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Drug Offense Defenses

There are a variety of criminal charges that individuals can face connected to the possession, manufacturing, and sale of narcotics, and the penalties for a conviction of any of these charges can be severe, affecting nearly every aspect of a person's life. Even the most minor of charges can carry penalties such as thousands of dollars in fines and even time in jail. Contact Attorney Watkinsto discuss your case today.

With penalties as serious as these, our team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter believes that individuals in Dallas facing drug charges of any kind need to be equally serious about their defense. Being convicted of such a crime can be extremely difficult on you, your family, and your future, making it critical to have the guidance and knowledge of a Dallas drug defense attorney behind you.

Why Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?

Effectively defending yourself from a drug crime conviction necessitates legal representation. Attempting to represent yourself is not advisable. If you do represent yourself, the court will treat you as an attorney, and you will be expected to be fully aware of relevant laws and courtroom protocol. The vast majority of people who reject legal assistance in criminal trials are not able to represent themselves effectively.

When you hire a skilled, experienced drug defense attorney, you have a better chance of receiving a lighter sentence, being acquitted, or having the charges against you dismissed. An experienced attorney will have the skills and resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into your case, including finding witnesses and expert witnesses that can help the court see your side of the case.

You should not accept any kind of plea bargain from a prosecutor without consulting with an experienced drug defense attorney. While many drug crime cases do indeed end in favorable plea bargains, accepting a plea bargain is a serious decision that requires knowledgeable guidance. An attorney may be able to negotiate a better sentence for you or advise that you take your case to trial.

Why Should I Choose Attorney Watkins

Dallas criminal defense attorney Mark Lassiter is a tough, highly skilled attorney who is passionate about advocating for his clients. As a former prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney's office, Mark Lassiter has experience on both sides of criminal cases, giving him a deep and nuanced understanding of criminal defense strategy.

Mark Lassiter is proud to have received numerous awards and accolades from legal organizations, including:

  • Member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Listed in the ‘Who's Who of America'

Common Types of Drug Offenses

The consequences of being convicted for a drug-related offense can continue to affect you and your freedoms long after your court-ordered penalties have been carried out. As such, it is imperative that anyone facing charges of this nature contact Attorney immediately.

Some of the most common types of drug offenses individuals in Texas find themselves facing include:

In particular, our legal team has experience representing individuals who have been accused of:

Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted in both the state of Texas and throughout the country as prosecutors look to make an example of those convicted. As such, individuals facing any of the above charges need to make sure they have an experienced attorney on their side to make sure their rights and freedoms are protected as best as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are an individual facing drug charges in Dallas, Attorney Watkins is here to help. Drug offenses come in a wide variety of forms, including possession, sales, and delivery. Penalties can be severe, depending on the type of offense and the substance involved. The state of Texas aggressively prosecutes drug offenses, and they will try to use their power and influence to make an example of you. To fight for your rights, you need a tough, skilled, and experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Watkins has these qualities, and he has a deep understanding of Texas criminal law. Do not hesitate to call him at 844-247-2449 for a free consultation. Below we have included a few frequently asked questions and answers regarding drug offenses for your review.

What is a drug-free zone?

If you commit certain drug offenses while in a drug-free zone, the punishment for that offense may be more severe. Some common drug-free zones include the following:

  • Playgrounds
  • Schools
  • School buses
  • Youth centers
  • Video arcades
  • Public swimming pools

Even if school is not in session, it is still classified as a drug-free zone. However, in order to punish you for committing a drug offense in a drug-free zone, the state of Texas must show that you were aware you were in a drug-free zone. This can be a very complicated issue, and it is important that you have an experienced attorney to help with your defense.

What determines the severity of a punishment for a drug conviction?

The Controlled Substances Act defines the different penalties for drug convictions. The law puts different types of drugs in different categories called “penalty groups.” Punishment ranges are determined by the category of the drug and the amount of the drug. The State will try to give you the maximum penalty possible allowed under the Controlled Substances Act. It is important to have an attorney on your side that has a deep understanding of the Act.

The following is a summary of the drugs in each penalty group and the corresponding punishments:

  • Penalty group 1 is the most heavily regulated drug group in Texas and includes opioids like codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. It also includes methamphetamine, ketamine, mescaline, and other opium derivatives. Possession of any amount of these substances is always a felony and can result in anywhere from 180 days in jail to 99 years in prison, depending on the amount. Fines can range from $10,000 to $100,000.
  • Penalty group 1-A refers exclusively to LSD and its derivatives. Possession of LSD is always a felony.
  • Penalty group 2 mostly includes hallucinogenic drugs such as Ecstasy/MDMA, PCP, and peyote. It carries similar punishments as penalty group 1.
  • Penalty group 2-A includes the artificial chemical substances that mimic cannabinoids, such as “K2” and “Spice.” Possession of small amounts of these substances is a misdemeanor, but possession of over 4 grams is a felony.
  • Penalty group 3 includes opiates and opioids not listed in penalty group 1, including benzodiazepines, anabolic steroids, and other prescription drugs that have a stimulant or depressant effect. Possession of small amounts of group 3 drugs is a misdemeanor, but possession of more than 28 grams is a felony.
  • Penalty group 4 includes a variety of prescription medications with a high potential for abuse that are not already included in other penalty groups. Possession of small amounts of these drugs is a misdemeanor, and possession of over 28 grams is a felony.

What are some common marijuana offenses?

Marijuana is not included in the Controlled Substances Act, which is a law that defines the punishment for drugs based on what “penalty group” they are classified in. However, you can still be charged with possession, delivery, and other offenses that involve marijuana. Like the drugs defined in the Controlled Substances Act, the penalties for marijuana offenses are determined by the amount possessed, manufactured, or sold. For instance, you may be charged with a felony offense if you possessed a certain amount of marijuana. A conviction could result in many years in state prison. It is important to have a tough, skilled, and experienced attorney on your side for any drug charges, including marijuana charges. Mark T. Lassiter is the attorney you need on your side to fight for you and your rights.


Craig Watkins is the former Elected District Attorney in Dallas County, Texas. He became the first elected African American District Attorney in the State of Texas. Craig served for two terms – 2007-2014. While District Attorney Craig set out to reform the criminal justice system with his Smart On Crime approach to criminal justice. This approach included the examination of wrongful convictions, rehabilitation, education, and employment. Craig created the first-ever Conviction Integrity Unit in a District Attorney’s Office in the Country.


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