Facing drug charges is a serious matter. Depending upon the charge, the accused party may face serious fines and possible jail time upon a conviction.
Part of developing a strong defense is fully understanding what the charges mean. There are a few key terms that parties should know regarding drug charges.
Controlled substances are drugs that are illegal. Local and state laws determine this. It is important to note that a controlled substance and a prescription drug are two different things in the sight of the law, though a drug may fall into both categories. However, if a party has a prescription for a specific drug, and does not possess more than the allotted amount according to the prescription, the drug does not qualify as a controlled substance.
Schedule (of a controlled substance)
Different drugs pose different threats to society, and as such, the possession of certain controlled substances can be more dangerous. Therefore, the type of drug is a strong determinant in the severity of the punishment for those who face charges. In the state of Texas, controlled substances fall within five schedules, or classes. Together, the schedule and amount of the substance determine the possible punishments that the accused may face. For smaller amounts, usually 4 ounces or fewer, parties may face misdemeanor charges, while penalties for large amounts increase and can reach up to a lifelong prison sentence.
Determining possession is critical to any drug charge. In the eyes of the law, possession is having control of the substance. It is important to understand that the substance does not have to be on the party for it to constitute possession. As long as the substance is in an area that is under the control of the accused party, it is in the party’s possession.
Successfully fighting drug charges is not always easy. However, understanding the charges and having a strong defense can be quite beneficial.