In recent years, there has been much debate about the legality of marijuana. Some states have decriminalized the drug and a handful of states have legalized it. Other states, including Texas, retain a strong stance against marijuana, enforcing harsh punishment for the possession of a small amount.
The controversy of legalizing the drug has stemmed in large part from the supposed relaxing and pain relieving effects it has on users. Certain states contend that marijuana is also an effective treatment for seizures, Epilepsy, pain management, PTSD, depression and nausea.
Some limited studies have indicated that marijuana may help fight cancer.
Current Texas Marijuana Possession Laws
Regardless of whether you use marijuana for personal or medical use or you buy and sell it, any kind of marijuana possession is illegal in the state of Texas.
Penalties and punishment for marijuana possession are based on the quantity you are accused oc possessing. First time offenders usually only possess small amounts for personal use and will likely be charged with a misdemeanor
Typically that will include penalties up to a $2,000 fine and or 180 days in jail. Note, this is for possessing two ounces or less of the substance.
Penalties for possessing 2-4 ounces of marijuana can be up to a $4,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail.
Possessing more than 4 ounces and for repeat offenders, the crime will likely escalate from a misdemeanor to a felony, with possession of 200 pounds of marijuana meriting up to a life-term prison sentence and a fine of up to $50,000.
Possessing the drug with the intent to sell it also comes with harsh consequences. Possessing less than .25 ounces will result in a misdemeanor and possessing more than .25 ounces warrants a felony charge. Selling marijuana to a minor or conducting a sale in a drug-free zone will result in the penalties being doubled.
Certain courts and counties in Texas offer ways to have some possession cases dismissed. It is important to have a lawyer who “knows the ropes” so to speak so you can have the best possible outcome on your case.
Misdemeanors vs Felonies
Possessing a very small amount of marijuana for personal use or to sell it is often a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanors have lighter penalties and are often not left on one’s record. Misdemeanors typically carry a penalty of less than a year in jail.
Felonies are for the most severe types of crimes, will stay on one’s record, involve a court trial and typically carry a prison sentence of more than a year.
What to Do If Caught Possessing Marijuana
There are many factors that are considered when the judge hands down your sentence. Hiring a lawyer is highly recommended as he or she will be knowledgeable about all the legalities of your case.
Before hiring a lawyer, it is important that you know your rights and make sure that you cooperate with officials and avoid saying anything that may incriminate you.
Whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony, the Traylor Law Firm may be able to help. David L. Traylor in Dallas has more than 20 years of experience in marijuana possession cases and offers a range of legal services for your marijuana possession case including warrants, probation and bail.
It isn’t advisable to handle your marijuana possession case alone. Contact us today at the Traylor Law Firm and let us help you get the best outcome possible for your case.