Roughly 17 percent of the more than 1.5 million drug arrests in 2014 involved drug manufacturing charges. Criminal charges for manufacturing illegal drugs can be charged at both the federal and state level, often depending upon the seriousness of the offense or scale of the operation.
Manufacturing Charges under Federal Law
21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1), makes it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess illegal substances. The offense is committed when anyone participates in any part of the process of manufacturing an illegal substance. For example, the process includes anyone who mixes together chemicals used to make LDS, or “cooks” methamphetamine, or plants and cultivate the seeds to grow marijuana plants. This law is so encompassing that it includes anyone who merely offers to assist, provide chemicals, or supervises in the manufacturing process.
Further, an individual can be convicted under the drug manufacturing law even if he or she never actually made a controlled substance but simply possesses the equipment and device knowing it was to be used in the manufacturing process.
The penalties for drug manufacturing are also extremely severe:
- 10 years to life: one kilo or more of cocaine, 10 or more grams of LSD, 1,000 or more kilos of marijuana, or more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
- 20 years to life: if a death or serious injury occurs in connection with the above quantity offenses; a fine up to four million dollars can also be added.
- 5 to 40 years: 100 grams or more of heroin, 500 grams or more of cocaine, 1 gram or more of LSD, 100 kilos or more of marijuana, or 5 grams or more of methamphetamine.
- 20 years to life: if a death or serious injury occurs in connection with the above quantity offenses; a fine up to 2 million dollars can also be added.
Sentences for drug cases can be significantly increased if the government can prove a firearm was possessed or used in the commission of a drug offense.
The federal government takes drug manufacturing so seriously because these operations generally involve large quantities of narcotics and distribution paraphernalia.
Manufacturing Charges in Texas State Court
Texas penalizes manufacturing more harshly than simple possession, and the penalties continue to increase as the amount of the drug produced increases.
For example, manufacturing between one and four grams of meth is punishable by a sentence of 2 to 20 years in a state prison. But the manufacture of 400 or more grams of methamphetamine is punished by a minimum sentence of 15 years, up to 99 years or life in prison.
Illegal drugs in Texas are grouped into four penalty groups, with a special group for marijuana. Cultivating or manufacturing a drug from one of the four penalty groups can range from a state felony, with a sentence of 18 months to 2 years in prison, all the way up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
If the drug is not included in one of the penalty groups, it is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by not more than 1 year in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $4,000.
Again, this is dependent on the drug involved and the amount that was manufactured or cultivated. If you have a specific inquiry about the charges you may face, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. The Texas drugs statutes can be found in Texas Health and Safety Code.
Both state and federal laws punish drug manufacturing and cultivation very harshly. If you have been arrested on a cultivation or manufacturing charge, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney with a track record of success in both state and federal court as soon as possible.
A criminal defense lawyer with experience representing individuals charged with serious drug cases in both federal and state court can review the facts surrounding a criminal investigation, search and arrest and determined the best possible strategy for fighting these very serious cases. Under the correct circumstances, drug charges, even federal drug charges, can be dismissed or a favorable plea deal negotiated by a legal defense team that seriously challenges law enforcement conduct in the investigation leading to an arrest. Criminal defense lawyers experienced in dismantling federal drug investigations know that the law enforcement agents and police often lie or misrepresent the facts to establish probable cause in their search warrant affidavits. They will undertake resident or vehicle searches without reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity, or use innocent human activity as a pretext to conduct illegal traffic stops. They also coerce or threaten suspects to secure “consent” to search, and then once consent is obtained, they often go beyond the parameters of the consent.
Contact the John T. Floyd Law Firm if you find yourself under investigation by state or federal law enforcement agents for drug manufacturing or delivery.