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The Difference Between Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession in Texas

Posted in Criminal Defense on October 5, 2023

Sometimes, a small mistake can take a turn for the worse, such as being arrested for drug possession and the charges later escalating to drug trafficking. In Texas, drug-related offenses carry severe legal consequences that can significantly impact an individual’s life. If you are simply discovered to have illegal substances on your person or in your vehicle, a law enforcement officer will likely arrest you for drug possession. 

Even though Texas law does not have a designated “drug trafficking” criminal offense, the Texas Health and Safety Code addresses manufacturing and distributing controlled substances. An individual may be charged with drug trafficking if they are caught transferring or delivering a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia to another person. Although both offenses involve possession, they differ significantly in terms of the severity of penalties and the elements required for conviction. If you were arrested for drug possession or trafficking, call Mary E. Conn & Associates to assess the facts and circumstances of your case to determine your best legal options. 

What Is the Difference Between Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession in Texas?

Drug possession refers to the act of knowingly having illegal drugs or controlled substances in one’s possession. Texas classifies drugs into different penalty groups, and the severity of the charges depends on the type and quantity of the substance, ranging from misdemeanor to felony convictions. 

The following are examples of controlled substances groups based on the severity of the possession charges: 

  • Group 1: Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, ketamine, oxycodone, hydrocodone
  • Group 1A:  LSD
  • Group 2: Ecstasy, PCP, mescaline
  • Group 3: Lorazepam, peyote, Valium, Xanax, Ritalin
  • Group 4: Compounds containing narcotic drugs with non-narcotic medicinal ingredients

Drug trafficking involves the distribution, transportation, or sale of illegal drugs. In Texas, it is considered a much more serious offense than simple drug possession. However, to obtain a conviction of drug trafficking, the prosecution must demonstrate the defendant had the intent to distribute drugs to others. For example, they may use the presence of scales, plastic baggies, or other objects found in the vicinity as evidence to classify it as drug paraphernalia. 

Call the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Mary E. Conn & Associates to understand your charges and develop a strong defense strategy to protect your rights, potentially diminishing the severity of the charges and penalties.

Drug Trafficking or Possession Legal Defense 

Drug trafficking charges are serious offenses with life-altering penalties, which is why it’s imperative to seek legal guidance as soon as you can. The criminal defense legal team at Mary E. Conn & Associates can develop strong strategies to potentially diminish the charges or penalties against you. 

The following are some common defense strategies that may help your drug trafficking case: 

    • Challenging the search and seizure: If the evidence against you was obtained through illegal search and seizure, our legal team can file a motion to suppress the evidence. If successful, this could lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges. 
    • Lack of knowledge: It may be argued that you were unaware of the drugs’ presence or involvement in the alleged trafficking activities.
    • Mistaken identity: If the prosecution’s case relies on witness identifications, you can present evidence challenging the liability of such identifications or loving mistaken identity. 
    • Insufficient evidence: Our legal team can challenge the strength of the prosecution’s evidence, arguing it is insufficient to prove the drug trafficking charges beyond a reasonable doubt. 
  • Negotiating plea bargains: In some cases, our legal team may negotiate with the persecution to secure a plea bargain, reducing the charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. 
  • Rehabilitation and treatment: If applicable, our legal team may present evidence of your commitment to rehabilitation and treatment as a mitigating factor for reducing penalties. 

Each drug trafficking case is unique, and the defense strategy will vary depending on the unique circumstances and evidence involved. The lawyers at Mary E. Conn & Associates will thoroughly analyze your case, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments, and use the most effective defense strategies to achieve the best possible outcome. It is essential to call us now if you’re facing drug trafficking or possession charges to protect your rights and freedom. 

Contact the Experienced Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers at Mary E. Conn & Associates 

If you have been arrested for drug trafficking or possession, you must remember you still have legal options to protect your rights and freedom. Since 1985, Mary E. Conn & Associates has defended countless clients, protecting them from the legal repercussions associated with drug offenses. 

Call us now at (713) 357-4190 or fill out a contact form to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers. 

CALL US TODAY 713-357-4190