Fort Worth Alcohol & Drug Defense Lawyer
20+ Years of Criminal Justice Experience from a Former FBI Agent
Have you been accused of or arrested for an alcohol or drug offense in Texas? The Shipley Law Firm, PLLC can defend you against your charges and assert your rights as a defendant. Mr. Shipley has over 20 years of criminal justice experience that spans defense representation, law enforcement experience, and prior work as an agent in the FBI. As a result, he brings unique investigative skills that most attorneys do not have. This can prove critical to cases like alcohol and drug accusations, which often require a deep investigation of the available evidence. Mr. Shipley can thoroughly examine your case to strategize a defense that safeguards your rights and your future.
Contact The Shipley Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation to learn more about how our team can investigate your case. Serving Tarrant County.
Common Alcohol Offenses
There are several types of alcohol-related offenses covered under Texas criminal law.
Some common examples of alcohol crimes include:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – It is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while you possess a blood-alcohol level of .08% or more.
- Public Intoxication (PI) — Being intoxicated in a public place to the point where you could put yourself and other people in danger. This is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- Minor in Possession (MIP) — Possessing alcohol while you are under the age of 21, whether you consumed the alcohol, is illegal (e.g., simply holding an empty beer can). This is also a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and could impact your ability to apply to college and graduate school in the future, as well as affect other opportunities.
- Driving with an Open Container — Having an open container within reach while you are driving is another Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Drug Possession and Texas’ Penalty Groups
Drug crimes in Texas are criminalized based on the type of drug. Texas categorizes controlled substances into five different “schedules,” with Schedule I drugs being the most at risk for abuse, and criminal offenses are categorized into one of four “penalty groups” based on the schedule of the drug:
- Penalty Group 1 (substances like heroin and cocaine) – penalties range from 6 months to 2 years in state jail at the very least or up to 10-99 years in prison for possession of more than 400 grams; fines also range from $10,000-$300,000, depending on the amount in possession
- Penalty Group 2 (hallucinogenic drugs like PCP and ecstasy) – penalties start at 6 months to 2 years in state jail and can go up to 5-99 years in prison; fines range from $10,000-$50,000
- Penalty Group 3 (depressants and stimulants like Valium and Ritalin) – penalties range from 1 year in county jail to 5-99 years in prison, as well as $4,000-$50,000 in fines
- Penalty Group 4 (prescription medications with potential for abuse and addiction) – penalties range from 6 months in county jail to 5-99 years in prison and $2,000-$50,000 in fines
Texas’ Marijuana Laws
Marijuana use is illegal throughout Texas. The state also does not formally allow medical marijuana except in cases where qualified doctors may prescribe low-THC cannabis for certain conditions (e.g., seizure disorders, epilepsy, autism, PTSD, cancer).
A person can be guilty of unlawful possession of marijuana if they knowingly or intentionally possess a "usable quantity" of marijuana. The penalties will depend on the amount in possession:
- 2 ounces or less – Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine
- 2-4 ounces – Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine
- 4 ounces to 5 pounds – State jail felony punishable by up to 180 days to 2 years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine
- 5-50 pounds – Third-degree felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
- 50-2,000 pounds – Second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine
- More than 2,000 pounds – Life in prison or 5-99 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
The penalties increase for the distribution of marijuana or possession with the intent to do so:
- 0.25 ounces or less – Class B misdemeanor (gifting without payment) or Class A misdemeanor (selling for payment)
- 0.25 ounces to 5 pounds – State jail felony
- 5-50 pounds – Second-degree felony
- 50-2,000 pounds – First-degree felony
- More than 2,000 pounds – Life in prison or 10-99 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
If a felony-level offense occurred in a drug-free zone, such as a school or playground, the offense could be penalized one level higher (e.g., second-degree felony to a first-degree felony).
It is in your best interests to reach out to an experienced defense lawyer for legal support on your alcohol or drug case. The consequences of a conviction could be severe, so you will want to discuss all your available defense options with a defense attorney. The Shipley Law Firm, PLLC can provide a unique combination of knowledgeable defense representation and thorough investigation of the evidence to strengthen your case.
Contact Us today for or call (817) 783-4899 a free consultation to discuss your case in more detail. An attorney will return your call within 24 hours.