Possession of a Controlled Substance (Drug Possession)

Close-up photo of a male suspect posing for a mugshot

A conviction for drug possession, or possession of a controlled substance (POCS), in Dallas can result in serious penalties. Violators face imprisonment, fines, a criminal record, an inability to pursue certain jobs or professions, and/or a driver’s license suspension or loss of driving privileges.

Often, law enforcement officers in Texas will attempt to charge alleged offenders with more serious drug offenses if they are caught with a controlled substance in their possession. Some of the more common drug charges include possession with intent to sell or drug trafficking.

If you have been charged with a drug possession offense in Texas, it is important to contact an experienced Dallas drug crimes law firm to begin crafting your best legal strategy.

Dallas Possession of a Controlled Substance Attorney

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Dallas or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. We represent North Texas clients in communities such as Irving, Plano, Fort Worth, Richardson, and Frisco.

Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’s drug defense laws and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your alleged drug possession offense.


Overview of Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas

What Is Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas?

According to Sections 481.115 through 481.118 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, an individual can be charged with possession of a controlled substance, narcotics, or drugs if they knowingly or intentionally possess substances found in Penalty Groups I through IV without a valid prescription from a person licensed to practice medicine.

The penalties for possession of a controlled substance in Dallas depend on the penalty group the substance is categorized in and the amount of the drug or substance.


Back to top

Drug Penalty Groups in Texas

The Texas Controlled Substances Act categorizes various types of drugs into four different penalty groups under Sections 481.101 – 105 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. Common drugs featured in these penalty groups include controlled substances, medications, chemicals, prescription pills, street drugs, narcotics, stimulants, depressants, man-made substances, and natural substances. The penalty groups are organized as follows:

  • Penalty Group I (PG-1) – Examples of substances in this group include, but are not limited to heroin, methamphetamine, codeine, hydrocodone, and cocaine.
  • Penalty Group II (PG-2) – Examples of substances in this group are psilocybin (also called magic mushrooms or shrooms), MDMA (ecstasy), and hallucinogens.
  • Penalty Group III (PG-3) – Examples of substances in this group can include Xanax, Valium, lysergic acid diethylamide (also known as LSD or acid), and drugs containing small amounts of narcotics.
  • Penalty Group IV (PG-4) – Examples of substances in this penalty group can include substances with limited quantities of narcotics that also contain one or more non-narcotic active medical ingredients.

Back to top

Dallas Penalties for Drug Possession in Penalty Group I

Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.115 defines the following penalties for possessing drugs in Penalty Group I:

  • An individual can be charged with a state jail felony offense if the amount of the drug in their possession is less than one gram. Maximum penalties for this offense include imprisonment from 180 days to two years and a fine of $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a third-degree felony if the amount of the drug in their possession is between one and four grams. Maximum penalties for this offense include imprisonment from two to ten years and a fine of $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a second-degree felony if the amount of the drug in their possession is between 4 grams and 200 grams. Maximum penalties for this offense include imprisonment from 2 to 20 years and a fine of $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a first-degree felony if the amount of the drug in their possession is between 200 grams and 400 grams. Maximum penalties for this offense include imprisonment from 5 to 99 years and a fine of $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more of a substance in their possession can receive 10 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.

Back to top

Penalties for Possession of Substances in Penalty Group II

Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.116 defines the following penalties for possessing drugs in Penalty Group II:

  • An individual can be charged with a state jail felony drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than one gram. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a third-degree felony drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is between one gram and four grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a second-degree felony drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is between 4 grams and 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual with 400 grams or more of a substance in their possession can receive five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Back to top

Drug Possession Penalties for Penalty Group III

Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.117 defines the following penalties for possession of drugs in Penalty Group III:

  • An individual can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than 28 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a fine not more than $4,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the third degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is at least 28 grams but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in two to ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual in possession of 400 grams or more of a substance can receive a term of five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Back to top

Dallas Penalties for Possession of Controlled Substances in Penalty Group IV

Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.118 defines the following penalties for possession of drugs in Penalty Group IV:

  • An individual can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is less than 28 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine not more than $2,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the third degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in imprisonment from two to ten years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual can be charged with a felony of the second degree drug possession offense if the amount of the substance in their possession is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from of two to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual in possession of 400 grams or more of a substance can receive a term of five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Back to top

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana

Marijuana (or “marihuana,” as it is referenced in the Texas Statutes) is one of the most popular drugs not just in Texas, but in the entire country. While other states are beginning to pass legislation legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, Texas is still stuck in the past.

Marijuana is considered a controlled substance, but possession of marijuana carries a different set of penalties. Texas law defines the following maximum penalties for possession of marijuana based on weight:

  • 2 ounces or less – Class B misdemeanor; 180 days of imprisonment and a $2,000 fine
  • 2 to 4 ounces – Class A misdemeanor; one year of imprisonment and a $4,000 fine
  • 4 ounces to 5 pounds – State jail felony; 180 days to 2 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine
  • 5 to 50 pounds – Third-degree felony; 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine
  • 50 to 2,000 pounds – Second-degree felony; 2 to 20 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine
  • More than 2,000 pounds – Life felony; 5 to 99 years of imprisonment and a $50,000 fine

Interestingly, there is no Texas law against marijuana cultivation. If you are caught growing marijuana, you will be charged with possession. This means that the wet, unharvested, uncured plants will be weighed and used to determine the severity of your charge. You will likely also receive a paraphernalia charge for any equipment used in your grow operation.


Back to top

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Drug Possession Attorney

DFW criminal defense attorney Richard McConathyContact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged possession of a controlled substance offense throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas drug crimes lawyer in Dallas who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.

Call (972) 233-5700 or submit an online form for a free consultation about your drug case. We represent clients in and around Dallas County, including Denton County, Collin County, and Tarrant County.


Back to top

This page was last updated on Monday, February 11, 2019.


Client Testimonials

  • 5 stars
    I would like to thank the Law Office of Richard C. McConathy for your awesome and courtious attention to professionalism. I am amazed at Richard and Brian''s ability to get a fast resolution and am grateful to them for the time put into this matter. I could feel the genuine concern and dedication that the attorney''s put on my case.
    - Andrea L.
  • 5 stars
    I hired The Law Office of Richard C. McConathy after I got arrested for DWI. In my life of work, I absolutely could not have a conviction on my record. At trial, I was found Not Guilty. Brian and Richard are the best lawyers in Dallas!
    - David C.
  • 5 stars
    I was able to keep my driver''s license and keep a clean a record as both the ALR and DWI case were both dismissed! I was pleased with their professionalism and ability to work with me to achieve the best possible outcome, dismissals all around.
    - James M.
  • 5 stars
    I was pulled over on the North Dallas Tollway for going 90 mph. The cop said that I was all over the road, and failed all the field tests and was obviously intoxicated. I pretty much lost all hope that I would walk away from this. That was until I found Richard McConathy. Richard and his firm fought the DA and eventually got my case dismissed. I couldn''t give a bigger recommendation for these guys. If you''re in trouble don''t hesitate, it is worth it.
    - Greg B.
  • 5 stars
    The law offices of Richard C. McConathy represented me with the utmost professionalism and they secured a victory for my probation revocation case. My case was nine years old and I was told by other firms that it would be very difficult to get the judge to revoke. This firm took my case on, and not only won the judgment, but also got the original probation case conditions dismissed. I highly recommend this law firm to any person in need if legal representation. They are very considerate and extremely knowledgeable.
    - Brant G.
READ MORE TESTIMONIALS
(972) 233-5700
  1. videosVideos
  2. phone
  3. case resultsResults
  4. contactContact
X