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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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I was charged with 9 counts of possession of a schedule 3 medication

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I was charged with 9 counts of possession of a schedule 3 medication by fraud. I have no prior criminal record. Am I eligible for parole or is this mandatory jail time? I do have several health issues as well.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) Am I eligible for parole or is this mandatory jail time?

First, I'm making the assumption that you are charged under Texas Code 481.129. If you are charged under a different statute, please let me know.

The pertinent portion of 481.129 states as follows:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:
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(5) possesses, obtains, or attempts to possess or obtain a controlled substance or an increased quantity of a controlled substance:

(A) by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge;

(B) through use of a fraudulent prescription form; or

(C) through use of a fraudulent oral or telephonically communicated prescription...

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(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is:

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(2) a felony of the third degree if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule III or IV...

 

Texas Code 12.34 tells us that a felony of the third degree is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for each count. There does not appear to be a mandatory minimum sentence attached to a violation of the drug statute listed above. There is a mandatory suspension of your drivers license or the ability to drive. You can certainly request a restricted license to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments, child care, etc.

 

First thing to do is to talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney. He or she can review the facts of the case and discuss possible defenses with you. Don't assume you're going to be convicted or you're going to jail just yet, at least not until you've talked to an attorney.

 

The attorney can also give you an "on the ground" estimate of what is a realistic outcome in your case. Remember: no attorney can tell the future, or guarantee you a specific result. The final outcome always depends on a lot of factors, including the jurisdiction where you're charged, the judge, the prosecutor, the evidence against you, etc.

 

So, get an attorney, pronto. The best way to find an attorney is to ask around. Maybe you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who got a drug charge in the past? Was that person satisfied with their attorney? If so, give him or her a call. Word of mouth is the most effective advertisement. If you cannot locate an attorney that way, try the Texas State Bar attorney referral service. They can point you in the right direction.

 

Although the best possible outcome is to go to trial and be found not guilty, that isn't always possible. Fortunately, there are several options under Texas law to deal with these charges. Many counties have drug court programs. These are designed to divert people before trial into counseling, drug testing and treatment, etc. It could result in a reduction dismissal of the charges or other similarly favorable treatment if you complete the program successfully. If nothing else, you could always try to reach a plea bargain to drop or reduce some of the charges, serve little or no jail time, perform community service and/or be on probation, or a combination thereof.

 

One final thought. Since you have no other criminal record, and these charges are felonies, I suggest you keep in mind (what I suggest is) an important goal: avoid a felony conviction. Besides losing the right to vote, to possess a firearm, etc., a felony conviction is tough to overcome for people for lots of reasons, especially for employment purposes. When 50 people apply for a job, and 10 of them have felony convictions, it's easy for the employer to "narrow down" the interview list by just getting rid of those 10 felony applications. So, if you can avoid a felony some type of way, even if you have to take a "hit" in the near term (i.e. by serving jail time or some other unpleasant consequence), I would consider doing that to avoid a felony.

 

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband

S. Huband, Esq. and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband