What are the Penalties for Heroin Use or Possession in Houston?

Heroin Possession Penalties in Houston, Texas

Texas is known to have some of the strictest drug laws.

Possessing a certain amount of heroin could even land an individual in jail for 99 years! That is a stiff penalty in anyone’s book. With heroin use on the rise in Houston, you must understand the types of consequences and punishments you could be facing for a related crime.

As the drug becomes more readily available and affordable, the DEA has reported an uptick in the number of crimes they have seen related to heroin. They have also stated that they will be increasing the number of resources used to cut down on these drug crimes, meaning they will be swiftly charging, prosecuting, and convicting individuals when they can. Now is more necessary than ever to be informed on the penalties associated with heroin crimes.

Heroin Possession Penalties in Texas

The most common crime related to heroin is possession. This is the easiest crime for an officer to catch an individual in, making it the most frequent charge. The exact sentence will depend on a variety of factors, such as the location of your crime (was it in a drug-free zone?), if you had a firearm on you, and other aggravating details.

You will face the following possession penalties:

  • Less than 1 gram: Up to 2 years in state prison and $10,000 in fines
  • Between 1 and 4 grams: Up to 10 years in jail and $10,000 in fines
  • Between 4 and 200 grams: Up to 20 years in jail and $10,000 in fines
  • Between 200 and 400 grams: Up to 99 years in jail and $10,000 in fines

If you are charged with trafficking, distributing, or selling heroin, you will be up against even more severe consequences.

Facing heroin charges? Do not wait to contact a seasoned drug crimes lawyer! Call our firm today.

Heroin Use on the Rise in Houston

heroin use on the rise in houston - herman martinez defense attorney

Heroin Use on the Rise: Opiate Addictions

Houston officials report that heroin use has tripled over the last year. It is the highest it has been in years in the city. DEA agents say that the drug has become so cheap that more and more people are falling into dangerous addictions. As an opiate, it is extremely addictive in nature and can easily cause death and other dangers for individuals.

As the prices for heroin drop, the number of heroin-related crimes occurring in Houston seems to rise. There have also been increases in ER visits related to heroin. The Class A drug continues to quickly pour into the city from the border of Mexico, making it far more available to individuals.

There have been 50 heroin-related deaths in the area in just the past year. It is reaching people of all ages, genders, and social backgrounds. The availability and lower cost have made it not only easy for young individuals, but also those that would have likely not used such dangerous drugs in the first place. Not only that but law enforcement report that they will be increasing the amount of finances put into controlling drug crimes, meaning that they will be cracking down now more than ever.

Get Legal Counsel Right Away

Have you been charged with a heroin crime in the Houston area? You do not have to go through this time alone! More people are finding themselves facing drug crimes that they would never expect to commit. Our firm understands this issue, especially with the increasing availability of heroin, and can help you combat your charges.

We know that everyone makes mistakes. That does not mean that you have to sit back and accept the penalties for your case! Law enforcement can make mistakes as well, often leading to arrests that violate an individual’s rights. Our firm is here to provide the defense and protection you need.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our Houston drug crimes attorney.

Arrested for Drug Possession in Houston?

arrested for drug possession

Have you been arrested for drug possession in Houston?

If you have been arrested for drug possession, we advise you to hire a Houston criminal defense lawyer from The Martinez Law Firm at once. The legal counsel you choose will have a direct impact on the outcome of your case. You must hire a lawyer experienced with defending drug crime cases, like Herman Martinez. Our firm has received numerous accolades over the years for our hard work and dedication. H Texas Magazine has included our lead lawyer in the list of the “Top Criminal Defense Lawyers.”, which we are very proud of. We are aggressive advocates for the rights of those individuals who have been arrested or charged with drug possession or any other alleged drug crime.

We understand the serious ramifications this type of arrest can have on an individual’s lifestyle, career, family, and future. This meaning that we are committed to providing clients with personalized attention their case deserves.

We work one-on-one with our clients!

Our clients are constantly kept abreast of how their case is progressing and what actions we are taking in their defense. If you are arrested for drug possession, you can trust that we will be unrelenting in our pursuit of justice. We will stop at nothing to help you achieve a positive outcome in your case.

