If you were to ask a person on the street what crimes are the most serious, they will probably talk about violent criminal offenses. Most people tend to agree with that perspective. Crimes that cause injury to other people carry substantial penalties.
However, there are plenty of nonviolent offenses that carry both substantial penalties and significant social stigma. Changes in popular culture in recent years may have made drug offenses seem less serious to the average person, but that doesn’t mean that government policy has shifted drastically to align with those opinions.
There are still many kinds of drug offenses a person can commit, with varying degrees of severity. What are the most serious drug charges someone might face in Texas?
For people to have access to a drug, someone has to make the drug. There are meth labs where people create banned substances from a collection of household chemicals and medications. There are also houses that seem like normal homes but are actually full of hundreds of marijuana plants.
The people who manufacture drugs can face particularly steep penalties for manufacturing charges. Marijuana cultivation is the one exception. Rather than facing manufacturing charges, Someone caught growing marijuana will face possession charges based on the total weight of the plants involved, which will likely put them at risk of a major felony charge.
Given that there are no legal ways to store or transfer prohibited drugs, there is an entire industry that handles the logistics of getting a drug from one location to consumers somewhere else.
Anyone transporting illegal drugs or controlled substances could face trafficking charges. Those trying to move substances all over state boundaries or between Texas and Mexico could face federal trafficking charges.
Most people addicted to heroin or meth would not be able to manufacture the drug on their own. They depend on a dealer who supplies them with their preferred substances. Increasing pressure on the people selling drugs is a way to try to curb the unregulated market.
Someone that the police or federal investigators suspect of selling or distributing drugs to others will face far more serious consequences than a person who possesses drugs for their own use. Even if the police don’t catch someone in the act of distribution, they may be able to charge them with intent to distribute.
Any of these charges could be very serious, especially if someone faces federal prosecution rather than state prosecution. There are mandatory minimum sentences associated with the federal drug charges that could mean a significant period of incarceration. Understanding what drug offenses carry the biggest risks can help those accused of a drug crime.