A recent report highlights the due perils of selling drugs to minors. The report recounts the nineteen-year prison sentence the court imposed on the twenty-four-year-old defendant for selling cocaine, meth, LSD, and other drugs to North Texas teens. Area high schools complained that the defendant and his accomplices used Instagram, other social media, and a ring of underage distributors to commit their serious Texas drug crimes.
Texas Law on Selling Drugs to Minors
Texas law certainly condemns unlawful drug sales to minors. Juveniles can commit drug crimes, for instance, by selling drugs to one another. But youths are also common targets of drug rings. And Texas law uses drug crime enhancements to punish those offenders more severely than offenders who sell to adults. Health & Safety Code §148.122 is the Texas statute enhancing to a second-degree felony the crime of delivering drugs to minors. The adult defendant must deliver the drugs to a person under age eighteen or enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school. The drug must also be in one of Texas's Penalty Groups 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, or 3, not Penalty Group 4 composed of the least dangerous and addictive illegal drugs. The Texas statute recognizes the strong policy against corrupting youth and that drug abuse is one of those nefarious corruptions.
Texas Law on Delivering Drugs in Schools
Texas law also condemns unlawful drug deliveries on or about school premises. Health & Safety Code §148.134 is Texas's drug-free zone statute. Its subsection (c) raises an adult's minimum sentence by five years and doubles the maximum fine if the defendant commits the drug crime “in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the premises of a school, the premises of a public or private youth center, or a playground; or ... on a school bus.” Other sections of the same statute increase an adult's felony drug crime charge by one degree when the drug crime occurs at an institution of higher learning, within 300 feet of a public swimming pool or video arcade, or within 1,000 feet of a residential treatment center. A charge under the delivery-to-minors statute does not prevent another charge under the delivery-in-school statute. In other words, one crime can become two crimes when the drug delivery is to a minor on school premises.
Retain an Expert Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
Every defendant is entitled to an honest defense. If you or someone you love faces drug charges, even charges as serious as selling to minors, know that Texas criminal defense attorney Doug Murphy is available for expert representation. Attorney Doug Murphy is a nationwide lecturer teaching other lawyers criminal defense skills. Premier Texas criminal defense attorney Doug Murphy's fellow lawyers voted him Best Lawyers in America 2021 Lawyer of the Year. Attorney Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers holding both Criminal Law Certification and DWI Board Certification. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm online or at (713) 229-8333 to discuss your case today.