Delivery of Drugs to Child

Providing drugs to a child, whether by sale or gift, is punishable separate from drug dealing in general, and as such, can be charged and punished separately. Drugs include (but are not limited to) opiates, opium derivatives, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, hallucinogenic substances, and marijuana.

There are two courses of conduct that may result in criminal charges. If an adult “delivers” (in other words, gives, sells, or otherwise provides) drugs to a child who is in school, this is criminal conduct. Alternatively, if the person provides drugs to another person who intends to deliver them to a child, they may also be criminally culpable. In this instance, the actor must either know or believe the middle man intends to deliver the drugs to a child.

There are other defenses to this crime. If the person delivering the drugs is not an adult, this is a defense to Delivery of Drugs to Child although this is not a defense to any other charges that may include drug dealing. Additionally, if the person delivering drugs is under the age of 21, only provided marijuana is a small amount (less than one – fourth ounce) and did not sell the drugs to the child, or receive other compensation, this is a defense.

Punishment for Delivery of Drugs to a Child

Delivery of drugs to a child is an offense classified as a felony in the second degree. Felonies in the second degree are very serious, carrying penalties including a $10,000 fine, up to 20 years in prison, but not less than two years in prison, or both.

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Health and Safety Code 481.122

DELIVERY OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OR MARIHUANA TO CHILD

(a)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly delivers a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, 1-A, 2, or 3 or knowingly delivers marihuana and the person delivers the controlled substance or marihuana to a person:

(1)  who is a child;

(2)  who is enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school;  or

(3)  who the actor knows or believes intends to deliver the controlled substance or marihuana to a person described by Subdivision (1) or (2).

(b)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the actor was a child when the offense was committed;  or

(2)  the actor:

(A)  was younger than 21 years of age when the offense was committed;

(B)  delivered only marihuana in an amount equal to or less than one-fourth ounce;  and

(C)  did not receive remuneration for the delivery.

(c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.

(d)  In this section, “child” means a person younger than 18 years of age.

(e)  If conduct that is an offense under this section is also an offense under another section of this chapter, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both.