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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
5700 Granite Pkwy #200
Plano , Texas , 75024 USA
(469) 304-3422

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Drug abuse violations annually account for a significant number of arrests in the state of Texas. Collin County is no exception, and alleged offenders accused of controlled substance crimes can face serious criminal charges that carry steep penalties.

The classification of alleged drug or narcotics offenses usually depends on a number of factors, including the amount of the controlled substance that was allegedly involved, the type of controlled substance, and the prior criminal record of the alleged offender. In many cases, convictions not only carry possible imprisonment and fines, but also lead to several long-term consequences that dramatically impact a person’s ability to obtain employment, housing, or professional licensing.

Drug / Narcotics Crimes Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX

Were you recently arrested anywhere in the greater Collin County area for an alleged criminal offense involving a controlled substance? Do not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today.

Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense attorneys who represent individuals accused of drug and narcotics offenses in communities throughout Collin County, including Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen, and many others. They can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (469) 304-3422 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.

Texas Drug Penalty Groups

Much like the federal government classifies controlled substances under certain schedules based on their respective potential for abuse and/or harm, state law in Texas divides illegal drugs into six different Penalty Groups. The Texas Controlled Substance Act, established under Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, lists controlled substances under their respective Penalty Groups.

The criminal classification of certain drug crimes is dependent upon the Penalty Group that a controlled substance falls under. Penalty Groups in Texas include some of the following illegal drugs:

  • Penalty Group 1 — Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.102 includes cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and oxycodone;
  • Penalty Group 1-A — Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1021 includes lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and its analogs;
  • Penalty Group 2 — Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.103 includes 3,4-methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly), and phencyclidine (PCP);
  • Penalty Group 2-A — Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1031 includes materials, compounds, mixtures, or preparations that contains any quantity of a natural or synthetic chemical substance;
  • Penalty Group 3 — Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.104 includes alprazolam (Xanax), methylphenidate (Ritalin), diazepam (Valium), and zolpidem (Ambien).
  • Penalty Group 4 — Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.105 includes compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing limited quantities of narcotics.

Narcotics Crimes

Common Drug / Narcotics Crimes in Collin County

In addition to the Penalty Group that a controlled substance falls under, the classification of an alleged drug crime also depends on the type of alleged activity that an individual was involved in. In many cases, excess amounts of an illegal drug can directly impact the type of alleged offense people are charged with.

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy handles such controlled substance crimes as:


Texas Drug / Narcotics Crime Resources

Substance Abuse Program | Collin County — The Collin County Substance Abuse Program provides professional alcohol and drug prevention and intervention services to all Collin County residents, including assessments, referrals, information, education, and other related services. Visit this website to learn more about some of the services the Substance Abuse Program provides, including prevention, intervention, and treatment. You can also find information about community organizations, drug offender education, adult intensive outpatient programs, and other resources.

Collin County Substance Abuse Program
900 E. Park Blvd, Suite 130
Plano, TX 75074
(972) 548-5570

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) — NA sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program of the late 1940s, and experienced tremendous growth in 1983 following the publication of its self-titled Basic Text book. The name Narcotics Anonymous is not meant to imply a focus on any particular drug, and you can find additional information about NA and what happens at NA meetings on this website. You can use this website to search for meeting in your areas or locate helplines and websites for local groups near you who can assist you in finding a meeting.

Find A Collin County Attorney to Fight Drug / Narcotics Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you were arrested for any kind of alleged drug crime in Collin County, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy defends clients in McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, and many surrounding areas of Collin County.

Plano criminal defense lawyers Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton can examine every aspect of your arrest and work to help you achieve the most favorable outcome that results in the fewest possible penalties. Call (469) 304-3422 or submit an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Texas Penal Code § 1.07(39) defines possession as “actual care, custody, control, or management.” In most cases, possession is considered either actual or constructive.

Actual possession involves drugs being found on the person of an alleged offender, whether the drugs are in their hands, pockets, or a purse or backpack. Constructive possession involves drugs being found in a place in which multiple people had access. A person can be charged with a drug crime based on constructive possession when authorities believe the alleged offender was the person who was the owner of the drugs involved.

