06 Feb Marijuana and Texas: What you need to know
Marijuana and Texas: What you need to know
Marijuana, marihuana, cannabis, and Mary Jane: it’s all the same when you are caught with the green leafy stuff. Getting caught with marijuana is against both State and Federal law. What does this mean for you? In Texas, the seriousness of the charge will depend on how much marijuana that an officer finds in your possession. This is what the Texas Criminal Code says:
A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marihuana.
(1) Class C misdemeanors are reserved for Drug Paraphernalia charges. Under Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.002(17), drug paraphernalia is defined as any equipment, product, or material that is used or intended to be used for the purpose of planting, cultivating, manufacturing, producing, processing, testing, packaging, storing, or concealing a controlled substance. This is a pretty broad definition and gives officers a lot of leeway when it comes to issuing these up to $500 citations.
(2) To be considered a Class B misdemeanor, the amount of marihuana possessed is two ounces or less. In Texas, a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $2000 and up to 180 days in jail.
(3) To be considered a Class A misdemeanor, the amount of marihuana possessed is four ounces or less but more than two ounces (in between 2 and 4 oz.). In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor can be punished by up to a year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine.
(4) To be considered a state jail felony, the amount of marihuana possessed is five pounds or less but more than four ounces (more than 4 oz. but less than or equal to 5 lbs.) State jail felonies are more serious offenses than misdemeanors, and you could be punished by fines of up to $10,000 and/or up to 2 years in a state jail facility.
(5) To be considered a Third-Degree Felony, the amount of marihuana possessed is 50 pounds or less but more than 5 pounds. These charges carry a potential punishment of 2 to 10 years of prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
There are charges that increase in severity once someone is caught with over 50 lbs. of marijuana, but these listed are the most common charges that result from marijuana possession in Texas.
Medical Marijuana is only approved in Texas for cases of severe and incurable seizures, and even then only cannabis oil is legal under these circumstances. Medical marijuana cards from other states are not recognized in Texas, and claiming possession of marijuana for medical purposes without a valid identification card from the State of Texas will not get you out of a possession charge.
Have You Been Charged With Possession of Marijuana?
If you are facing a charge for possession of marijuana, what are your first steps? First, it is important to find competent legal representation. You need to find an attorney that is familiar with the county where you have been charged in and knows what programs (if any) are available to dismiss your charge.
In Tarrant County, for example, there are programs for first-time drug offenders. Those charged with drug charges who qualify for these programs can potentially get the charge against them dismissed. If the charge is dismissed, it may qualify for what is called an “expunction.” This means that the charge could potentially be removed from your record like it never existed in the first place.