If you have been arrested for drug possession you could be facing very serious charges and penalties. Drug possession can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the type of drugs and the number of drugs found in your possession. It does not matter whether the drugs were yours or not, if the police found them in your possession, you are at risk. In cases where a significant amount of drugs are found or the police believe the drugs are being given away or sold, you could be facing much harsher charges and penalties.

Our lawyers are here to help you defend your rights.

We will work hard to get you a reduction in charges, a dismissal of charges, or, if your case goes to court, an acquittal at trial. Call our firm today to schedule a free consultation.


Why am I Being Charged with possession of a trace amount of Cocaine?

trace cocaine amounts - criminal defense attorney Herman Martinez

As this year comes to a close I hope that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office decides to go back to the refusal of filing felony charges for trace amount of cocaine possession. As late as last year the Harris County District Attorney’s Office was telling police that she should file the same charges as a misdemeanor. They new administration made a political decision to change that policy. I can honestly say that i believe it was the right decision to make those cases a misdemeanor instead of a felony charge. After dealing with drug cases for close to 20 years I know that anyone using drugs never wants to leave any drugs behind. Thus, they are never intentionally in possession of the cocaine.

It has been my experience that of all felony charges the trace amount of cocaine charge is the most annoying. Judges dislike seeing them in their court, prosecutors are uncomfortable prosecuting them and juries hate labeling someone as a felon for a minuscule amount of a drug.

If you or anyone you know needs to contact a criminal defense attorney because of a possession of a trace amount of cocaine charge, don’t hesitate to contact The Martinez Law Firm today. We will work hard for you and your rights. 


border patrol drug busts - herman martinez - criminal defense attorney

At Border Patrol checks in the state of Texas, many arrests are taking place. Yet many of these arrests aren’t targeting illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the United States. Instead, recent data suggests that many of the arrests at these Border Patrols in South Texas have been Americans smuggling drugs into the country. Information from 2011 shows that 2,102 individuals were arrested for smuggling illegal narcotics into the United States at only one checkpoint on the border.

Unfortunately, the cost of arresting and then prosecuting all of these low-level offenders has become excessive and increasingly unaffordable. Because of this, the federal government has allowed many of the low-level offenders to go free without a trial. The Texas counties have expressed frustrations about the amount of criminals left without punishment, but the governments of these small counties all agree that they do not have sufficient funds to pay for the jailing and the costs of prosecution for these individuals.

An article published on NPR suggests that for every dollar that comes to the county from handling the federal border patrol crimes and seized assets, it costs about $2 to detain, prosecute, and process offenders. This doubling of costs makes it almost impossible for the counties to keep up with the steady stream of defendants.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Texas, this issue may work to your advantage. You will want to talk with a professional and hardworking Houston criminal defense attorney at the Martinez Law Firm for more information. Attorney Martinez is a former U.S. prosecutor, so he understands criminal law from both sides and can use his experience to best combat the prosecution in your case.
Hire the firm today to get optimal representation in your case!


steroid use - texas criminal defense lawyer herman martinez

Steroid use is probably more common than you think. Many men and women choose to take steroids so that they can bulk up their muscles and have the fit body that they have always wanted. Unfortunately, anabolic steroids are illegal under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, meaning that those in possession of these drugs can be arrested or fined. If a person knowingly possesses these steroids, law enforcement will charge the offender with a Class A misdemeanor for any amount less than 28 grams. Those who have more than 28 grams of anabolic steroids may be charged with a third degree felony. This means that the possession crime will go on the offender’s record at conviction and may affect that person’s reputation or ability to get a job in the future.

Anyone who has over 200 grams of anabolic steroids can be charged with a second degree felony, which comes with serious penalties including jail. People who possess over 400 grams of anabolic steroids can be imprisoned from five years to life. The amounts are counted in units, and one pull, capsule or tablet is conserved one unit. 0.5 grams of liquid also counts as one unit of steroids.

In most states, the state and federal laws prohibit the use of anabolic steroids and Texas is no exception. This means that people can be prosecuted in both federal and state courts for this crime. Most of the time, the agency that made the arrest will determine whether you will be tried in federal or state court. On the federal level, possession of any schedule III substance including anabolic steroids can be punished by one year in prison and a minimum of $1,000 in fines.

