Methamphetamine, more commonly known as “meth,” is one of the most policed illegal substances in the State of Texas. Much of the methamphetamine that makes its way into the United States is manufactured in Mexico; the bulk of drugs trafficked into the United States travels through Texas first. It's no surprise then that Texas prosecutors aggressively pursue drug possession cases against anyone in possession of meth.
If you have been arrested for allegedly possessing methamphetamine in the State of Texas, you risk being labeled a convicted felon for the rest of your life. If the amount of meth you allegedly possessed is high enough, most of that life could be spent in a Texas prison.
But not every arrest for drug possession leads to a conviction; many cases are won or dismissed thanks to the work of experienced drug possession lawyers. Attorney Doug Murphy is a tested trial attorney that has won many verdicts in drug possession cases in and around Houston, Texas. His success is no secret; his record of case results speaks for itself. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your options today.
What is Methamphetamine?
Meth is a stimulant that directly affects the central nervous system. While there has been limited use of methamphetamine as a treatment for obesity or attention deficit disorder, it is widely held that the drug has no medicinal value.
Methamphetamine was first discovered in 1893. It is actually synthesized from another controlled substance, ephedrine. The discovery of methamphetamine was made by Japanese chemist Nagai Nagayoshi in 1919. By World War II, methamphetamine was sold in tablet form with the advertised benefit of energy and wakefulness. Not long after, the addictive nature of the drug was evident. Despite that, it was marketed as a weight loss miracle through the 1950s before being outlawed in the United States in the 1970s.
Common Street Names for Methamphetamine
There is a wide variety of street names for methamphetamine, including:
- Go Fast
- Cotton Candy
- Go-go Juice
- White Cross
- Rocket Fuel
- Scooby Snax
What are the effects of methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine in small doses can elevate a user's mood, increase alertness and energy, and promote weight loss. However, at higher doses, the drug is known for causing psychosis, delirium, and hallucinations. The drug is extremely addictive with one of the higher dependence rates of any controlled substance.
The effects of long-term meth use are grave. The drug leads to the breakdown of skeletal muscle, seizures, brain bleeding, and death. Methamphetamine can cause long-term damage to the central nervous system, which makes detoxing from the drug much more difficult than many other substances.
Other long-term effects include:
- Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain
- High blood pressure that may lead to heart attack, stroke, and death
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Destruction of tissues in the nose if sniffed
- Respiratory problems if smoked
- Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
- Malnutrition, weight loss
- Severe tooth decay
- Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
- Strong psychological dependence
- Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and epilepsy
How is methamphetamine classified under federal law?
According to federal law, each banned substance is categorized into one of five drug schedules by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which each schedule containing a number of controlled substances. Of the five schedules, schedule I contains the most addictive drugs while Schedule V contains the least addictive drugs. It is also generally true that drugs in Schedule I have no medicinal purpose, while drugs in lower schedules have potential medical uses.
Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, meth is classified as a Schedule I drug due to its addictive nature and its lack of medicinal value. Other Schedule I drugs include ecstasy, heroin, LSD, and peyote among others.
How is methamphetamine classified under Texas state law?
Unlike under federal law, the State of Texas has six different categories under which it categorizes controlled substances. According to the Texas Controlled Substances Act, there are six drug penalty groups in which controlled substances are categorized into. All controlled substances are assigned to a drug penalty group except for marijuana, which is treated differently than other drugs. The six drug penalty groups set out in Texas law are:
- Penalty Group 1
- Penalty Group 1A
- Penalty Group 2
- Penalty Group 2A
- Penalty Group 3
- Penalty Group 4
Every penalty group has a sentencing range that applies to all drugs within the group. Penalty group 1 carries the stiffest penalties, while penalty group 5 has the weakest. That doesn't mean the consequences for possessing a group 5 drug aren't serious; a conviction could lead to years in prison and a lifetime as a convicted felon. If convicted of possession of a controlled substance, your potential penalty will depend on the applicable drug penalty group as well as the amount of the drug you are alleged to have possessed.
In Texas, methamphetamine is a member of penalty group 1. These drugs are at the top when it comes to maximum penalties. In fact, if you are convicted of possessing large amounts of meth you could face up to 99 years in state prison. A conviction also carries a maximum fine of $100,000. Other substances listed in penalty group 1 include opioids, opium derivatives and/or opiates, cocaine, ketamine, peyote, psilocybin, and other hallucinogens.
Hiring the Best Drug Possession Lawyer in Houston
If you have been arrested in the Houston area for possession of methamphetamine, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. immediately. Doug Murphy is a Board Certified expert in criminal defense law. He can rely on his years of experience to help you build the strongest defense available. A conviction for possession of methamphetamine is life-changing, and Doug Murphy understands what it could mean for your future. To discuss your case with an expert in criminal defense law, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation.