Have you been arrested for a State Jail felony drug possession in case in Dallas, Rockwall, or Kaufman County? Are you currently a recreational meth, coke or heroin user? Here is what you need to know.Possession of small amounts (less than one gram) of street drugs (coke, meth, heroin but not weed or some pills) is a State Jail felony in Texas.
What is a State Jail felony? Good question. Let’s start with that.
State Jail felonies are the lowest degree of felony in Texas, but it can still leave you as a convicted felon which has life altering consequences. The range of punishment for a SJF is between 6 months and 2 years in a State Jail unit. But here’s the good news, the State Jail system was originally designed to make drug addicts sit in jail until they were cured, so there is no parole from State Jail. But the State Jails filled up too fast and cost the State too much money, so if you have no prior State Jail drug cases then you are going to be looking at probation.
How does a typical State Jail felony drug possession case start?
First you get arrested and make bail. Then you wait for the lab results from DPS (Dallas convicted a lot of innocent people for possession, but the drugs weren’t drugs, so we all wait for DPS lab tests now). The DPS lab is pretty backed up since drugs are winning the drug war so you may have a delay in the beginning of your case. This is a good thing because…
Pro Tip- Get help for any mental health or substance abuse issues you have now
If you are arrested for a felony drug possession case, and you have any kind of substance abuse or mental health problem the day you get out of jail is the time you start addressing those issues. You are almost certainly going to have at least a few weeks after arrested before going to court, or a few weeks before the lab results are in and the case can really get started.
You must use that time to get yourself help if you need it. The worst thing that you can do, hold on, let me capitalize this for emphasis, the WORST THING YOU CAN DO IS GET ARRESTED AGAIN FOR POSSESSION WHILE ON BOND FOR DRUG POSSESSION. It makes my job a lot harder if you do that, it gives the State more leverage in plea negotiations, and if there is a problem with your first case, then the State has case No. 2 to fall back on.
Getting help is a win/win. If there is a problem with your case (bad stop, dirty cop etc) and I get the case dismissed, then you have a great chance and never needing to hire me. If they have you dead to rights and guilt isn’t something we can litigate effectively, then I can show the prosecutor how much progress you have made, and how willing you are to seek help and change your life. That can and does lead to better plea deals. Prosecutors are more likely to want to help someone who is working to address their own issues. As a bonus, getting treatment can be the difference between felony and misdemeanor probation because…
State Jail Felony Cases Can Be Reduced To A Misdemeanor In Texas
That’s right, if the prosecutor agrees to it then the offense may be reduced to a misdemeanor. Which, legally speaking, is kind of a big deal. Here’s a post I wrote about how that works if you are interested.
Drug Addicts Don’t Do Well On Probation
Another reason to get clean now is those with substance abuse and mental health issues have a very difficult time on probation. So if you want until you are put on probation to get help, you are probably going to get revoked which mean you may end in a State Jail facility. All jails in Texas really suck, but State Jails are worse because no gets any kind of credit for good behavior because you can’t make parole. You serve the sentence day for day. Take away that incentive, and people can act like morons or worse. Plus there is no air conditioning, seriously, none. So unless you like to sweat around a bunch of detoxing addicts you don’t want to be in State Jail.