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What You Should Know About a Cocaine Charge in Texas

An arrest for a criminal offense involving cocaine can lead to harsh penalties, including imprisonment. Multiple types of cocaine charges exist, depending on the severity of the crime and any extenuating circumstances. Facing a possible prison sentence can be overwhelming and scary. A conviction is life-altering and affects your job, family, and future.

If you were arrested or charged with a cocaine crime, there are some things you should know about how to defend yourself and the process you need to follow.

Laws Associated with Cocaine in Texas

Cocaine is a controlled substance. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies it as a Schedule II drug. That means it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence.

State law punishes crimes involving cocaine as felonies. There are no misdemeanor offenses. A felony charge indicates a serious crime. Whether you were arrested for possession, manufacturing, or distributing, you could face a felony sentence.

Felonies typically come with prison terms and expensive fines. The amount of time a person must spend behind bars for a conviction depends on the amount of cocaine used to commit the crime. The more cocaine, the harsher the sentence. For example, less than one gram of cocaine is punishable by up to two years in state jail, while more than 400 grams is punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

Texas Sentencing for Cocaine Offenses

According to Texas statute 481.115, possession of cocaine can lead to the sentences below based on the amount of the drug:

Less than one gram

  • State jail felony
  • Between 180 days and two years in prison
  • Maximum of a $2,000 fine

At least one gram but less than four grams

  • Third-degree felony
  • Between two and ten years in prison
  • Up to a $10,000 fine

At least four grams but less than 200 grams

  • Second-degree felony
  • Between two and twenty years in prison
  • Maximum of a $10,000 fine
  • Possible community supervision

At least 200 grams but less than 400 grams

  • First-degree felony
  • Between 5 and 99 years or life imprisonment
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possible community supervision

According to Texas Statute 481.112, manufacturing or delivering cocaine is punishable by these amounts:

Under one gram

  • State jail felony
  • Between 180 days and two years in prison
  • Maximum of a $2,000 fine

One gram or more but less than four grams

  • Second-degree felony
  • Between two and twenty years in prison
  • Maximum of a $10,000 fine
  • Possible community supervision

At least four grams but no more than 200 grams

  • First-degree felony
  • Between 5 and 99 years or life imprisonment
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possible community supervision

At least 200 grams but less than 400 grams

  • Between 10 and 99 years or life imprisonment
  • Up to a $100,000 fine

400 grams or more

  • Between 15 and 99 years or life imprisonment
  • Up to a $250,000 fine

You could face enhanced sentencing if certain conditions apply to the crime. For example, the court could impose a longer prison sentence if you committed the offense with a weapon or in a location associated with children, such as a school.

Common Defense Strategies for Cocaine Charges

You should hire a criminal defense lawyer if you were arrested for possession or another crime involving cocaine. There are multiple defense strategies that could get the charges against you dropped or reduced. The most common defense strategies include proving that:

  • The arresting officer didn’t read you your Miranda rights
  • Law enforcement performed an illegal search of your person, home, or vehicle
  • You didn’t know about the presence of the cocaine in a place with other people, such as a friend’s party
  • A witness falsely identified you as the offender
  • The arresting officer thought you were in possession of cocaine, but it was a harmless substance
  • You were coerced or threatened to commit a crime involving cocaine
  • Law enforcement violated your Constitutional rights

The burden of proof is on the prosecutor. They must prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means your defense attorney’s job is to cause the jurors to doubt that you committed the crime in question. A solid defense strategy could prevent key witnesses from testifying, crucial evidence from being presented in court, and disprove the entire case against you.

Contact Us

The award-winning Collin County drug offense attorneys of Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian will protect your rights and create a defense strategy to try to reach the best possible outcome in your case. You can count on our legal team to fight for your freedom and future.

If you were arrested or charged with a cocaine offense, do not hesitate to contact Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian. We represent clients throughout Texas and help defend them against the charges they face. We will tirelessly work to get the charges dropped, or your sentence reduced so you can start working on getting your life back on track.

Call us at (972) 369-0577 today for your free initial consultation. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.

Written by: Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Last Updated : March 30, 2022