You live in Texas and share an apartment with your roommate. You decided to room with her despite knowing she uses drugs in the apartment. You see and smell it often and you’re worried that you could get in trouble if she is caught. The question is can you be charged with drug possession as well? This question requires a review of Texas drug laws.
§ 481.002(38) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, commonly known as the Texas Controlled Substance Act.
- Possession of 2 oz. or less – Class B Misdemeanor offense, with penalties of up to 180 days in jail, and fines of $2000. You can also face a 6-month loss of drivers license for any marijuana possession charge
- More than 2 oz. (up to 5 lbs.) – Class A Misdemeanor offense, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail, and fines of $4000
- 5lbs to 2000 lbs.-A 3rd Degree Felony offense, with penalties between 2-10 years in prison with fines of $10-$50,000
What is drug possession
§ 481(38) of the Texas Health and Safety Code defines drug possession as actual care, custody, control, or management.
What constitutes drug possession is a fact intensive question when drugs are present in a common space shared by more than one person. That’s because of the affirmative links doctrine. It states that “the evidence must affirmatively link the accused to the contraband in such a manner and to such an extent that a reasonable inference may arise that the accused knew of the contraband’s existence and that he exercised control over it. This affirmative link is established by showing additional facts and circumstances, which indicate the accused’s knowledge and control of the contraband.” Dubry v. State, 582 S.W.2d 841 Hence, based on a review of Texas’ drugs law, the short answer is yes you could be charged with possession if the police finds drugs in an apartment you share with a roommate. However, the state would have to prove that you knowingly had actual care, custody, control, or management of the drugs by producing evidence that affirmatively links you to the drug. The same is true whether you are riding in someone’s car or visiting his or her house. If he or she has drugs in their car or house you could be charged with drug possession. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, you should not be around people who use drugs.
Remember, I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice, so please call the Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Corbett Law Firm at 214-725-0254 if you need legal advice or have questions about this article.