Drug Charges- Possession, Delivery, or Manufacturing
Possession of Marijuana (POM):
Marijuana, cannabis, pot, weed, herb, or any other name you may have for it, is illegal to possess in Texas. Possession of any amount up to 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor, between 2-4 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor, 4 ounces to 5 pounds is a State Jail Felony, 5 pounds to 50 pounds is a Third Degree Felony, 50 pounds to 2000 pounds is a second degree, and more than 2000 pounds is a First Degree Felony. Also, a conviction for Possession will automatically suspend a person’s driver’s license for 180 days. The suspension will be lifted after 180 days if the defendant completes a State approved15 hour Drug Offender Education Program during the 180 days.
When it comes to possession of marijuana cases in Central Texas the outcome, as with every case, depends on what county you are in and whether or not you have prior arrests. Even though it is illegal and you may have been caught red handed that does not mean that you have come away with a conviction. Prosecutors and judges understand the consequences associated with a conviction for having a personal amount of marijuana and thus in many cases defendants can take a class and/or do some community service to get their case dismissed. Many counties offer Pretrial Diversion type programs that require the defendant to complete a short probation and if successful the case will be dismissed and you can get the case immediately expunged. Of course if your case has any legal defense to prosecution such as an illegal search, illegal arrest, or an illegal detention than Mykal will expose the illegality at a pretrial hearing to get your case dismissed.
Possession of a Controlled Substance (POCS)
Possession of a controlled substance is a little more complicated due the fact that Texas Controlled Substances Act (found in the Health and Safety Code 481.102) has several different penalty groups depending on the substance and the amount. Certain pills like Xanax are penalized as a Class A misdemeanor until the quantity exceeds 28 grams. It is also important to note that the penalty range is based on weight of the substance and not the number of pills. Possession of substances like Oxycodone, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin, and Hashish are going to be felonies regardless of the quantity. However, the weight of the illegal substance will determine the level of offense. Generally, an amount under 1 gram will be a State Jail Felony, 1 gram up to 4 grams will be a Third Degree Felony, 4 grams up to 200 grams will be a Second Degree Felony, and an amount of 200 grams or more will result in a First Degree Felony charge.
Additionally, depending on the facts of your case the State can charge you with a higher degree for distribution, manufacturing, and possessing drugs in a drug free zone. The drug free zone enhancement can also lead to mandatory stacked sentences and longer jail sentences before being eligible for parole.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (PDP)
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor that carries with it a $500 fine for a conviction. A conviction for this charge can result in a 180 day driver’s license suspension.
Drug Diversion Court AKA The S.H.O.R.T. Program
S.H.O.R.T. is the acronym for a System of Healthy Options for Release and Treatment. This is an excellent alternative to being prosecuted for those who qualify. The program provides the user (not dealers) with treatment and counseling, not the stigma of a felony drug prosecution.
S.H.O.R.T. puts into action the long overdue response that drug addiction is a disease that should be treated, not punished. The mission statement of S.H.O.R.T. reads:
The mission of the Travis County SHORT Program is to slow the revolving prison door for drug offenders, reduce drug use and criminality and promote effective treatment programs in which the client is treated with dignity rather than treated as a criminal.The treatment consists of three fairly intensive phases. Each participant is assigned a Primary Counselor to assist with successful completion of each phase. There are an array of treatment approaches (e.g. acudetox, cognitive skills training, support groups, employment and vacation referrals) available for addressing specific needs. The program can be completed in one (1) year. You do not need a lawyer to get into S.H.O.R.T.- so no legal fees, although there is a $1,00000 fee due upon acceptance. For more information contact the S.H.O.R.T. program at 854-4200