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Houston Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer

Houston Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law


If you find yourself facing charges related to the possession of a controlled substance in Houston, you may be wondering what your options are and what penalties you could be facing. Today, we're here to shed light on the legal intricacies surrounding possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group One and the importance of seeking legal representation. We'll also discuss the unfortunate "dirty little secret" that often accompanies these cases.

Penalty Group One: What Does It Include?

In Texas, drugs are classified into penalty groups, and among them, Penalty Group One is considered the most severe. It encompasses drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, which are some of the most commonly involved substances in possession cases. It's crucial to note that even variations of these drugs, such as crack cocaine and certain pills, may fall under this group. The penalties for possession in this group can be severe, making it essential to understand the potential consequences you might face.

Charged with Possession: What's Next?

If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group One, the first step is to secure a bond. The bond conditions can be quite stringent, including mandatory drug testing. These conditions are intended to ensure your appearance at trial but can often be punitive in nature. It's challenging to have these conditions changed, so it's important to explore your options and consult with an experienced attorney.

Understanding Possession

A common misconception is that possession means ownership. In Texas, the law defines possession as having "actual care, custody, control, or management" of a controlled substance. This means that if you have control over the substance in some way, even if it's not technically yours, you could be found in possession of it. The specific circumstances of your case will play a significant role in determining your liability, as the law looks for affirmative links between the drugs and the person charged.

Punishment Ranges: What You Need to Know

The punishment for possession in Penalty Group One depends on the quantity of the substance you possessed. The ranges are as follows:

  • Zero to one gram: State jail felony

  • One to four grams: Third-degree felony

  • Four to two hundred grams: Second-degree felony

  • Over two hundred grams: First-degree felony

If you find yourself facing a first-degree felony, it's imperative to consult an attorney immediately. Attempting to represent yourself in any criminal charge is not advisable, as the consequences can be life-altering.

The "Dirty Little Secret"

One of the often-overlooked aspects of these cases is the "dirty little secret" - the use of a 12.44(a) plea agreement. This agreement allows for a felony conviction but with a misdemeanor-level punishment. While it may seem like a quick way to get out of jail, it results in a felony on your record, which can have lasting consequences, including restrictions on owning firearms and voting. Furthermore, it can enhance future offenses, making it even more critical to understand the implications of such a plea.


When it comes to possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group One, you're navigating a complex legal landscape with serious consequences. If you find yourself in this situation, don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a qualified Houston possession of a controlled substance lawyer. They can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Remember, the "dirty little secret" doesn't have to be your fate – with the right legal representation, you can make informed decisions and protect your future.

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