Drug Penalty Groups are established in the Texas Controlled Substances Act to classify certain groups of drugs. The Drug Penalty Groups include Penalty Group 1 under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.112 which includes oxycodone, methamphetamine, heroin, hydrocodone, cocaine, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and other opiates, Penalty Group 1-A under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1121 which includes Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, and other compounds, Penalty Group 2 or 2-A under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.113 which includes amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), methaqualone, and other hallucinogens, and Penalty Group 3 or 4 under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.114 which includes halazepam, zolpidem, ketazolam, alprazolam, lorazepam, tetrazepam, flurazepam, clonazepam, lysergic acid including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, secobarbital, fludiazepam, clorazepate, medazepam, diazepam, and pentobarbital.

The Texas Tribune reported in June 2015 that Governor Greg Abbott signed the Texas Compassionate Use Act, also known as Senate Bill 339, legalizing low-THC cannabis oils as treatment for certain medical conditions. “I remain convinced that Texas should not legalize marijuana, nor should Texas open the door for conventional marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes,” Abbott said before the signing, according to the Tribune. “As governor, I will not allow it; SB 339 does not open the door to marijuana in Texas.” The Texas Tribune also reported in July 2019 that prosecutors across Texas had dropped hundreds of low-level marijuana charges and indicated they would not pursue new ones without further testing because of a new law that legalized hemp and hemp-derived products, like CBD oil. An unintended consequence of the hemp law is it effectively decriminalized marijuana because many state agencies do not have the testing needed to distinguish legal hemp from illegal marijuana.


Your employer has the ability to review your criminal record and you could indeed face possible job loss if the employer deems a drug conviction to be a fireable offense. Not all employers necessarily learn about drug charges, however. You can often give yourself the greatest employment protection by fighting your criminal charges to achieve a resolution other than a conviction that will not cause as many problems.


Drug crime convictions will appear on criminal records and can impact far more than just your job status. When you are applying for an apartment or housing, the landlord could very well use your drug conviction against you and make it the basis for a denial. Similarly, people who are applying for professional licensing can also face similar struggles in gaining approval because of drug convictions. Students at colleges can also face discipline from their institutions for certain drug crimes.


Yes. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) states that if you are convicted of a drug crime, your driver license will be suspended for 180 days, You could also be required to complete a 15-hour class in an authorized Drug Education Program, pay a $100 Reinstatement fee in addition to any other outstanding fees owed, and obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) from an authorized insurance company that must be maintained for two years from the date of conviction. If you did not have a driver’s license at the time of a drug crime, you could be denied the issuance of a driver license for 180 days.


Police officers typically must have a warrant to search you or your property. When it comes to a traffic stop, an officer only needs to have probable cause to search your vehicle. In many cases, the alleged odor of marijuana is frequently cited as the basis for a motor vehicle search. You always have the right to clearly state that you do not consent to any search. When you do not consent to a search and police find drugs in your vehicle, an attorney may be able to claim that the search violated your Fourth Amendment rights and seek to have the criminal charges dismissed.


Absolutely. While DWI is commonly associated with alcohol, a person can be arrested for being intoxicated by drugs as well. Keep in mind that intoxicated is defined by Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) as meaning having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more but also “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.” When a police officer suspects a driver is under the influence of drugs, a “drug recognition expert” will usually be summoned to complete a series of tests to determine if an alleged offender is impaired by drugs. Drug recognition experts typically follow the same 12-step process, which is a breath alcohol test, an interview of the arresting officer, a preliminary examination and first pulse, an eye examination, divided attention psychophysical tests, vital signs and second pulse, dark room examinations, an examination for muscle tone, a check for injection sites and third pulse, the subject’s statements and other observations, an analysis and opinions of the evaluator, and a toxicological examination. This process is clearly flawed since the interview of the arresting officer is the second step in the process and the subsequent tests often serve to act as more of a confirmation bias.


Possibly. Expungement (or expunction) is only available to people who were acquitted of the crimes for which they were charged, were convicted but subsequently found to be innocent, were convicted but were subsequently pardoned, were charged but the case was later dismissed and the statute of limitations has expired, or were arrested but not formally charged. Drug crimes are not included in the possible offenses that prohibit orders of nondisclosure to seal records, so it may be possible to seal a criminal record with a drug conviction.

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