The Penalties For Possession Of Marijuana
In Texas, possession of marijuana is a crime and can have a serious consequences on your future, your education and your career. Unless it’s handled carefully, a marijuana charge can haunt you for a lifetime by showing up on criminal record checks, hurting your career and making it more difficult to find a place to live. A conviction will suspend your driver’s license and subject you to a surcharge and a drug education class. A conviction can also make you ineligible for certain financial aid programs. For this reason, it’s important to have experienced attorney representation on your side.
Possession Of Marijuana, Charges, Penalties, Defenses And More
Under Section 481.002 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, marijuana or marijuana can be defined as any part of the cannabis plant, any seeds from the cannabis plant, and any compound, derivative, salt, mixture or preparation of the cannabis plant or its seeds. However, marijuana does not include sterilized seeds incapable of germination, resin from the plant, any mature stalks of the plant, or any oil or cake made from the seeds or mature stalks of the plant. According to Section 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, an individual can be charged with possession of marijuana (marijuana) if they knowingly or intentionally possess any usable amount of marijuana.
Possession of marijuana: The penalties for possession of marijuana depend upon the amount of marijuana possessed. Possession can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts of your case.
Medical marijuana: Possession of marijuana is illegal in Texas even if you have a valid prescription from another state where medical marijuana possession is legal. Authorities are not necessarily lenient or sympathetic toward people arrested for possession of medical marijuana in Texas.
Possession with intent to sell: If you possess marijuana in an amount or under circumstances that cause authorities to believe that you intended to distribute, you can be charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver. This crime is a felony and has a greater penalty than the penalty for simple possession.
Penalties for marijuana: Marijuana possession penalties in Texas can vary depending on a number of factors, including the amount of the substance and whether the alleged offender has any previous drug convictions.
Class B: An individual charged with possession of marijuana in an amount of 2 ounces or less can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
Class A: An individual charged with possession of marijuana in an amount more than 2 ounces but less than 4 ounces can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
An individual charged with possession of marijuana in an amount of five pounds or less but more than 4 ounces can be convicted of a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
An individual charged with possession of marijuana in an amount of 2,000 pounds or less but more than 50 pound can be convicted of a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
An individual charged with possession of marijuana in an amount more than 2,000 pounds can be convicted of a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by life in prison or a term ranging from five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.
Trafficking in marijuana: Trafficking is one of the most serious drug crimes in Texas. A conviction for drug trafficking can result in a felony criminal record, a prison sentence and harsher penalties than other drug crimes.
Operating a grow house or marijuana cultivation: If you are found in possession of marijuana plants, even if you are growing the plants for personal use, the government can charge you in federal court. You may face separate charges for each plant that you possess.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI): Just as someone can be arrested for driving while intoxicated by alcohol, the same applies to marijuana. Although a first offense is a misdemeanor, you will be required to attend classes, do community service, submit to a substance abuse evaluation and you may have to attend treatment.
Marijuana — It’s Not A Class C
Recently, on the news, people in Austin are being interviewed about the “new cite and release law” regarding possession of marijuana in Austin, Texas. The new law is really not so new. What is new is the fact that the Austin Police Department will be adapting the law that was passed in 2007.
The law has been in effect since September of 2007. The law simply offers police a choice to issue a citation to offenders for a handful of low-level class A and B misdemeanor crimes — including certain criminal mischief and graffiti charges, driving under a suspended license, and possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana.
The law does not eliminate jail time as a punishment possibility for any misdemeanors, including possession of marijuana. Possession of marijuana is still punishable by jail time. Less than 2oz (Class B) can receive punishment of up to 180 days while 4oz > 2oz (Class A) can receive up to one year in jail.
The law (and the implementation of it) does not change the offense or category level for possession of marijuana or any other misdemeanors. The only change is that instead of spending a night in jail before being released on a personal bond, you are given a written citation telling you to appear in court.