Council – That Understands The Legal Process Of Marijuana Possession Charges
Marijuana Possession: Understanding Texas Laws On Mary Jane
Marijuana possession is harshly punished in Texas. While possession of cannabis is no longer a crime in many states, Texas is one of the few remaining states that has held steadfast against it. The Lone Star state’s legislature believes that marijuana is a gateway drug that could lead susceptible users to using stronger narcotics.
Law enforcement agencies are more inclined to be as strict as possible when recommending penalties and sentences for marijuana users. In addition, Texas law punishes marijuana possession with a prison sentence and fine. The penalties for marijuana possession can be serious, and if the defendant is found in possession of several other charges he or she will likely receive higher penalties.
Texas arrests nearly 379,000 people for being in possession of marijuana. This accounts for almost 9% of all drug arrests in the United States. Out of these arrests, over 90% are for simple possession and not for distribution or sale. Despite this high number of arrests, marijuana is still illegal in Texas. The state has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana possession in the country. For 2019, the punishment for being caught with under 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in a jail sentence of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Texas Marijuana Possession Laws
The Texas Health and Safety Code is the authority on marijuana possession and lays down the penalties for conviction. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the State of Texas. It has been considered with a high potential for abuse, and it doesn’t have any accepted medical use.
Texas defines marijuana as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers.
- Possession of under 2 oz of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2000.
- Marijuana possession of 2-4oz is a Class A misdemeanor, equivalent to a maximum imprisonment of 1 year and a fine of up to $4000.
- Possession of between 4oz and 5lbs of marijuana is considered a state jail felony. Punishment is harsher with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 180 days up to 2 years.
- Possession of 5lbs to 50lbs of cannabis is a 3rd degree felony, punishable by at least 2 years imprisonment up to a maximum of 10 years. A fine of no more than $10,000 is also exacted.
- If the marijuana in possession is between 50lbs and 2000lbs the offense becomes a second degree felony and is punishable by no less than 2 years and up to 20 years imprisonment with a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Possession of over 2000lbs is equivalent to imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to 99 years in the Texas Department. of Criminal Justice institution.
Marijuana possession in Texas is a criminal act. The prosecution must prove that you knew or intentionally possessed the marijuana in order to convict you for this offense. There are strict requirements for what constitutes someone being in physical possession of marijuana, as each element requires that someone knows it is present and has personal proficiency in controlling it.
Why Do You Need A Marijuana Possession Lawyer In Texas?
Marijuana possession and distribution charges can have serious consequences, including jail time and financial costs. In Texas, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance and thus those caught in possession of marijuana can face severe penalties.
The best defense against charges is to hire an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the legal system. An appointment with the Medlin Law Firm can help minimize the consequences of a marijuana conviction. Their team of attorneys is highly experienced in drug crime defense and will work tirelessly to get your case dismissed or reduced.
In Texas, a first offense of possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana is likely to result in a diversion program. This means that the person will not face any harsh penalties, but will instead be required to complete a set program, such as drug treatment. If the person does not get in any additional trouble during the set amount of time, the case may be dismissed or continued indefinitely. However, agreeing to drug treatment can avoid a permanent criminal record and possible job loss.
Possession & Cultivation Of Marijuana In Texas
Marijuana possession and cultivation laws in Texas are some of the strictest in the country. Drug-free zones, which include schools, youth centers, playgrounds, and other similar facilities, can lead to severe penalties for those caught possessing or cultivating marijuana within their boundaries.
The penalties for marijuana possession or cultivation are severe, especially if the individual has had prior drug convictions. The most common penalty for marijuana possession is 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. For those who have had prior convictions for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana within the past five years, penalties can include between two and 99 years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act makes it illegal to cultivate any plant that contains marijuana resin. This includes cannabis sativa, cannabis indica and their hybrids. Marijuana cultivation is a felony offense that carries a prison sentence of between two to 20 years, a fine of up to $10,000
Possession Of Paraphernalia
Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in Texas. There is no mandatory minimum sentence, but the court may give you a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. The sale of paraphernalia is also a misdemeanor, but it has a mandatory minimum sentence if the previous offense was within 90 days or 1 year, respectively. It’s illegal to manufacture, sell, or use drug paraphernalia in Texas. Possession of paraphernalia is punishable by a Class C misdemeanor.
Marijuana paraphernalia is broadly defined under Texas law, and can include anything used in the consumption of marijuana. Penalties for possession of paraphernalia include a fine of up to $500, but no jail time. Selling paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor and may be punished with a fine of up to $4,000.
Selling paraphernalia to minors is a state jail felony and punishable by fines up to $10,000 or between 180 days and two years in prison. Texas also outlaws the manufacturing, sale, and ownership of marijuana paraphernalia.
Texas Compassionate Use Act
Medical marijuana is not legal in Texas. However, there are efforts underway to change this. In 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act was passed. This act allows for the use of cannabidiol oil (CBD) for patients with intractable epilepsy. While this is a start, medical marijuana is still not legal in Texas. The Compassionate Use Act is only for a specific type of marijuana extract, which is low in THC and high in CBD.
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes the “high” feeling. CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. The Texas Compassionate Use Act does not allow for medical marijuana to be grown, distributed, or sold in Texas. The only way for a patient to get CBD oil is if they have a prescription from a doctor and buy it from one of the few dispensaries that are open in Texas.
The Compassionate Use Act also only applies to patients with intractable epilepsy, which means that they have tried two traditional FDA-approved medications without success. Patients must also have a recommendation from a neurologist.
What Can Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?
If you are charged with possession of marijuana, it is important to have a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. A lawyer can help you understand the law, develop a defense strategy, and represent you in court. Depending on the charge, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea deal or take the case to trial.
If you are convicted of marijuana possession in Texas, you may be eligible for drug court treatment. Drug court is a program that provides a route out of prison for people convicted of certain crimes. If you qualify and successfully complete the requirements, you can petition the court to drop charges. Marijuana possession is one of the crimes eligible for drug court treatment.
Seek Legal Help For A Marijuana Possession Charge
If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty, and Dallas criminal defense law firm Medlin Law Firm will work tirelessly to defend your case.
The team has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts in a wide variety of criminal matters, from misdemeanors to complex federal crimes. He often is able to favorably resolve cases without the need for a trial. Some of the types of state crimes they defend include drug offenses, child sex crimes, online solicitation of a minor, child pornography charges, DWI and intoxication manslaughter charges.