Back to Top
Back to Top

Federal, State, and Local Penalties

Penalties for Unlawful Possession or Distribution of Controlled Substances

Note: Controlled substances classified under the Controlled Substances Act are divided into five schedules that are reviewed annually and subject to change. See more at Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) §§ 1308.11 through 1308.15 (Schedules of controlled subtances). Penalties also are subject to change.

Federal penalties

PENALTIES UNDER FEDERAL LAW
OFFENSEMINIMUM PUNISHMENTMAXIMUM PUNISHMENT
Manufacture, distribution, or dispensing drugs (including marijuana) Imprisonment up to 5 years and a minimum fine of $250,000 Life imprisonment without release (no eligibility for parole) and a fine not to exceed $10 million (for an individual) or $50 million if other than an individual) or both
Possession of drugs (including marijuana) Imprisonment up to 1 year and a minimum fine of $1,000 or both Imprisonment up to 20 years and a maximum fine of $25,000 plus costs of investigation and prosecution

Additionally, federal penalties and sanctions for illegal possession of a controlled substance can include:

  • Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment.
  • Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance.
  • Civil fine of up to $10,000.
  • Denial of federal benefits such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to 1 year for first offense, up to 5 years for second and subsequent offenses.
  • Ineligible to receive or purchase a firearm.
  • Revocation of certain Federal licenses and benefits, e.g. pilot’s licenses, public housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities of individual federal agencies.

State penalties

Provided is a list of the core legal sanctions imposed by the State of Texas. This list is not intended to be a complete list of offenses and penalties. Instead, it summarizes the severe penalties that flow from drug and alcohol abuse.

PENALTIES UNDER TEXAS LAW
OFFENSEMINIMUM PUNISHMENTMAXIMUM PUNISHMENT
Manufacture or delivery of controlled substances (drugs) Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) for a term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years, or confinement in a community correctional facility for not more than 1 year, and a fine not to exceed $10,000 Imprisonment  in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000
Possession of controlled substances (drugs) Confinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days, and a fine not to exceed $1,000 Imprisonment in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000
Delivery of Marijuana Confinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days, and a fine not to exceed $2,000, or both Imprisonment  in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000
Possession of Marijuana Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, and a fine not to exceed $2,000, or both Imprisonment  in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years, and a fine not to exceed $50,000
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol FIRST OFFENSE: Maximum fine of $500; 20 to 40 hours community service related to education about or prevention of misuse of alcohol; 60- or 120-day suspension of driver’s license.

SECOND OFFENSE: Maximum fine of $500. 40 to 60 hours of community service related to education about or prevention of misuse of alcohol; 120- or 240-day suspension of driver’s license.
THIRD OFFENSE: Fine not less than $500 or more than $2,000; confinement in jail for term not to exceed 180 days, or both the fine and the confinement; 180-day or 1-year suspension of driver’s license.

An offense under this section is not a lesser included offense under Section 49.04, Penal Code. (DWI).
Public Intoxication   A fine not to exceed $500
Purchase of alcohol by a minor Fine of not less than $250 nor more than $2000 Varies with age and number of offenses
Consumption of alcohol by a minor Fine of not less than $250 nor more than $2000 Varies with number of offenses
Possession of alcohol by a minor FIRST OFFENSE: Maximum fine of $500; 8 to 12 hours of community service; 30-day suspension of driver’s license.

SECOND OFFENSE: Maximum fine of $500; 40 to 60 hours of community service; 60-day suspension of driver’s license.
THIRD OFFENSE: Fine not less than $250 or more than $2,000; confinement in jail for term not to exceed 180 days or both fine and confinement; 180-day suspension or driver’s license.
Furnishing alcohol to a minor Fine not to exceed $2,000; confinement in jail for term not to exceed 180 days; or both such fine and confinement.  

See more at Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Standard Penalty Chart or Texas Constitution and Statutes.

 

Local penalties

The City of Austin adheres to state and federal laws regulating the possession and use of controlled substances and alcohol. The City of Austin Code of Ordinances includes various ordinances addressing violations and penalties regarding prohibited activities such as drugs, chemicals, and other controlled substances, including but not limited to:

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly requests, commands, or induces another person to donate, sell, transfer, or deliver a prohibited drug to the person making the request or to or another person. (City of Austin, Code of Ordinances Chapter 9 Article 2. 9-5-11)
  • A person commits an offense if the person loiters in a public place in a manner and under circumstances manifesting the purpose of selling a controlled substance, dangerous drug, simulated controlled substance, or volatile chemical in violation of the state law. (City of Austin, Code of Ordinances Chapter 9 Article 5. 9-5-6).

 See more at City of Austin Code of Ordinances, Title 9 – Prohibited Activities, Chapter 9-5 Restrictions on Drugs, Chemicals, and Controlled Substances 

Back to Top
Back to Top

Back to Top