Possessing and distributing illegal drugs, or what Texas refers to as controlled substances, are both criminal offenses, but they have different penalties. Drug distribution has more severe penalties than possession, so it is important for one to understand the difference between the two.
The court can charge any individual with drug possession if it believes they intentionally and knowingly possess an unprescribed controlled substance.
Marijuana, cocaine and meth, among others, are all controlled substances in Texas, but they trigger different penalties depending on their classification. The government classifies drugs based on how dangerous they are.
On top of the classification, the court also considers numerous other factors to decide on the penalty for drug possession, including the amount and type of the drugs and the defendant’s criminal history.
If authorities reasonably believe that a person sells or intends to sell illegal drugs, they can charge that person with drug distribution. But how do courts establish intent? The quantity of the illegal drug usually gives the authorities an idea that the defendant meant to distribute it. Similar to possession, courts consider the amount and type of controlled substance found with the defendant when determining the penalty.
The court can charge both possession and distribution as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the factors. However, drug distribution has larger fines and longer jail sentences.
It is understandable to feel hopeless if you are charged with either drug possession or distribution. However, a drug charge is not a conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your case and with the help of a legal professional, strategies may be available to mitigate penalties or dismiss your case altogether.