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Drug possession with intent to deliver in Texas


Under both federal and Texas drug laws, the penalties for possession of illegal drugs increase significantly if the prosecution can prove possession with intent to distribute, or as Texas refers to it, possession with intent to deliver.

The Texas Penal Code uses the term "deliver" to refer to all forms of dealing drugs. A delivery takes place whether or not money is paid - except when the delivery is of a small amount of marijuana. Even an attempt to sell is considered delivery under Texas law. Possession with intent to deliver can result in extremely harsh penalties in Texas, up to and including life in prison. Fines of up to $250,000 can also be imposed. The severity of the penalties will depend in large part on the quantity of the drug in the defendant's possession, and whether the defendant has any prior offenses.

The prosecution can infer intent to deliver from the circumstances. Intent can be inferred if the quantity of drugs found exceeds the amount one would have on hand for personal use. Intent can also be inferred if the defendant is found in possession of paraphernalia associated with drug dealing, such as scales, large sums of cash ora large supply of plastic bags. Cell phone records showing communications with potential customers can also be used to prove intent to distribute.

A person facing charges of drug possession with intent to deliver needs to fight the charges with an aggressive defense. Fortunately, there are potential defenses available. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help put together a defense strategy and make sure the defendant's rights are not violated.

Source:, "Possession with the Intent to Distribute," accessed Nov. 28, 2015

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