Texas takes a very strict stance when it comes to drug-related offenses. In particular, Texas takes a hardline approach on the issues of possession and distribution of drugs. Getting caught with a drug in your possession is almost always a serious offense, and if you are charged with a drug-related crime, you will need help.

What is a Controlled Substance?

A controlled substance is a prescription medication or illegal drug that has the potential to be so dangerous when consumed that distribution of the substance is regulated. No Texan is allowed to have in his or her possession a controlled substance without obtaining the substance from a professional who is authorized to administer or prescribe it.

Controlled Substance Examples

You are likely familiar with the names of a variety of controlled substances. Marijuana, also known as pot, is probably the most commonly known controlled substance, followed by more serious illegal drugs like crack, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. Many heavy-duty painkillers are also controlled substances, such as morphine and oxycodone (also referred to as Oxycontin). Painkillers, such as these and Ketamine (commonly known as “Special K”), are only supposed to be given to people if they have a valid prescription from someone who is professionally qualified to prescribe them. Other types include the hallucinogen LSD, the depressant GHB, and the amphetamine MDMA (more commonly known as “X,” ecstasy or Molly).

Different types of drugs carry different charges and penalties under Texas state law. Each one of the above-identified drugs, except for LSD, marijuana and MDMA, are classified under Penalty Group 1. LSD is a penalty group 1-A drug and MDMA is classified in Penalty Group 2.  Marijuana is classified separately. The penalties associated with the penalty classifications vary based on how much of the substance is in a person’s possession, but generally consist of a fine and/or jail time.

What Is Possession and What Is Distribution?

Possession under Texas law is defined as having actual care, custody, control or management of a controlled substance.  Possession is proven if the prosecutor can show that you had a drug in your possession intentionally and with full knowledge that you are not authorized by a prescription to have.

Distribution is precisely what it sounds like: the delivery of a controlled substance to another without authorization to do so. To say it another way, you are not authorized to have a drug in your possession, yet the substance is in your possession and you have illegally given the substance to another person.  Typically, distribution is proven by evidence of actual distribution or it is inferred by the quantity of the drug that someone has on their person.