In Texas, sentencing for state drug trafficking crimes is still a matter of discretion for the judge who hears your case.

 

Based on criminal history and any other intervening factors, the Peugh Law Firm may be able to negotiate your sentence down to the lower end of the penalty range. It is vital that you call us today so that we can get started on your case right away!

If you travel across state lines with any significant amount of a controlled substance, however, you may find yourself in federal court as opposed to state court. Although the law in this area is rapidly changing, Texas drug trafficking convictions are still subject to mandatory minimums.

The following are four drug types that tend to surface when it comes to drug trafficking charges in Texas. Based on the amounts you’ve been caught with, the mandatory minimums associated typically follow this pattern:

 

  • Cocaine: Under and over 50 grams

  • Fentanyl: Under and over 400 grams

  • Heroin: Under and over 1 kilogram

  • Methamphetamine: Under and over 50 grams

 

The following is the expected “over/under” you can expect upon conviction if you are under the above amounts:

 

  • First offense, no serious bodily injury: five (5) years in prison.

  • First offense with serious bodily harm or death as a result: twenty (20) years in prison.

  • Second or more offense, no bodily injury: ten (10) years in prison.

  • Second or more offense with serious bodily harm or death as a result: life imprisonment.

 

The following is the expected “over/under” you can expect upon conviction if you are over the above amounts:

 

  • First offense, no serious bodily injury: ten (10) years in prison.

  • First offense with serious bodily harm or death as a result: twenty (20) years in prison.

  • Second offense, no bodily injury: twenty (20) years in prison.

  • Second offense with serious bodily harm or death as a result: life imprisonment.

  • Third offense regardless of bodily injury: life imprisonment.

Generally speaking, final sentences are based on drug type and amount. Aggravating and intervening factors and whether you have prior convictions from drug charges are two other considerations made.

 

Further, it is vital that you understand that there is no option for parole in federal prison. Although legislation like the First Step Act may offer reductions in your time behind bars, you will be serving what is left of your sentence there.

The First Step Act was enacted to address the fact that more than sixty-six (66) percent of individuals serving federal, life terms received their sentences following convictions on nonviolent crimes such as drug possession and trafficking.

The First Step Act is expanding opportunities for individuals in rehabilitation and recidivism reduction programs. The following are a few of the other dramatic changes the Resentencing Provisions portion of the law has made that could affect your drug trafficking charges:

 

  • Sentencing provisions allow for an average 29.4% reduction in sentencing.

  • The “three strikes” rule has been replaced with a 25-year sentence in prison.

  • Federal judges are allowed greater discretion in deviating from mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug convictions.

 

Additionally, Texas is on its way to removing the threat of incarceration based on mere marijuana possession charges. Currently, there are sixty-three (63) total cannabis-related bills sitting on the governor’s desk. So, while mandatory minimums do still exist, your chances of being subject to them are continuously being reduced as harsh penalties are being replaced with forethought and opportunities to rehabilitate.

All of these factors combined are why it is still imperative that you secure the very best Denton criminal defense attorney to handle your case. This will ensure your best opportunity to fight back against mandatory minimums on your possible Texas drug trafficking conviction. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and find out what we can do for you!

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