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San Antonio drug crimes defense attorneyIn Texas, for the most part, state drug charges signify severe penalties, more so than many other states. In some cases, the penalties can be steeper than those for federal drug charges. Since drug charges are common in criminal defense—and you never know when you or someone you care about might need to hire a criminal defense attorney to assist with such charges, it is worth knowing the differences between the state drug charges in Texas and federal drug charges. Essentially, there are three main differences between state drug charges and federal drug charges:

  1. Drug Classifications
  2. Methods of Prosecution
  3. Penalties/Punishments for Convictions

Drug Classifications and Their Associated Penalties

Texas law categorizes drugs differently than the federal government does. Inherent in both their classifications and definitions of drug types are the associated penalties and punishments. With regards to classifications, the federal government organizes drugs according to “schedule” types:

  • Schedule I, including marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, and LSD
  • Schedule II, including cocaine, Ritalin, opium, morphine, PCP, methamphetamine, and oxycontin
  • Schedule III, including ketamine, codeine, and Vicodin
  • Schedule IV, including Xanax and valium
  • Schedule V, including some OTC drugs and other similar prescribed drugs containing prohibited contents such as codeine

For Texas, on the other hand, drugs are organized into six “drug penalty groups.” These groups are:

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