Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that doctors can prescribe for pain relief, but it also is used to get high. It's estimated that up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and even a tiny amount of it can have devastating effects on a person's life. But what happens if you are caught buying or selling fentanyl in Texas?
Let's look at the risks and consequences of this powerful drug.
Non-Legal Risks of Fentanyl Use in Texas
Using fentanyl without a doctor's prescription is illegal in Texas, and unfortunately, its risks are incredibly high. Even just a tiny dose can lead to an overdose, as fentanyl is so much more potent than heroin or other opioids. The risk of overdose is significantly heightened when mixed with other drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines (Xanax). Additionally, long-term use can lead to physical dependence and addiction, which can result in serious health problems down the line.
Furthermore, having any felony conviction on your record will significantly limit your job prospects and ability to vote or obtain certain housing types. A felony conviction also has the potential to severely damage relationships with family members and friends who may not understand why you were convicted for possessing fentanyl.
Consequences of Caught Buying or Selling Fentanyl
Possession or Sale of Fentanyl
Those charged with the possession or sale of fentanyl can face charges ranging from a state jail felony to first degree felony charges, depending on the amount of fentanyl involved. This includes:
- Less than one (1) gram of fentanyl: state jail felony, including a prison sentence from 180 days to 2 years.
- 1-4 grams of fentanyl: third degree felony, including a prison sentence from 2 to 10 years.
- 4-200 grams of fentanyl: second degree felony, including a prison sentence from 2 to 20 years.
- 200-400 grams of fentanyl: first degree felony, including a prison sentence from 5 to 99 years or a life sentence.
Those charged with the possession or sale of fentanyl can also face fines ranging from $10,000 to $250,000.
Can I Be Charged Even If I Didn't Know I Was Possessing Fentanyl?
Often, individuals will be charged with the possession or sale of fentanyl when they do not know that they have fentanyl. Fentanyl is often mixed with other controlled substances, such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, and packaged into pills similar to other opioids. While this can be frustrating, fentanyl charges can apply, making it essential to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney you trust.
We Can Do More
Fentanyl is a hazardous drug that carries significant risks for users—both physical and legal. If you are charged with possessing fentanyl in Texas, then it's important that you understand the severity of the consequences and take action immediately by consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and minimize any potential consequences associated with your case.