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When drug possession turns into trafficking, according to Texas law

Texas has strict drug laws, and this extends to charging someone with trafficking. Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, you can face anywhere from six months to 99 years in state prison if convicted of a drug trafficking charge.

As that massive range of penalties implies, there are many factors involved. One is the type of drug you are accused of possessing. Another is how much of it police allegedly caught you with.

Drug trafficking penalties in Dallas-Fort Worth

State law divides controlled substances into four categories. Category One includes opioids, oxycodone, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. Category Two includes ecstasy and amphetamine; Category Three includes valium and LSD; and Category Four is for mixtures and compounds of drugs.

The sentence you can face depends partly on which category of drug you are accused of distributing or delivering. The higher the category, the harsher the sentencing guidelines, on the theory that Category One and Two drugs are more addictive than those in Three and Four. Another important factor is the amount of drugs you are convicted of trafficking. Less than one gram of a Category One or Two drug can result in a sentence of six months to two years. But if you are convicted of trafficking four grams of the same substance, the sentence could be between two and ten years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000 per offense.

Aggravating factors that can increase the sentence include whether the sale took place in certain designated zones (such as a school zone), whether you had any weapons on you when you were arrested, and if you had any drug paraphernalia like a scale. Also, if the authorities accuse you of trafficking drugs across state lines, you will most likely be charged with a federal crime.

Protect your rights

Trafficking is a serious charge, but there are things you can do in your own defense. One of the most important things you can do is hire an experienced defense attorney. Your lawyer will fight to protect your rights and ensure that the process is as fair as possible.