Houston Criminal Law Blog

EXPERIENCED. AGGRESSIVE. HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Cocaine Possession: How Long Could I Go to Jail?

Cocaine is classified as a schedule II drug, and this means anyone found to have it in their possession faces severe penalties from both state and federal authorities. The state of Texas takes existing drug laws further and charges individuals with a felony even if the amount of cocaine in their possession is less than one gram. Those facing this type of charge should know what penalties to expect based off of the Texas Penal Code and these are dependent on the amount of cocaine discovered during the arrest.

Matthew Sharp CTA

Less Than One Gram

A gram of cocaine is equivalent to a single sugar cube, but even this small amount is enough to bring a state jail felony charge. Penalties include:

  • 180 days to two years in a state jail
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Charged with a third degree felony if a previous felony conviction exists or a deadly weapon was used during the crime

1-4 Grams

Being found with 1-4 grams of cocaine means a person will be charged with a third degree felony, and the penalties for this charge include:

  • 2 to 10 years in a Texas state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

4-200 Grams

A person found to have anywhere between 4 and 200 grams of cocaine faces a second degree felony in the state of Texas, and the penalties can include:

  • 2 to 10 years in a Texas state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Charged with a first degree felony if another felony conviction exists that is not a state jail felony

Over 400 Grams

This is the most severe of the charges a person can face, and often involves individuals attempting to sell cocaine. This charge results in a first degree felony and punishments include:

  • 5 to 99 years in a Texas state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • If previous felonies are recorded the defendant faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in a Texas state prison

Distribution Charges

Simply possessing cocaine is far different than when investigators can prove a person had the intent to sell the illegal substance. The gram amounts listed above are often charged one tier higher when distribution is proven, meaning a person with only one gram of cocaine faces a third degree felony rather than a state jail felony charge.

These punishments are increased further if a person is trying to distribute with a zone labeled as “drug free,” such as a school zone or particular neighborhood.

Professional Cocaine Attorney

Drug charges can seriously affect a person’s personal and professional life. However, an experienced drug attorney knows how to make the charges get reduced in a plea bargain, or eliminated through effective defense strategies. Get a hold of Matthew Sharp to review your case by calling 713-868-6100.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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