Drug Trafficking in TX: Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance

Drug trafficking is an overarching term and, in certain cases, can be a federal offense. However, the Texas Controlled Substances Act outlines state drug crimes. This includes the manufacture or delivery (Man /Del) of drugs, which is the criminal charge for drug dealing in Texas. Possession with the intent to deliver is a more common Texas drug crime than either manufacturing or delivery charges.

For instance, possessing a large quantity of a drug, along with evidence suggesting an intent to sell or transfer the drug to another person, can lead to possession with intent to deliver charges. Evidence of intent to sell drugs may include measuring and weighing tools, significant amounts of cash, baggies, and drug paraphernalia.

Drug Manufacture & Delivery Penalties in TX

The penalties for manufacture or delivery of drugs depend heavily on the schedule (different drugs are classified into “schedules”) of the drug and the quantity involved. Additionally, things like your criminal history, where the alleged drug trafficking offense happened, whether minors were present, and additional factors also come into play.

Texas Drug Trafficking Penalties

Texas classifies controlled substances into penalty groups for sentencing purposes:

Penalty Group 1

Under § 481.112, this includes heroin, cocaine, ketamine, oxycodone, and others.

  • <1 g: State Jail Felony (180 days – 2 years, < $10,000 fine)
  • 1-4 g: 2nd Degree Felony (2-20 years, < $10,000)
  • 4-200 g: 1st Degree Felony (5-99 years, < $10,000)
  • 200-400 g: Life Felony (10-99 years, < $100,000)
  • 400 g: Life Felony (15-99 years, < $250,000)

Penalty Group 1-A (§ 481.1121)

Penalty Group 1-A includes lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

  • <20 units: State Jail Felony (180 days – 2 years, < $10,000 fine)
  • 20-80 units: 2nd Degree Felony (2-20 years, < $10,000)
  • 80-4,000 units: 1st Degree Felony (5-99 years, < $10,000)
  • 4,000 units: Life Felony (15-99 years, < $250,000)

Penalty Group 2/2-A

Under (§ 481.113), this includes drug trafficking involving ecstasy, PCP, amphetamines (like mescaline), and synthetic cannabinoids. The penalties can range significantly, typically from 2 to 20 years, depending on the quantity.

  • <1 g: State Jail Felony (180 days – 2 years, < $10,000 fine)
  • 1-4 g: 2nd Degree Felony (2-20 years, < $10,000)
  • 4-400 g: 1st Degree Felony (5-99 years, < $10,000)
  • 400 g: Life Felony (10-99 years, < $100,000)

Penalty Group 3 & 4

Under § 481.114, this covers drug trafficking of substances like barbiturates, peyote, anabolic steroids, and more.

  • <28 g: State Jail Felony (180 days – 2 years, < $10,000 fine)
  • 28-200 g: 2nd Degree Felony (2-20 years, < $10,000)
  • 200-400 g: 1st Degree Felony (5-99 years, < $10,000)
  • 400 g: Life Felony (10-99 years, < $100,000)

Trafficking Marijuana

481.120 covers drug trafficking and delivery offenses related to Marijuana. Specifically, if the marijuana delivery is not a sale, and the amount is less than one-quarter ounce, the penalty is considered a Class B misdemeanor. If money is exchanged, the penalty increases to a Class A misdemeanor.

  • <¼ oz (no sale): Class B Misdemeanor (<180 days, < $2,000)
  • <¼ oz (sale): Class A Misdemeanor (<1 year, < $4,000)
  • ¼ oz – 5 lbs: State Jail Felony (180 days – 2 years, < $10,000)
  • 5-50 lbs: 2nd Degree Felony (2-20 years, < $10,000)
  • 50-2,000 lbs: 1st Degree Felony (5-99 years, < $10,000)
  • 2,000 lbs: Life Felony (10-99 years, < $100,000)

Federal Drug Trafficking

Federal drug trafficking penalties range all the way up to life in prison. Fines can reach the millions of dollars. Cases with the harshest penalties are those involving large amounts of drugs, repeat offenses, possession of weapons in connection to drug trafficking, and bodily injury or death.

