Meth Possession

Methamphetamine has become a huge problem in Texas over the last few years. This has pushed law enforcement and judges to take a harder stance against those who have been caught in possession of meth. Under Texas law, meth is classified as the most dangerous and addictive drug.

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.115, “an individual who knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1” has committed a criminal offense. As per the quotation above, the elements required to convict a defendant of meth possession are:

  • Knowingly or intentionally
  • Possessing
  • A controlled substance

In proving a case against a defendant, the State or prosecution must prove all the above elements beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. To give a clearer picture of the law, those elements are defined below.

Austin Meth Possession Lawyer | Travis County, TX

If you are convicted of possession of meth, it means that you’ll face the harshest possible penalties for this felony. Do not put your future at stake by tackling this legal challenge alone. Consult the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney at [firm] today. We are ready to put our experience to use for you.

Call [phone] to schedule a free consultation today. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown, TX.

Back to top

Information Center

Back to top

How Is An Act Done Knowingly Or Intentionally In Texas?

For this element, knowingly means that an offender acted with or had knowledge that the act would cause a particular result. To clarify, if a person took a coat from a friend with the knowledge that there was methamphetamine in the pocket, then said person knowingly possessed meth. In contrast, if said person was unaware that meth was sown into their friend’s coat, and the meth was later discovered by law enforcement, then said individual did not knowingly possess the meth.

The term “intentionally” generally operates in the same manner as “knowingly” for purposes of the statute. For example, a person who stores meth in their apartment with the intention of later ingesting that meth is likely acting intentionally. Alternatively, a person who buys a second-hand couch with quantities of meth stuffed inside is likely unintentionally in possession of meth.

Back to top

What Is Considered Possession In Texas?

“Possession,” as provided by Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(38),  is defined as exercising “actual care, custody, control, or management” of the chemical methamphetamine. Possession can range from having full control of meth while it is on the individual’s person, to being held “constructively” in possession because law enforcement cannot distinguish between three potential owners riding in the same car. Similarly, if the meth was contained in a lockbox far from the defendant, which only the defendant had a key to, then there is likely enough correlation to establish possession because the defendant is the only individual with access.

Back to top

What Is Considered A Controlled Substance In Texas?

A controlled substance is any substance or chemical regulated by the State of Texas or the federal government. Controlled substance includes street drugs, prescription drugs, and other chemical compounds. Meth, in Texas, is a controlled substance that falls into the “Penalty Group 1.” Similar drugs, under Texas law, that fall into Penalty Group 1 include:

  • Cocaine
  • Codeine (some forms)
  • Oxycodone
  • Mescaline
  • Ketamine
  • Methadone

Controlled substances are separated into four major penalty groups in Texas. These groups are primarily divided by considerations such as danger, addiction rate, actual viability for medical use, and abuse potential. Penalty Group 1, where methamphetamine (meth) lands, contains the most severe punishments for unlawful possession, distribution, or manufacture.

Back to top

What Are The Penalties For Meth Possession In Texas?

Meth, in Penalty Group 1, has some of the most severe punishments for Texas drug crimes. The Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.115 outlines different degrees of drug offenses based on the quantity in the defendant’s possession; those quantities and degrees follow:

  • Less than one gram – Possessing under a gram of meth results in a Texas “state jail felony.” The offense qualifies as a felony; however, it ordinarily does not result in a prison sentence. However, a state jail felony may carry a jail sentence of 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • One gram to less than four grams – Possessing meth in quantity between one and four grams will constitute a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony may result in two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Four grams to 199 grams – Conviction of meth possession in quantities between four grams and 199 grams can result in a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies are punishable by two to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Two hundred to 399 grams – Meth possession between 200 to 399 grams could result in a first-degree felony charge. First-degree charges are often the highest degree of crime. A first-degree felony is punishable by five years to life (99 years) in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Four hundred grams and over – Possessing 400 or more grams of meth can result in an enhanced first-degree felony. This enhancement can mean that the individual’s prison sentence could range from ten years to life (99 years). The convicted individual may also face a fine of up to $100,000.

Back to top

Statute Of Limitations For Meth Possession

A statute of limitations is a type of law enacted by states and the federal government which generally provides that a defendant must be charged for the commission of a crime within a time limit defined by said statute. If the defendant is not charged with their crimes within the allotted period, the prosecution may be barred from bringing a case for those charges.

Felonies in Texas are generally considered timely, or within the statute of limitations, if brought within three years of the commission of the crime. This three-year period would apply to possession of methamphetamine charges, as well. This means that if the State does not charge a defendant with possession of meth within three years of the commission of the crime, then they may be barred from attempts to bring charges.

Back to top

Defenses To Possession Of Meth

A handful of solid defenses apply to fighting possession of meth charges. A skilled attorney may strategically utilize these defenses to reduce charges, enter a beneficial plea deal, or even get charges dropped altogether. Some examples of defenses to a possession of meth charge include:

  • Lack of knowledge or intent
  • Broken chain of custody
  • Lack of evidence suggesting a substance was indeed a controlled substance
  • Lack of possession under the statute, whether actual or constructive
  • Evidence was unlawfully seized
  • Improper or questionable drug testing methods or practices

It is important to note that a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will have the best chance of successfully arguing these defenses and getting results for a defendant’s case.

Back to top

Additional Resources

Texas Health and Safety Code – Title 6, Subtitle C, Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code can be found through this link. This is the relevant Texas statute for controlled substance offenses.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – The SAMHSA website provides referral and information services for individuals facing substance use disorders. SAMHSA has a 24/7 treatment referral and information hotline available.

Back to top

Georgetown Meth Possession Attorney | Williamson County, TX

If you’re facing prosecution due to meth possession, there are defenses. If your Constitutional Rights were violated, or if the police illegally obtained a warrant or violated the 4th Amendment, the State of Texas must drop the charges. Contact [firm] today to receive assistance in your case. Attorney Jackson F. Gorski has years of experience in criminal law and can protect your rights.

Call [phone] to schedule your first consultation. Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County.

Back to top