult of a professional criminal defense lawyer. At Setzer Law Firm, we represent individuals who have been charged with drug possession. To learn more, send us a message today.