As many states have begun to reevaluate and reform their laws on marijuana possession, Texas continues to be a proud leader in the number of arrests of persons found in possession of marijuana. That doesn’t appear likely to change anytime soon. In Texas, prosecution for marijuana possession can result in fines, probation, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and even prison time. If you or a loved one has been arrested for marijuana possession, you will need an experienced Marijuana Defense Attorney who can guide and protect you through this process.
*** We Offer Payment Plans ***Understanding the Marijuana Laws in Texas
The laws regarding marijuana possession in Texas are governed by the Texas Controlled Substances Act in the Health & Safety Code. Section 481.121 makes it a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess any usable quantity of marijuana. There is not always a lot of agreement on what constitutes a usable quantity. For many in law enforcement, usable quantity means that it’s enough that they can see it. On the other hand, some courts have interpreted usable to mean enough marijuana that when smoked will create a “high.” An aggressive defense attorney experienced in marijuana defense will use this and other defenses to protect you from the prosecution.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Texas
The amount of marijuana possessed determines the level of the offense that will be charged. Most cases involve the possession of less than two (2) ounces. If the amount of marijuana possessed is less than two (2) ounces, but still a usable quantity, then the offense is a class B misdemeanor. This carries a range of punishment of up to six (6) months in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.00. The level of the offense increases as the amount of marijuana increases. Any amount over four (4) ounces is a felony offense which carries a potential for prison time. In addition to these penalties, a person's driver's license will be suspended on conviction for any usable quantity of marijuana.
Ranges of Punishment:
- Under 2 ounces: Up to six (6) months in jail, and Fine up to $2,000.00
- 2 ounces to 4 ounces: Up to one (1) year in jail, and Fine up to $4,000.00
- 4 ounces to 5 lbs.: 180 days – 2 years in prison, and Fine up to $10,000.00
- 5 lbs. to 50 lbs.: 2 – 10 years in prison, and Fine up to $10,000.00
- 50 lbs. to 2000 lbs.: 2 – 20 years in prison, and Fine up to $10,000.00
- Over 2000 lbs.: 5 – 99 years or Life in prison, and Fine up to $50,000.00
Suspension of Driver's License
If you are convicted of Possession of Marijuana or any other drug offense in Texas, your driver's license will be suspended for a period of 180 days. If, following that suspension, you are stopped and found to be driving on a suspended license, then you will go back to jail and will be charged with Driving While License Invalid. In order to continue to drive, you will be required to request and obtain an Occupational Driver's License. This occupational license will enable you to drive, albeit with significant limitations, during the period of your suspension.
The State of Texas will suspend your driver’s license even if you were not driving at the time of your arrest. The statute that mandates suspension has nothing to do with the operation of a motor vehicle. It relates more broadly to any conviction for marijuana or drug possession. If you don’t have a driver’s license at the time of your arrest, the State will simply deny your later request to get a license. Don’t fall into this cycle. Don't take a conviction. Contact an experienced marijuana defense attorney to help you navigate this process. Call us today.Defenses to Marijuana Possession?
The unique circumstances of your case will dictate what defenses are available. An experienced marijuana and drug possession attorney can help you explore your legal rights and your potential defenses. The following are some of the more common defenses to prosecution for marijuana possession:
- No probable cause for stop and/or arrest;
- No probable cause for search of person and/or vehicle;
- No affirmative links between marijuana and suspect;
- No evidence of actual care, custody, control or management by suspect;
- Amount did not constitute a usable quantity.
Many people mistakenly believe that marijuana possession is no longer prosecuted by local district attorney's offices. Media coverage has led some to conclude that they will not be arrested if they are found to possess marijuana. That simply is not the case. While some police agencies may elect to issue a citation rather than arrest you, the prosecuting attorney's offices will still treat marijuana possession as a jailable offense; however, that does not mean that your case is destined for a conviction.
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to get your case reduced to a lesser offense or possibly dismissed outright. Defense lawyer Waren Price has had many clients whose cases were dismissed or reduced to lesser offenses enabling his client to later expunge that arrest from their records. Call us today to find out if you might be able to get your case dismissed.
Do I really need an attorney?
People accused of marijuana possession sometimes choose to represent themselves in the defense of their case, because they don't want to spend the money to hire an attorney. All too often these same people later come to us when they find that their driver’s license has been suspended, they are facing revocation of a burdensome probation, or their arrest record is now keeping them from getting a job. Many of these people had defensible cases, but because they chose to go it alone and represent themselves, they missed the chance of perhaps getting their case dismissed or prevailing at trial.Hire an Experienced Attorney
An experienced Marijuana Defense Attorney can help you analyze your case for possible defenses that you may not be aware of and often can present you with options for resolution of your case that help you protect your record, your driver’s license, and your future.
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