Robert Keates, POCS Attorney, Austin

What is Possession of a Controlled Substance - POCS?

POCS, or Possession of a Controlled Substance is a serious offense in the State of Texas. The charge depends on the drug possessed, it's classification as a controlled substance, and the weight or amount of the drug.


Defenses to POCS

There are many potential defenses to a Possession of Controlled Substance case. First, it's important to examine to search. Many POCS cases are teh result of illegal searches, which may give rise to a supression motion. Also, often times it's important to re-test the drugs for the correct weight and to make sure it's actually the drug that the prosectors claim it is.


Why Choose Us:

Free Consultations Payment Plans

What are the Punishments for POCS?

Controlled Substances are broken down into schedules, or groupings. Of the most common drugs involved in POCS cases, are:

  • Penalty Group 1: Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Opium, Oxycodone and some Prescription Pills
  • Penalty Group 1A: LSD
  • Penalty Group 2: Ecstasy Pills & PCP
  • Penalty Group 3 & 4: Many Prescription Pills like Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, & Drug Compounds
Controlled Substances Group 1:
Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Opium, Oxycodone and some Prescription Pills

The following chart identifies potential punishments for POCS in Penalty Group 1. Not all drugs or enhancements / sentencing scenarios are included.

# Weight of Drug Type of Offense Punishment
1 Less than one gram State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in State Jail
2 1 gram or more, less than 4 grams Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years in a state prison
3 4 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years in a state prison
Controlled Substances Group 3 & 4:
Many Prescription Pills like Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, & Drug Compounds

The following chart identifies potential punishments for POCS in Penalty Group 3 & 4. Not all drugs or enhancements / sentencing scenarios are included.

# Weight of Drug Type of Offense Punishment
1 Less than 28 grams Class A misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail
2 28 grams or more, less than 200 grams Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years in a state prison
3 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years in a state prison

*** Many Prescription Pills, when charged as a POCS, can be Misdemeanors.


More POCS Details

A conviction for a POCS or drug related offense can cause your driver's license to be suspended, and can have effects on student financial aid, since it is considered a Drug Conviction, and may have to be disclosed on FAFSA forms or private funding institutes.

What can I expect with a POCS?

A person charged with POCS can expect a Felony being charged, unless the POCS is a small amount of pills. Often, and especially at the Felony level for first time offenders, there will be attention given to the person's drug use and abuse patterns and history. Common outcomes can include dismissal based probation (deferred adjudication), Probation, rehabilitation or outpatient treatment, prison, or jailtime. Cases can also be reduced to lesser charges, or dismissed.


Priors and Enhancements

As with any felony criminal offenses, a person with a prior "final" felony conviction at the 3rd Degree Level or higher is subject to enhancement of the current arrest. In some situations, a State Jail Felony may also qualify to enhance to a more serious offense in terms of penalty ranges.


Read More About:



How We Can Help

The Keates Law Firm has over 10+ Years Experience handling criminal defense cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail. This includes Motions to Suppress, Motions to Exclude Evidence based on Invalid Searches or Miranda Right Violations, and Probable Cause determinations.



Here are some of the benefits of hiring Keates Law Firm:

  • Free Case Consultations
  • Payment Plans available
  • Transparent Fees - No Unexpected Fees!
  • Robert handles your case, not a junior lawyer
  • Direct Access to Attorney's Cell and Email
  • We Treat Clients like Family!


Why Choose Us:

Free Consultations Payment Plans

Our Track Record: Recent Keates Law Firm Results

Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of dismissals and acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.

  • Possession of Marijuana: Dismissed
  • Harassment Offense: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • Felony Possession of Marijuana/Hashish Dismissed
  • DWI 2nd (Drugs): Dismissed
  • DWI (Alcohol and Drugs): Dismissed
  • Felony Theft of Stolen Property: Dismissed
  • Assault, Bodily Injury: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • See More Results!

What Our Clients are Saying

"... He was more than prepared and encouraged going to trial. Robert has truly surpassed all expectations and I highly recommend his services! ... -Laura (Google Review) - More Testimonials


Call for a Free Consultation