Although the image Longview residents may have of a drug deal is two or more people exchanging illegal contraband, like cocaine, for cash, in a dark alley, Texas's drug trafficking laws actually are much broader than one might think. They indeed cover a lot of situations in which even a good person who is ordinarily law-abiding can find himself in.
For example, no money, or any other property for that matter, has to change hands before a Texas resident can be charged with drug trafficking. Moreover, drug trafficking does not have to involve street drugs like cocaine or heroin; someone who is supplying prescription medication without legal authority is also a drug trafficker under Texas law and can be punished accordingly.
To illustrate how easy it can be to find oneself on the receiving end of a drug dealing charge, one can conceivably be criminally liable if, for example, her friend asks her either to find or share some pills for which the friend does not have a valid prescription. Even if the person does this as a favor and not for money, she can still be treated as a drug dealer in the Texas court system.
Penalties for drug trafficking in Texas are very serious. In the most serious cases, a person can even face life in prison. In a typical drug trafficking case, the accused will face a felony conviction and at least a short stint in jail, even if the person is not known for being in trouble with the law.
Because even good people can wind up facing serious drug-related charges with harsh consequences, it is usually advisable for those accused to get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in the area.