Texas has a well-earned reputation as a “law and order” state, and it has the harsh penalties for drug possession convictions to prove it. But what about prescription drugs such as Xanax? Even though Xanax may be used if you have a valid prescription, the possession of the drug without one will lead to serious consequences. In fact, if you are convicted for possessing large quantities of Xanax, you could find yourself in prison for the rest of your life.
That's why if you have been arrested in a Xanax drug possession case, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately. Being convicted of the crime isn't a foregone conclusion, and the right legal counsel may be able to help you have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Do you need help with a Xanax possession charge in the Houston area? Contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your options with the best drug defense attorney in Houston.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is the trade name for a drug called alprazolam. Alprazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine that has a number of recognized medical uses. It is primarily used to treat anxiety disorders or panic disorders. Another medical use is the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea. Though effective medically, Xanax is a highly-addictive drug that rapidly builds a chemical dependence. Many abusers report the feeling of loosened inhibitions when taking the drug. Side effects also include depression, sleepiness, fatigue, dry mouth, and headache.
Alprazolam was first approved for medical use in 1981, and the drug is a controlled substance under federal and state law. it is one of the most prescribed medications in the United States and has been for years.
Physical Appearance of Xanax
Xanax primarily comes in the form of pills. These include standard pills as well as disintegrating tablets. Xanax typically comes in .25 mg, .5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablet form. In limited cases, Xanax can be snorted in powder form. In some cases, it is also injected. This type of use carries serious health risks, as Xanax is not water soluble and does not break up completely. Injecting Xanax can lead to serious artery damage, as the pieces of Xanax are too large to enter the bloodstream.
Common Street Names
Best known as Xanax, there are a variety of other street names for alprazolam:
- Totem Poles
- White Planks
- Blue Footballs
- School Bus
- Bicycle Parts
- Yellow Boys
- White Boys
- White Girls
What are the Effects of Xanax?
Xanax can have a number of unintended effects. These effects are often exacerbated when Xanax is abused. Some of the common effects include:
- Concentration issues
- Lack of inhibition
- Slurred Speech
- Dry Mouth
- Skin issues
- respiratory depression
- Urinary retention
The most prominent effect is the high rate of addiction. In extreme cases, acute intoxication due to Xanax can lead to death.
How is Xanax classified under federal law?
Under the law of the United States, each controlled substance is listed with a drug schedule outlined in the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. In the Controlled Substance Act, there are five different drug schedules; each schedule hosts a number of controlled substances. Drug schedule I contains the most severely regulated substances, while Schedule V substances have the least amount of regulation. Some of these controlled substances are well-known street drugs, while others are prescription medication. For the most part, drugs near Schedule I have little to no medicinal value.
Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, Xanax is a Schedule IV drug. Its placement on the drug schedules is due to the highly addictive nature of the substance. Other drugs within Schedule IV include Valium, Darvon, and Darvocet.
How is Xanax classified under Texas state law?
In Texas, drugs are classified a little differently than they are under federal law. The State of Texas splits dugs into six drug penalty groups pursuant to the Texas Controlled Substances Act. The one exception to that rule is marijuana, which is treated differently than any other controlled substance. The six drug penalty groups under Texas law are:
- Penalty Group 1
- Penalty Group 1A
- Penalty Group 2
- Penalty Group 2A
- Penalty Group 3
- Penalty Group 4
Every drug penalty group has a range of potential penalties. Group 1 carries the largest potential sentencing range while a conviction for penalty group 4 will normally have a lower range of jail time. If convicted of possession of Xanax without a prescription, the length of your sentence will depend in part on how much of the drug you had in possession at the time of your arrest.
Under Texas law, Xanax is listed in penalty group 3. Other drugs within penalty group 3 include opioids not listed in penalty group 1. Penalty group 3 also plays host to other benzodiazepines, anabolic steroids, and other prescription drugs like Ritalin. These drugs are near the middle when comes to the length of potential penalties if you are convicted. Whether your case is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the amount of drugs you were alleged to have possessed.
If you have less than 28 grams at the time of the arrest, you may face misdemeanor charges but possess any more than that and you will face felony drug possession charges. These charges are no laughing matter; if you were in possession of large quantities of Xanax without a prescription you could face a lifetime in prison.
Hiring the Best Houston Drug Possession Lawyer
When you are looking for your Houston drug possession lawyer, you will be well suited to find an attorney with both knowledge and experience. Attorney Doug Murphy has both of those qualities. A Board Certified expert in criminal defense law, Doug Murphy will aggressively pursue your case from the early investigation all the way through trial. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to set up your free consultation as soon as possible.