Like other states, Texas has been grappling with prevalent heroin and opioid addiction rates over the past several years. Because of the dangers of heroin addiction and abuse, the state criminalizes the possession or sale of that drug and enforces harsh penalties. People who are convicted of heroin offenses might face lengthy prison sentences, stiff fines, and collateral consequences.
What are the Texas heroin laws?
All drug charges involving heroin possession or sales are felony offenses in Texas. However, the degree of felony depends on the type of offense and the amount of heroin involved. Even possessing less than one gram of heroin is punishable as a state jail felony. Those who are convicted of possessing between one and four grams face sentencing for a third-degree felony. For amounts between four and 200 grams, possession is a second-degree felony. Amounts between 200 grams and 400 grams are charged as first-degree felonies. Finally, people who are convicted of possessing 400 grams or more of heroin face a life felony carrying life in prison or 10 to 99 years and a fine of $100,000.
The Texas heroin laws for sales are harsher and have stepped-up penalties for each amount as follows:
- Selling less than 1 gram – State jail felony
- Selling 1 to 4 grams – 2nd degree felony
- Selling 4 to 200 grams – 1st degree felony
- Selling 200 grams or more – Life felony carrying life in prison, 10 to 99 years, or a fine of $100,000
Drug court as an alternative
Since many people’s abuse of heroin is caused by addiction, the state has established drug courts. People who are charged with low-level heroin offenses can participate in drug court. If successful, the heroin charges will be dropped if the drug court is part of a pretrial program. If they were convicted, they would then be placed on probation.