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Class B Misdemeanors

JBABB Criminal Defense Attorneys > Class B Misdemeanors

Drug Possession Penalties: Does the Substance Matter?

Drug Possession Penalties: Does the Substance Matter?

Penalties for a drug possession conviction in Texas are—across the board—more severe than in other states. No matter the substance, you could potentially face steep fines, jail or prison time, a license suspension and even mandatory substance abuse treatment. And the greater the quantity, the greater the penalties.

 

While possession of a controlled substance is a single type of offense in Texas, it does not fall under a single statute under the Texas Health and Safety Code. Rather, the type of substance you were allegedly in possession of will determine—in part—the specific penalties you face. The quantity you possessed is the other primary determining factor.

 

Texas law identifies “penalty groups” of drugs. As the name would suggest, penalty groups influence the penalties for charges involving those drugs. The more serious the drug, the higher the penalties. To illustrate the difference in penalties for possession of a controlled substance, we’ve provided a few examples below.

 

Marijuana

 

You can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if you possess less than two ounces of marijuana. The penalties include up to 180 days in a county jail, a fine of up to $2,000 or both, a six-month license suspension and probation. These are the minimum penalties for possession of a controlled substance. Possession of marijuana is treated somewhat less severely than possession of other controlled substances. Texans face harsh consequences if convicted, but possession of small amounts of marijuana is sometimes considered a “discretionary” arrest, meaning the officer can choose to cite the offender instead of putting him or her under arrest.

 

Prescription Drugs With Stimulant or Depressant Effects

 

Prescription drugs with the potential for abuse, such as Ritalin and Valium, lie in penalty group three. Possession of fewer than 28 grams of a penalty group three drug is punishable by one year in jail and the potential of a fine up to $4,000.

 

Cocaine

 

Possession of cocaine is a more serious charge, as it lies in penalty group one. Possession of less than one gram can be charged as a state jail felony. You can face up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000, but first-time offenders may receive probation in lieu of incarceration.

 

 

Substance and Amount: What Matters

 

Depending on the drug you allegedly had in your possession, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. But no matter the substance you are accused of being in possession of, you need to work closely with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth drug crime defense attorney when facing charges.

 

Due to the potentially severe consequences, it’s vital you involve an attorney early on in your case to ensure your rights are defended and you have the best chance at clearing your name. The laws on drug possession include a very specific definition of “possession” that the attorney for the state may or may not be able to prove in your case. Speak with an attorney before you make any decisions in your case to ensure you have the best defense possible.

 

If you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on how to defend your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Texas Misdemeanor Classes and What They Mean

Texas Misdemeanor Classes and What They Mean

A Range of Misdemeanors

 

Texas misdemeanors are punishable by a term of up to one year in a local or county jail. There are many types of misdemeanors that are divided into three classes of varying gravity. These classes influence the penalties the court can impose. For example, Class C misdemeanors carry less severe penalties than Class A misdemeanors. Learning about the different classes of Texas misdemeanors is step one if you’re facing misdemeanor charges.

 

Class A Misdemeanors

 

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. This is the most serious of the misdemeanor classes. Second DWI offense and resisting arrest are examples of common Class A Texas misdemeanors.

 

Class B Misdemeanors

 

Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 or both. First-offense DWI and theft of between $100 and $750 are examples of Class B misdemeanors.

 

Class C Misdemeanors

 

Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $500 and no jail time. Many traffic tickets, public intoxication and minor DUI are examples of Class C misdemeanors. Though they come with no jail time, Class C misdemeanors are still well worth fighting.

 

Take Your Texas Misdemeanor Charges Seriously

 

Misdemeanors may be less serious than felonies, but don’t let that fool you. You should always take a misdemeanor charge seriously. A Texas misdemeanor will show up on your criminal record, a record that will follow you the rest of your life. Also, remember that not all misdemeanors are created equal. Some are more serious than others because they can result in longer jail terms or higher fines. That said, never enter a plea—even to a Class C misdemeanor—without first consulting with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. You have a right to and should fight any misdemeanor, no matter the class or potential penalty. An attorney can explain what could happen in your case and advise you on how to best proceed forward.

 

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Class A and Class B Texas Misdemeanors: Potential Penalties

Class A and Class B Texas Misdemeanors: Potential Penalties

Crime Classes

 

Many people think of misdemeanors as less serious than felony crimes. But misdemeanors still have the potential to carry harsh sentences including incarceration and steep fines. Texas misdemeanors are divided into classes or offense categories. These classes represent the seriousness of the crime, and, accordingly, carry different ranges of punishments. Let’s take a look at Class A and Class B Texas misdemeanors and the potential penalties they hold.

 

Statutory Punishments for Texas Misdemeanors

 

Class A Texas misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to one year in a local or county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $4,000

 

Class B Texas misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to 180 days in a local or county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $2,000

 

Not Set in Stone

 

These are the maximum allowable punishments according to Texas law. Note, however, these are not necessarily mandatory or minimum punishments. It is not uncommon for a first-time offender to receive less jail time, a lower fine or one or the other. In some cases, you may be able to get community supervision (i.e. probation) in lieu of incarceration. But misdemeanor probation in Texas involves a host of strict terms and conditions. Probation is also expensive due to numerous fines and fees the defendant must pay. Many defendants who take probation later regret their choice. For this reason, you should always work closely with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney when facing Class A or Class B Texas misdemeanors so that you can make the best decision about how you want to handle your case.

 

A Third Class

 

Texas also has Class C misdemeanors, which are punishable by a fine of up to $500 but no jail time. These include lesser offenses such as traffic violations and some types of theft. Because these are less serious, sometimes people make the mistake of not taking them seriously. But to avoid the negative consequences of a conviction, you should take every Texas misdemeanor charge seriously.

 

Making Informed Decisions

 

Facing misdemeanor charges can be overwhelming. It’s normal to feel apprehensive about the fines and incarceration the court can impose. These are all very real concerns because the criminal court system is rarely lenient or easy to navigate. To face your charges with confidence, you should speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney with experience handling misdemeanor cases. A seasoned attorney can immediately set to work to minimize the consequences of your charges.

 

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.