In Sugar Land, even if you fail to complete a crime, you can be charged with a criminal attempt. A criminal attempt is always paired with the underlying offense that you were trying to commit. One example is attempted drug possession. Below is more information about attempted drug possession charges in Sugar Land, Texas.
What is Attempted Possession of a Controlled Substance in Sugar Land?
You can be convicted of possession of a controlled substance in Texas if you exercised “care, custody, and control” over a controlled substance. Attempted possession of a controlled substance occurs when you had “specific intent” to commit the crime of drug possession but failed to complete the crime. Your actions must go beyond mere preparation. There must be substantial steps taken to possess illegal drugs.
What Are the Penalties for Attempted Possession of a Controlled Substance in Sugar Land?
A criminal attempt is charged at one category lower than the crime the offender was trying to commit. The categories of crimes from most serious to least serious are listed below:
- Capital felony
- First-degree felony
- Second-degree felony
- Third-degree felony
- State jail felony
- Class A misdemeanor
- Class B misdemeanor
- Class C misdemeanor
For example, suppose you are arrested for attempted drug possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana. In that case, you would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor because possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor under Texas Law. In Sugar Land, drug possession charges range from Class B misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. The penalty is mainly dependent on the type of controlled substance and quantity found in your possession.
Texas has categorized controlled substances into four penalty groups. If you are convicted of attempted possession of a Penalty Group 1 substance, you will face the most severe penalties, and if you are convicted of attempted possession of a Penalty Group 4 drug, you will face the least severe penalties. Common drugs in each Penalty Group include:
- Penalty Group 1: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, opium, methadone, morphine, oxycontin, ketamine, and over 300 mg of hydrocodone.
- Penalty Group 1-A: LSD or Lysergic acid diethylamide.
- Penalty Group 2: mescaline, psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin, ecstasy, methaqualone, and amphetamine.
- Penalty Group 3: Clonazepam, Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, peyote, and under 300 mg of hydrocodone.
- Penalty 4: compounds or mixtures containing small amounts of narcotics or active medical ingredients.
Depending on the circumstances, an attempted drug possession conviction could result in a $500 fine to 99 years in prison.
Defenses to Attempted Drug Possession Charges in Sugar Land
There are many different defenses that your attorney may argue in your attempted drug possession case. Your defense will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation. Some common defenses in attempted drug possession cases include:
- You abandoned your attempt to possess drugs. The abandonment must have been voluntary. You could not have stopped because you believed that you would get caught or because some other difficulty arose. You must prove that you had a complete change of heart and decided not to commit the crime. If the abandonment was insufficient to prevent the crime from happening, you must have taken further action to stop the crime from occurring.
- You have a valid prescription from a doctor to use the controlled substance.
- You had an insufficient quantity of the drug. To be convicted, you must have a usable amount of the drug. Generally, this means enough of the substance to be lab tested.
- The drug was not intended for human consumption. For example, you intended to use the drug for an animal, and you have authorization supporting this claim.
It is not a defense that you actually committed the crime.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Attempted Drug Possession Charge in Sugar Land?
Some individuals do not take attempted drug possession charges seriously because the crime was never actually completed. This is a huge mistake. Charges for attempted drug possession can result in severe penalties and have a significant impact on your future. It is critical to reach out to an aggressive attorney to help defend your case. Adam Capetillo is an experienced attorney who can help guide you through your case.
Your Sugar Land Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing attempted drug possession charges, you should reach out to an experienced and client-focused Sugar Land criminal defense attorney. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will provide a skilled and aggressive defense. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.