A second offense at the federal level can lead to a mandatory imprisonment minimum of 15 days with a maximum of two years and a minimum fine of $2,500. The third offense is a mandatory 90 days in jail with up to three years and a minimum of $5,000 for possession of almost any amount of steroids. If you want more information about anabolic steroid abuse and offenses, or if you have been charged with steroid possession and want defense in court, a Houston criminal defense attorney at The Martinez Law Firm can be of use to you. Contact a lawyer at the firm today for more information.



One of the many changes high schools have made since I attended school
is the number of children that are prescribed drugs to treat different conditions. Most of the drugs that the kids are prescribed
today are illegal without a prescription. In fact, a drug that would normally
be a misdemeanor if possessed by a person is enhanced or “bumped
up” to a felony charge if they are found to be in possession of prescription drugs in a “drug-free zone” as a school. I wonder how a parent would
feel if their child was charged with a felony for buying medication from
another student at school who has obtained the medication legally? To
make matters worse, the student that sold the drugs is unlikely to be
charged with the crime.

One other thing to keep in mind is that a child that is 17 years of age
in Houston, Harris County, Texas is considered to be an adult. Thus,
a child would be arrested, if in illegal possession of prescription drugs, along with serious offenders which would be a scary situation for the child and their parents.

The Irony of Tim Lincecum’s Marijuana Case

San Francisco Giants Pitcher, Tim Lincecum, was arrested for possession of marijuana in his home state of Washington. Washington like 12 other states has a medical marijuana exception, but their law narrowly defines what conditions may be treated with marijuana. If this would have occurred in California he would not have been arrested provided he had a prescription for the more abundant conditions that are covered by the law in California. Luckily for Mr. Lincecum, the state of Washington routinely lowers the charge for a first-time offender of marijuana possession to possession of drug paraphernalia. In Texas that would be the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

Texas was contemplating the medical marijuana law this year, but the bill
did not pass. For a complete list of the medical marijuana, states click

Pain Pills Can Cause More Pain Than Relief

As we all know, Michael Jackson passed away Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest. Questions have arisen regarding the cause of his death and what if any role prescription drugs, notably painkillers, may have played in the singer’s demise. Apparently Mr. Jackson had a personal doctor, a cardiologist who has an office in Houston, who was present at the time of death. According to news reports the doctor is not a suspect but the police do want to speak with him regarding the details leading up to Jackson’s death. The doctor has hired a Houston Criminal Lawyer to represent him.

The abuse of drugs like Lorcet, Soma and Xanax is more common than most people are aware. As a Houston Criminal Lawyer I have seen how the abuse of prescription drugs can destroy lives. While drugs like Cocaine and Heroine are horrible and deadly, prescription drugs have the same potential to ruin lives. Elvis Presley and possibly Michael Jackson are just the iconic examples.

I have seen as a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney that the drug addict is typically the person losing their freedom and creating havoc in their families lives while drug dealers profit at their expense. It doesn’t matter if the drug dealer is peddling crack cocaine on a street corner or is a doctor operating a pain clinic handing out prescriptions without even seeing their “patient.” Actually, it is much more rare for a doctor operating a pain clinic to be a arrested than your traditional drug dealer. It goes to show you that as a society we don’t view prescription drug addiction as a problem.

We see more and more of these cases on a weekly basis. The most obvious example is the abuse of Xanax by suburban high school kids. Hopefully the passing of Michael Jackson will make the families of pain pill users more aware that addiction and death can come just as easily from across the counter of a pharmacy as it can from a street corner on the bad side of town.

Drug Possession Charges Could Lead to AA Program

If you are changed with a drug possession case in the
Judge Kevin Fine’s court, 177th District Court of Harris County, Texas and you want any type of
community supervision you better be ready to start a 12 step program like
Alcoholic Anonymous (AA). Judge Fine belief believes strongly in this program since it helped
overcome his drug dependency.

He will require anyone that goes on deferred adjudication or probation
to go to 180 AA meetings in 180 days. Additionally, he orders the person
to find a sponsor and work all the steps within the first 90 days. Afterwards,
he requires the person to become a sponsor themselves so they may start
helping other people. Please keep in mind that this is one of the few
non negotiable things in his court.