Texas laws govern the use, sale, possession, trafficking, and distribution of both legal and illegal substances. Some drugs, such as amphetamines, may be legal when they are prescribed by a medical professional, while others, such as cocaine, are always restricted under law. With so much terminology surrounding drug crimes, differentiating between some common terms can be difficult.
Drug Trafficking vs. Drug Possession
Two concepts that are often mistaken are drug trafficking and drug possession. Trafficking and possession are two separate crimes and both carry significantly different penalties.
What is drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking is the sale, distribution, or delivery of a controlled substance.
Drug trafficking charges can differ based on:
- Type of substance being trafficked
- Amount of the drug
- Location where the suspect was apprehended
- Criminal history of the defendant
Drug trafficking is usually considered a more serious offense than drug possession and those accused of this crime may find themselves facing felony charges.
How is drug possession different?
Possession is the most common drug charge of them all, and simply involves having control over illegal substances. This means that the accused knew that they were in possession of a controlled substance, that they did not have a valid prescription to use the substance, and enough is found on them for their own personal use.
Important note about drug possession is that the person does not need to be found with the drugs actually on their body to be convicted of this crime. If drugs were found in a space that the defendant has ownership over, they can be charged with possession. For example, if you were pulled over with drugs in the dashboard of your car, you could still be charged with possession even though they were not on your body.
In general, drug possession is simply having a drug in your control while drug trafficking means the substances were intended to be provided to another person. While a drug charge will likely start with possession, it can easily branch out to other charges, such as trafficking.
Charged with drug trafficking or drug possession in Houston? Call Attorney Morasch today for a free evaluation!