Possession of a Controlled Substance

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002 defines possession as "actual care, custody, control, or management," and possession may be either actual or constructive. Actual possession involves illegal drugs being found on an individual's person (in his or her hands, pocket, purse, etc.), while constructive possession involves a controlled substance being found in an area over which the alleged offender had dominion and control (inside a person's car, safe, or home).

Drug possession is one of the most common criminal offenses in Texas, and possession of even small amounts of a controlled substance can result in very serious penalties as well as a multitude of long-term consequences. While possession of a controlled substance crimes are commonly referred to as "simple possession" cases, the grades of criminal charges can vary depending on the illegal drug involved and certain amounts of certain types of controlled substances can make drug possession a felony offense.

Attorney for Possession of a Controlled Substance Arrests in Brownsville, TX

Were you arrested anywhere in South Texas for possession of an illegal drug? Do not say anything to authorities until you have first contacted The Gracia Law Firm.

Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brownsville aggressively defends clients facing drug charges in communities all over Hidalgo County, Willacy County, and Cameron County.

Call (956) 504-2211 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation and have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.


Cameron County Possession of a Controlled Substance Information Center


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Possession of a Controlled Substance Charges in Texas

A drug possession crime in Texas will be charged based on the type and amount of controlled substance that was allegedly possessed. An alleged offender may face any of the following charges:

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.115

  • Less than 1 gram — State Jail Felony;
  • 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — Third-Degree Felony;
  • 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Second-Degree Felony; or
  • 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — First-Degree Felony

Possession of 400 grams or more of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance is punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1-A, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1151

  • Fewer than 20 units — State Jail Felony;
  • 20 or more units but fewer than 80 units — Third-Degree Felony;
  • 80 or more units but fewer than 4,000 units — Second-Degree Felony; or
  • 4,000 units or more but fewer than 8,000 units — First-Degree Felony.

Possession of 8,000 or more units of a Penalty Group 1-A controlled substance is punishable by a minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116

  • Less than 1 gram — State Jail Felony;
  • 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — Third-Degree Felony; or
  • 4 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Second-Degree Felony.

Possession of 400 grams or more of a Penalty Group 2 controlled substance is punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2-A, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1161

  • Less than 2 ounces— Class B Misdemeanor;
  • 2 ounces or more but less than 4 ounces — Class A Misdemeanor;
  • 4 ounces or more but less than 5 pounds — State Jail Felony;
  • Five pounds or more but less than 50 pounds — Third-Degree Felony; or
  • 50 pounds or more but less than 2,000 pounds — Second-Degree Felony.

Possession of more than 2,000 pounds of a Penalty Group 2-A controlled substance is punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 3, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.117

  • Less than 28 grams — Class A Misdemeanor;
  • 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Third-Degree Felony; or
  • 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Second-Degree Felony.

Possession of 400 grams or more of a Penalty Group 3 controlled substance is punishable by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 4, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.118

  • Less than 28 grams — Class B Misdemeanor;
  • 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Third-Degree Felony; or
  • 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Second-Degree Felony.

Possession of more than 400 grams of a Penalty Group 4 controlled substance is punishable by by a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.


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Brownsville Possession of a Controlled Substance Penalties

Any drug possession conviction can carry a lifetime of consequences. People having such crimes on their criminal records can experience significant hardships when applying for jobs, housing, or professional licenses.

In addition to the effect on a person's criminal record, an individual also faces the possibility of a court issuing any of the following sentences following a conviction, depending on the grade of the alleged offense:

  • Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000;
  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000;
  • State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000;
  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000;
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000; and
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Cameron County Possession of a Controlled Substance Resources

Cameron County District Attorney — The District Attorney manages the prosecutor’s office, investigates alleged crimes in cooperation with law enforcement, and files criminal charges or bringing evidence before the Grand Jury. On this website, you can learn more about the office, including misdemeanor and felony intake as well as juvenile and appellate procedures. You can also access court dockets and view recent press releases.

Cameron County District Attorney’s Office
964 E. Harrison St.
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 544-0849

Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) — PDAP identifies itself as "a fellowship of young people, adults and parents who share their experience love and understanding that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from the effects of mind-changing chemicals." Originally founded at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, PDAP has since expanded to numerous other communities in Texas as well as California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Visit this website to learn more about PDAP and the cities it serves.

Palmer Drug Abuse Program
1275 Cottonwood Dr.
Brownsville, Texas 78520
(956) 544-3333


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The Gracia Law Firm | Brownsville Possession of a Controlled Substance Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested for a drug possession crime anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley area, it is in your best interest to exercise you right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. The Gracia Law Firm represents individuals in Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County.

Brownsville criminal defense attorney Jonathan Gracia will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible consequences. Call (956) 504-2211 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


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