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What are the penalties for drug crimes delivering to a child?

While there is an ongoing debate as to whether recreational marijuana should be made legal and many states are decriminalizing it, Texas is not one of them yet. When a person is placed under arrest and charged with allegations of legal violations related to marijuana, there can be severe penalties assessed if there is a conviction. The state takes these crimes very seriously and those who are arrested must make certain that they understand the level of penalties they are facing and that they plan a strong defense.

One crime that can cause long-term problems if there is a conviction is the delivery of a controlled substance or marijuana to a child. If a person is alleged to have knowingly delivered marijuana to a child; delivered it to a person who is enrolled at a public or private primary or secondary school; or delivered it to someone who the person believes plans to deliver the substance to a child or someone attending one of the above-listed schools, it will be considered a violation of the law against delivering to a child.

The person accused of delivering to the child will be protected from prosecution under this law if the person who was delivering the marijuana or controlled substance was a child when the offense happened; or if the person delivering it was younger than 21 at the time, delivered one-fourth ounce of the substance or less; and was not remunerated for it. Being charged with this offense is a second-degree felony. A child is defined as a person who is under 18. If the act is committed in this instance is also an offense under a separate section of the law, the person who made the delivery can still be prosecuted under either or both. When convicted of a second-degree felony, the person can face between two and 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

People who are confronted with allegations that they delivered marijuana or a controlled substance to a child might not realize that the drug is still illegal in the state of Texas or that they were committing an act that carries with it such significant penalties in the event of conviction. There might have been a misunderstanding or it could be possible to negotiate a plea deal. Since drug crimes and allegations of drug trafficking can have so negative an impact on a person's life, having a strong legal professional to help with the defense is critical.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Sec. 481.122. Offense: Delivery of Controlled Substance or Marihuana to Child," accessed on May 1, 2018

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