What Are Charges For Delivery Of A Drug?
There are many different types of offenses that can be charged in relation to drug crimes in Texas, from possession to manufacturing charges, and charges related to drug trafficking. The Texas Penal Code includes particular definitions and penalties for delivery of a drug, including for delivery of marijuana. What does it mean to face charges in relation to the delivery of a drug? And how can you defend against charges concerning delivery? Our experienced Temple drug crimes defense attorneys can provide you with more information.
Defining Delivery Under Texas Law
What is “delivery” in relation to drug charges in Texas? According to the Texas Penal Code, the term “deliver” means “to transfer, actually or constructively, to another a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia, regardless of whether there is an agency relationship.” The Texas Penal Code clarifies that the “term includes offering to sell a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia.” Then, the term “delivery” itself is defined as “the act of delivering.”
For purposes of understanding different types of drug charges and the language used in them, it is important to know that to “deliver” is different from “dispensing” or “distributing” drugs under Texas law. The Texas Penal Code defines the term “dispense” to mean “the delivery of a controlled substance in the course of professional practice or research, by a practitioner or person acting under the lawful order of a practitioner, to an ultimate user or research subject.” Dispensing may include “the prescribing, administering, packaging, labeling, or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for delivery.” Differently, to distribute means “to deliver a controlled substance other than by administering or dispensing the substance.” Administering, for purposes of understanding these distinctions, means “to directly apply a controlled substance by injection, inhalation, ingestion, or other means to the body of a patient or research subject.”
In sum, dispensing and administering are modes of delivery usually done by a health care provider or researcher, and delivery in that context may not be unlawful. Differently, distribution often refers to delivery of a drug that is not done in a health care context and may be unlawful.
Penalties for Delivery of a Drug
To be clear, pharmacists, physicians, and other licensed practitioners or researchers may be able to “deliver” drugs in a lawful manner and will not face charges or penalties. However, if you deliver a controlled substance or illegal drug under other circumstances, you could face charges of “manufacture or delivery.” The specific penalties will depend upon the penalty group of the drug or controlled substance delivered.
Generally speaking, most delivery-related charges are at a minimum a state jail felony, and the penalties can increase depending upon the amount of the substance delivered. Charges for delivery of marijuana are different, however. At a minimum, delivery of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor if no money is exchanged (or other remuneration), and a minimum Class A misdemeanor if marijuana is sold. The penalties increase depending upon the amount of marijuana delivered, up to the possibility of a first-degree felony or even life imprisonment.
Contact a Temple Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges for delivery of a drug, you should contact one of the Temple drug crimes defense lawyers at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC for assistance.