Defending Against Possession with Intent to Deliver

There are various strategies used in defending possession with the intent to deliver and manufacture drug charges. Our Dallas drug trafficking attorneys will carefully tailor the defense you need based on the facts of your case.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The United States Constitution and Texas Constitution protect citizens from unlawful police searches and seizures. If you were illegally searched and subsequently charged with trafficking controlled substances in Texas, we will challenge how the evidence was obtained. Depending on the circumstances, evidence may be inadmissible at trial, or we may be able to have drug trafficking charges reduced or dismissed.

Errors in Chain of Custody

Evidence in a possession with intent to deliver case must be carefully handled from arrest to trial. If there is a misstep in how drugs or other evidence are labeled, transported, stored, and tested, the evidence could be damaged, and we will argue it is not admissible. 

Insufficient Evidence

Like other criminal charges, drug possession with intent to distribute must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. When evidence is weak, this is often not possible. Sometimes, prosecutors can be convinced to drop charges in these cases. Even when they insist on going to trial, juries may acquit once they see insufficient evidence.

Accused of Possession with Intent to Deliver? Call Mike Howard

Your needs are always our top concern at The Law Office of Mike Howard.

We will carefully investigate all aspects of your case—how you were arrested, how evidence was collected, and what evidence prosecutors have against you to build the strongest possible defense. We may be able to have Man/Del charges dismissed or negotiate a plea bargain to significantly reduce your charges and penalties, perhaps even from a felony charge to a misdemeanor offense if the situation supports it.

In any case, you can trust that an experienced and dedicated Dallas possession with intent lawyer will fight for your rights and interests every step of the way.

Our Promise to All Our Clients

  • A clear explanation of your case and your legal options.
  • Your calls & messages are returned within one business day.
  • We’re transparent and upfront about our pricing.
  • We’ll craft a unique defense for your circumstances.
  • We know how to protect your rights.

A History of Success in Drug Cases

Possession with the Intent to Deliver – Dismissed

Our client was charged with first-degree possession with intent to deliver. The police had visited the home after a noise complaint, claimed that they saw a gun, and barged in. We investigated and found that the gun was a toy and were able to have the case dismissed for an illegal search and seizure.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Dismissed

We had a client with a serious heroin problem. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and multiple theft cases. We got him into a diversion program and successfully dismissed all charges.

More Results

Please visit our criminal defense resource center for more information about your rights and the legal process regarding Texas drug trafficking charges.

Drug Possession with Intent to Deliver FAQs

Are there mandatory minimums for drug trafficking in TX?

There are mandatory minimum sentences for possession with the intent to deliver and manufacture drug convictions. For example, if you are convicted of a first-degree felony, the mandatory minimum is five years in prison. But you must first be convicted to receive such a sentence. Our Dallas drug trafficking defense attorney is on your side. We will work tirelessly to achieve the most satisfactory outcome to your case.

Is diversion/probation available for possession with the intent?

Pre-trial diversion and /or probation may be available in possession with the intent to deliver cases. For instance, first-time offenders who have never been arrested or convicted of previous drug crimes may be eligible for diversion options that may result in eventual dismissal. Attorney Howard can advise you based on your circumstances.

When is drug trafficking a federal crime?

Drug trafficking becomes a federal crime if drugs are moved across state lines or international borders, such as from Mexico to Texas. Drug trafficking can also rise to a federal charge based on where the offense occurred and whether there is evidence of a drug trafficking conspiracy.

The penalties if convicted of trafficking are severe, whether it’s a state or federal charge. Sometimes, you can even be charged at state and federal levels. 

Can possession with the intent be sealed/expunged?

A drug dealing conviction is not expungable in Texas. If you are convicted, the crime will be visible on your record to police, employers, landlords, and others. But there are situations in which your record can be sealed. Dallas drug trafficking attorney Mike Howard will examine your case to determine eligibility for your record.

Start With a Case Evaluation 

Together, we can get your life back.

When you’re ready to take the next steps, attorney Mike Howard is here to discuss your situation and design a plan to deal with Dallas possession with the intent to deliver and manufacture drug charges or allegations related to selling controlled substances in Texas. Trust our experience, empathy, and ability to help put charges behind you. Reach out to a Dallas criminal defense attorney today.

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(214) 296-2221

Located in the Element Towers West Building at 3010 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas, attorney Mike Howard handles criminal cases across Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties at the state level and in the Northern and Eastern Districts at the federal level.