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Texas prosecutes drug offenses under § 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), which is called the Texas Controlled Substances Act. This Act makes it illegal to knowingly possess, manufacture, and distribute a controlled substance or marijuana. The penalty for such violations depends on the quantity.
The most frequent violation of the Act is possession of a controlled substance or marijuana. Texas law defines possession as the actual care, custody, control, or management of the contraband. THSC § 481.002(38). This broad definition means a person can be charged with possession although he was caught with no drugs on his person. Essentially being around drugs can result in a possession charge.
Texas law defines manufacture as the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance. THSC § 481.002(38). Texas imposes some very tough penalties for manufacturing controlled substances. For example, a conviction for manufacturing a controlled substance can result in life imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine.
Texas law defines delivery as the transfer, actually or constructively, to another a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia, regardless of whether there is an agency relationship. The term includes offering to sell a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia. THSC § 481.002(8). Typically, the penalty range for delivery mirrors those stiff penalties for manufacturing.
Possessing drug paraphernalia is also an offense under Texas law. Texas law defines drug paraphernalia as equipment, a product, or material that is used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, or concealing a controlled substance. A conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia is often prosecuted as a misdemeanor but can be charged as a felony if the person participates in a minor receiving the drug paraphernalia.
Drug Free Zone
A violation of Texas drug free zone laws can be especially harsh. Read our blog for more information about Texas Drug free zone laws.