Marijuana and the Law in Texas
Look, we all know that marijuana is a highly popular drug among people of all walks of life and economic disposition, but it is illegal and classified as a controlled substance in Texas which means using or possessing marijuana are grounds for arrest by law enforcement. Trust me, the Harris County jail is loaded with suspected criminal offenders who were jailed due to marijuana possession or in connection with trafficking the drug.
People who use marijuana generally start at young age and become functional users of the drug. Being a functional user means that they have used marijuana for so long, they use it more as a form of habit or addiction rather than chasing a high like that of their crackhead, cocaine-sniffing, meth using, or heroin injecting counterparts.
Marijuana Related Drug Arrests in Houston
When people find themselves under arrest for the possession of marijuana, its usually because one of the arresting officers smelled the drug and therefore gained probable cause to initiate a property search resulting in the discovery of marijuana.
Whether it be a joint, or a package of marijuana, in Texas, any possession of marijuana is a serious criminal offense punishable by jail time and monetary fines. One can also expect their drivers license to be suspended as a result of a drug arrest as well.
Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Texas
Possession of marijuana criminal charges may result in a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense. The extent of punishment for being criminally charged, and then found guilty for a marijuana drug crime in Texas, is generally determined by the quantity of the drug involved in the case.
Below, you will be given a top down review of the potential fines, and prison sentences for defendants found guilty in the court of law of possession of Marijuana.
|2 ounces or less||Class B misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $2,000|
|More than 2 ounces, less than 4 ounces||Class A misdemeanor||Up to 1 year county jail – Up to $4,000 Fine.|
|More than 4 ounces, less than 5 pounds||State jail felony||180 days – 2 yrs state jail – Up to $10,000 Fine|
|More than 5 pounds, less than 50 pounds||3rd Degree felony||2 – 10 yrs state prison – Up to $10,000 Fine|
|More than 50 pounds, less than 2,000||2nd Degree felony||2 – 20 yrs state prison – Up to $10,000 Fine|
|More than 1 Ton||Enhanced 1st Degree felony||5 – 99 yrs – Up to $50,000 Fine|
Ramifications of Being Found Guilty of Marijuana Possession
With sentencing ranging from up to 180 days in jail on up to 99 years imprisonment, depending on the amount of the drug, a person could be looking at serious jail time if convicted of a criminal offense in connection with marijuana. Aside from losing your Texas Drivers License, you will also be looking at a criminal background that will tarnish your name every time it (your criminal background) becomes an item of relevance.
Carrying around a drug charge on your criminal background record could prevent you from enrolling in some colleges, prevent you from living in some communities, make it harder to find work, and eliminate you from potential promotions at your job. This is serious. If you are ever arrested for marijuana talk with an expert attorney with experience fighting criminal cases involving marijuana in Texas.
Avoiding Jail For a Marijuana Charge in Houston
You don’t always have to go to jail if you are arrested and found guilty of possession of marijuana in Texas. In some cases, offenders are given a monetary fine, or a handful of days in jail as punishment for the crime. With a good criminal defense attorney of your side, you may be able to beat the charge entirely and have the record of arrest expunged from your criminal history.
In other cases, people who are arrested for marijuana will accept probation for their crimes and avoid jail time in this manner. Often, these people fail their urine analysis test and end up back in jail for using marijuana anyway. This is generally the result of working with a public defender, or attempting to represent yourself in court as your own attorney, and ending up with probation that includes scheduled meetings and drug tests by a probation officer.
Talk With a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston
If you are facing a court date for a criminal charge involving marijuana we suggest talking with an attorney who has experience defending people accused of marijuana possession. In some cases, arrests by police can be found to be illegal while in other cases evidence may be found to have been illegally obtained. Only a trained experience criminal defense attorney will be able to spot errors in the police report and any investigation that may have occurred.
Its always best to have your Constitutional Rights defended and protected by a specialized lawyer with experience fighting the type of charge you are dealing with. The criminal justice system can be very unforgiving, and this especially true when it comes to prosecuting minorities. With unfair treatment of minorities by the criminal justice system being factual, its always smart to hire a highly experienced and well studied criminal defense lawyer who hopefully holds a certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in criminal law. This way, you can rest assured that you are being represented by one of the drug crimes lawyers in Texas.