An Overview of Misdemeanor, Felony, and Federal Drug Crimes

man handcuffed holding a large amount of drugs

These three types of drug charges have varying consequences. Let’s discuss these levels of drug crimes.

Misdemeanor Drug Charges

Misdemeanors are the lowest level drug offenses.

Examples are:

  • Drug possession of a penalty group 3 or 4 controlled substance
  • Possession of less than four ounces of marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

These crimes are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

Felony Drug Charges

Felony drug charges are significantly more severe than misdemeanors. A main distinguishing factor between misdemeanors and felonies is the amount of the drug present at the time of the arrest.

You may face felony charges if:

  • You have over a certain amount of a group 3 or 4 controlled substance
  • You are in possession of a group 1 or 2 controlled substance
  • You are growing marijuana
  • You have the intent to distribute drugs
  • You have distributed drugs

Felonies are punishable by longer prison sentences and more expensive fines. Additionally, convicted felons may lose certain rights, like owning a firearm.

Federal Drug Charges

If you are facing federal charges, this means you have broken national laws.

The most common federal drug charges are for:

  • Transporting drugs across state lines
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug crimes occurring on federal or government land
  • Importing illegal drugs
  • Selling or transporting drugs using the US Postal Service

Possible prison time for a federal drug crime ranges from one year to a life sentence.

Facing Drug Charges at Any Level in Texas

It’s important that you hire legal representation whether you are facing misdemeanor, felony, or federal drug charges. An attorney can help mitigate the potential consequences of a conviction, negotiate a lesser charge, identify errors in the prosecution’s case, or help you prove your innocence.

Austin Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, our attorneys have helped numerous clients facing serious drug charges. You can trust our defense attorneys to fight aggressively on your behalf. Call us at (512) 359-3743 to speak with our legal defense team about your case.