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Drug Trafficking Boldly Defending Your Best Interests

Austin Drug Trafficking Attorneys

Fighting Trafficking in Controlled Substances Charges

Drug trafficking is one of the severest drug crimes you can be charged with in Texas. It involves knowingly manufacturing and/or delivering one or more controlled substances, and it is always a felony. The penalties are tied to the drug involved and its weight. Punishments can include years to up to life imprisonment. Therefore, a drug trafficking conviction in Austin can turn your life upside down. You can suffer the effects of a conviction long after you have completed your sentence, as your criminal record will have a mark on it.

Because of the life-altering consequences of a conviction, it is beyond crucial that you reach out to Smith & Vinson Law Firm for your defense. Our Austin drug trafficking lawyers are fierce warriors, ready to go to battle for you. We uncover the truth not by relying on what the prosecutor has to say but on what you have to say and by fully analyzing the case. With a former prosecutor and talented attorneys on our team, we know the legal vehicles available to challenge these accusations. Regardless of your situation, we will steadfastly defend you, prepared to leverage our knowledge and skills to seek an optimal result on your behalf.

To schedule a consultation with one of our drug trafficking attorneys in Austin, please contact us at (512) 359-3743 today.

What's Considered Drug Trafficking in Texas?

Drug trafficking is defined as delivering or manufacturing controlled substances. Essentially, "delivering" means transferring a drug or drugs to others, including offering to sell the substances.

"Manufacturing" means doing any of the following with a drug:

  • Producing,
  • Preparing,
  • Propagating,
  • Compounding,
  • Converting, or
  • Processing.

Although drug trafficking is linked with drug possession (one must have a drug to deliver or manufacture it), the former is a more severe offense than the latter. Trafficking poses a more serious threat to society, as it gets illegal or controlled substances into multiple hands.

For the prosecutor to prove that someone was trafficking a controlled substance, as opposed to possessing it for personal use, they must present evidence showing that the individual intended to distribute the drug.

To do that, the prosecutor will typically rely on evidence such as:

  • Substantial quantities of drugs
  • Large amounts of money
  • Financial ledgers
  • Containers for packaging and transporting drugs
  • Presence of weapons

If you have been accused of delivering or manufacturing controlled substances, reach out to our Austin drug trafficking lawyers as soon as possible. We'll get started right away at reviewing your case and evaluating the evidence the prosecutor plans to use to attempt to prove you were trafficking drugs.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Texas?

In Texas, drug trafficking is always a felony. Thus, anyone accused could be facing at least 180 days in jail (if charged with the lowest class of felony possible for drug trafficking). Additionally, they could be looking at steep fines. The exact punishments are tied to the class of felony the individual is charged with.

In general, the potential penalties for felonies include:

  • State jail felonies:
    • 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Second-degree felonies:
    • 2 to 20 years of imprisonment and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • First-degree felonies:
    • 5 to 99 years of imprisonment and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines

The class of felony for drug trafficking depends on the Penalty Group the substance is in. Penalty Groups are Texas's controlled substances categories. There are seven of them, and they are separated by the severity of the drugs. Penalty Group 1 is the most serious, and Penalty Group 4 is the least.

Below are the Penalty Groups and classes of felony for certain drugs:

  • Penalty Group 1: Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine
    • State jail felony: Less than 1 gram
    • Second-degree felony: 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams
    • First-degree felony: 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams

Trafficking in these or any other Penalty Group 1 substances can also lead to:

  • 10 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams
  • 15 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 400 grams or more
  • Penalty Group 1-A: LSD
    • State jail felony: Fewer than 20 abuse units
    • Second-degree felony: 20 or more but fewer than 80 abuse units
    • First-degree felony: 80 or more but fewer than 4,000 abuse units

Trafficking in LSD can also lead to:

  • 15 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 4,000 or more abuse units
  • Penalty Group 1-B: Fentanyl
    • State jail felony: Less than 1 gram
    • Second-degree felony: 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams

Trafficking in fentanyl can also lead to:

  • 10 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams
  • 15 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams
  • 20 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 400 grams or more
  • Penalty Group 2 and Penalty Group 2-A: MDMA (Ecstasy), Psilocybin, and compounds mimicking the effects of cannabinoids
    • State jail felony: Less than 1 gram
    • Second-degree felony: 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams
    • First-degree felony: 4 grams or more but less than 400 grams

Trafficking in these or any other Penalty Group 2 or 2-A drugs can lead to:

  • 10 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 400 grams or more
  • Penalty Group 3 and Penalty Group 4: Ritalin, Xanax, Peyote, substances with limited amounts of narcotics with non-narcotic active ingredients
    • State jail felony: Less than 28 grams
    • Second-degree felony: 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams
    • First-degree felony: 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams

Trafficking in Penalty Group 3 or 4 substances can also lead to:

  • 10 to 99 years or life imprisonment for 400 grams or more

A drug trafficking charge is not a conviction. You have the right to challenge the accusations and can seek to avoid or minimize the penalties. Our team is prepared to protect your rights and future.

Can You Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge in Texas?

You can fight your drug trafficking charge. Our Austin drug trafficking attorneys can help with that by determining defenses to raise for your situation.

Common defenses include:

  • Unlawful search: This argument can be raised if police searched someone’s home, vehicle, or person without a warrant or other legal reason to do so. If the search was unlawful, certain pieces of evidence may not be used in court.
  • Entrapment: The defense may argue that they committed the offense because law enforcement officials compelled them to. Had it not been for coercion by authorities, the defendant would not have engaged in the act.
  • No knowledge: The defense could make the case that the defendant was not aware that a controlled substance was in their presence.

Benefits of Hiring an Austin Drug Trafficking Lawyer to Represent You

Hiring an Austin drug trafficking attorney can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of a drug trafficking charge, offering a range of invaluable benefits. These legal professionals possess a deep understanding of both state and federal drug laws, enabling them to craft a strategic defense tailored to the specifics of Austin's legal landscape. A skilled attorney can scrutinize the evidence against you, identifying potential weaknesses or constitutional violations that could lead to case dismissals or reduced charges. 

At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, our skills in negotiating with prosecutors may result in plea bargains or alternative sentencing options, minimizing the impact on your life. Additionally, our Austin drug trafficking defense lawyers can guide you through the intricate court processes, providing essential support and increasing the likelihood of a more favorable outcome in your case.

Contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm to Discuss Your Austin Drug Trafficking Charge

From the moment you hire us, we’ll get to work fighting for you. Bold and fearless, our team will zealously advocate on your behalf.

For honest and straightforward legal representation, call our Austin drug trafficking attorneys at (512) 359-3743 or submit an online contact form.

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