Cocaine Offenses

Cocaine, otherwise known as coke or crack cocaine is a strong stimulant with a high risk of addiction. Using, possessing, or distributing cocaine or crack cocaine is a crime in Texas. In Texas, cocaine is considered a high-risk Penalty Group 1 drug.

The state of Texas is not kind to those convicted of a drug offense. Those convicted of cocaine related crimes may face expensive fines, and possible incarceration. If you or someone you know has been charged with a cocaine offense, it’s vital that you contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Houston Attorney for Cocaine Crimes in Texas

A cocaine offense conviction can result in severe legal penalties. Steep fines, possible jail or prison time, and a criminal record wait for those with cocaine crime allegations. It’s important that you act now and obtain trusted legal representation.

Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is well versed in Texas controlled substance laws. He is compassionate with clients and aggressive in the courtroom. With Brian Benken, you will never be left without an answer to your questions. Do what is best for your future. Contact Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free consultation.

Brian Benken accepts clients throughout all communities in Harris County and surrounding counties in Texas. Some of these communities include Westchase, Houston Heights, Pasadena, and Alief.

Overview of Cocaine Offenses in Texas


Penalties for Cocaine Possession in Texas

Possession of any controlled substance is considered unlawful. Cocaine is classified as a Penalty Group 1 drug under Texas law. It’s illegal to possess any trace amount of cocaine or any Penalty Group 1 drug in the state of Texas. The penalties for cocaine possession are dependent on the quantity of drug in the alleged offender’s possession.

The following chart details the maximum penalties for cocaine or crack cocaine possession in Texas.

 

Amount Possessed

 

Sentence

 

Jail or Prison Time

 

Fine

Less than 1 gramState Jail Felony24 months in jail$10,000
1 gram to 4 gramsThird-Degree Felony10 years in prison$10,000
4 grams to 200 gramsSecond-Degree Felony20 years in prison$10,000
200 grams to 400 gramsFirst-Degree Felony99 years or life imprisonment$10,000
400 grams or moreFirst-Degree FelonyLife imprisonment, with a minimum of 10 years.$100,000

Penalties for Manufacture or Selling of Cocaine in Texas

Delivering or manufacturing a controlled substance is illegal under Texas law. Law enforcement may enhance your charges to manufacture or delivery of cocaine. This is usually because of the quantity of cocaine seized or if there is any paraphernalia involved, such as a scale or plastic bags. The penalties for delivery or manufacture of cocaine are similar to those of simple possession.

The following chart is the maximum penalties for those convicted for delivering or manufacturing cocaine or crack cocaine.

 

Amount Possessed

 

Sentence

 

Jail or Prison Time

 

Fine

Less than 1 gramState Jail Felony24 months in jail$10,000
1 gram to 4 gramsThird-Degree Felony10 years in prison$10,000
4 grams to 200 gramsSecond-Degree Felony20 years in prison$10,000
200 grams to 400 gramsFirst-Degree FelonyLife imprisonment, with a minimum of 10 years.$100,000
400 grams or moreFirst-Degree FelonyLife imprisonment, with a minimum of 15 years.$250,000

Aggravating Factors for Delivering or Manufacturing Cocaine in Texas

It is illegal to deliver any controlled substance to a minor in the state of Texas. The penalty for delivering cocaine to a child is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Manufacturing or delivering cocaine in the presence of a child can enhance a cocaine offense by one degree. For example, if you have been charged with delivering 2 grams in the presence of a child, the charge will be elevated to a third-degree felony.

If a person is charged with delivering or manufacturing 200 grams but less than 400 grams of cocaine in front of a child, he or she will have their penalties enhanced. The minimum prison sentence will be elevated to 15 years, and the maximum fine will increase to $150,000.

If a person is charged with delivering or manufacturing over 400 grams of cocaine in front of a child, he or she will have their legal consequences increased.  The minimum prison sentence will be upped to 20 years, and the maximum fine will be specified at $300,000.


“Drug-Free” Zones under Texas Law

Certain areas of Texas are considered “drug-free” under the law. If a person is caught using, possessing, delivering, or manufacturing any controlled substance near or in these zones, he or she will have their penalties elevated to one degree.

For example, if a person is caught possessing less than one gram of cocaine near a school, he or she will have their penalties enhanced to a third-degree felony.

If a person is in any of these zones, then he or she may have their penalties enhanced.

  • Within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, middle school, high school, or other types of institutions of higher learning;
  • Within 1,000 feet of a public or private youth center;
  • Within 1,000 feet of a playground;
  • Within 300 feet of a public swimming pool;
  • Within 300 feet of a video game facility;
  • Within 1,00 feet of any school or school board property; or
  • On a school bus.

Harris County Drug Court in Texas

Drug offenses can be devastating to a person’s personal and professional life. It is possible that you may be facing felony charges and time behind bars. However, there are legal options that may be available to you. Harris County has a drug court program called Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) that provides alternatives for drug offenders other than incarceration.

STAR is a program whose mission is to stop the vicious cycle of drug abuse. Eligible participants will receive innovative and intensive individualized supervision by a team of medical professionals and program staff. The drug court program offers qualified participants STAR, instead of incarceration. If a person successfully completes the program, he or she will have their drug charges reduced or dropped.

Harris County drug court does have some requirements that must be met for participants to join STAR. The following are the requirements:

  • The alleged offender has a prior drug conviction; or
  • Two prior drug-related arrests; or
  • Is a first-time drug offender with a history of chemical dependency; and
  • The alleged offender is an adult or a juvenile who is certified to stand trial as an adult; and
  • The alleged offender is a legal resident of the United States of America and is a Harris County resident; and
  • Has a drug dependency.

Not everyone is able to participate in drug court. If a person fits any of the following scenarios, then he or she may not be accepted into Harris County drug court.

  • The alleged offender has a prior conviction, deferred adjudication, or pending charge for any of the following:
    • Burglary of a habitation;
    • Any crime where a firearm is used, possessed, or exhibited;
    • A crime of violence; or
    • A sex offense.
  • Has a pending charge for the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance or dangerous drug;
  • Has a pending charge for a clandestine lab, or operating a clandestine lab;
  • The alleged offender is seriously mentally ill and cannot participate in the structure of Drug Court; or
  • The alleged offender was previously terminated from the program and was arrested on a new felony drug charge.

Additional Resources

Texas Drug Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code, a collection of Texas state laws. Find more information surrounding Texas Drug Penalty groups, what aggravating factors may affect drug penalties, and zones that are considered “drug-free” in the state of Texas.

STAR | Drug Court – Visit the official website for the Harris County drug court and learn more about the Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR). Find more information surrounding the drug court benefits, the judges on the drug court docket, and how to qualify for drug court in Harris County.


Houston Lawyer for Cocaine Crimes in Harris County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a cocaine crime in the state of Texas, it’s important that you gain legal representation immediately. A practiced attorney can clarify your legal options and fight for your rights in court.

Brian Benken is a respected criminal defense attorney in the Harris County area. He represents those accused of cocaine, marijuana, and other controlled substance crimes in Texas criminal courts. Get ahead of the prosecution now with Brian Benken.

The Benken Law Firm accepts clients throughout all communities in Harris County and surrounding communities including Houston neighborhoods such as River Oaks, Magnolia Park, Alief, Westchase, and Greenspoint and many more.

Call Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on October 12, 2018.

Client Testimonials

(713) 223 - 4051
Benken Law