Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, it is illegal to knowingly transport or deliver illegal drugs. However, in order to be convicted of drug trafficking or drug distribution, people must knowingly transport them. If they prove that they had no knowledge that they were doing so, they may not be convicted.
Because the state of Texas considers drug trafficking to be a felony, there are a variety of punishments that a person could potentially face. The types of consequences and the severity of the consequences can depend on a number of factors. These factors include the type of drug being trafficked and the amount of the drug being trafficked. For example, the potential sentence may be lighter if the trafficked drug is from a certain group of drugs. Additionally, prosecutors may also offer plea deals with less severe sentences if the person can help them with a higher priority investigation.
Minimum sentences can range from 180 days to two years in a state jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. On the severe side of the consequences, a person can face a jail sentence that spans from 15 years to 99 years or even life. Maximum fines can reach as high as $250,000.
When a person is facing a drug charge, there are several defense strategies that could potentially be utilized. If the person was unknowingly transporting drugs, for example, the charges against the accused person may not hold. Other potential defenses including mistaking an illegal substance for something else, like cocaine for sugar. People may also have a strong defense if they have evidence that they trafficked the drug while under duress. A criminal law attorney can determine what defense strategy may work best based on the circumstances surrounding the case.