Defense Attorney for Marijuana Charges in Fort Worth, Texas: Possession & Distribution
Politicians of both major political parties are talking about criminal justice reform, reducing penalties for drug offenses and decriminalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, Texas law still prohibits the possession of even small amounts of marijuana and, depending on the amount possessed, a conviction can result in a sentence of life in prison, and a hefty fine. Anyone facing charges for cannabis should seek counsel from an experienced marijuana charge lawyer before speaking to any investigators, detective, or law enforcement officials. Remember that you have the right to remain silent and insist that your attorney is present, and you should absolutely exercise that right if you want a fair chance of winning the case.
Consequences of a Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Conviction in Texas
In Texas, possession of marijuana has not been decriminalized like it has in so many other US states. According to the Texas State Health and Safety Code, Section 481.121, even a very small amount of marijuana can send you to jail for up to six months! A misdemeanor possession of marijuana conviction carries the following penalties in Texas:
- Class A Misdemeanor: The most serious offense for possessing an amount between two and four ounces. It carries a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine up to $4,000.
- Class B Misdemeanor: This is for possession of more than two ounces but less than four ounces and carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail (six months) and a fine of up to $2,000.
Fines & Penalties for Felony Possession of Marijuana in Texas
Possession of four ounces or more of marijuana results in felony charges according to Texas Criminal Code. If convicted, the penalty depends on the amount of marijuana the state alleges you possessed. The more marijuana you are charged with possessing, the harsher the penalties:
- State Jail Felony: More than four ounces but less than five pounds of marijuana carries a penalty ranging from 180 days to two years in jail with a fine up to $10,000.
- 3rd degree felony: Possession of five pounds up to 50 pounds carries a penalty of between two and 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- 2nd degree felony: Possession of more than 50 pounds but up to 2,000 pounds carries a penalty ranging from two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- 1st degree felony: Possession of more than 2,000 pounds carries a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison up to life in prison or a range up to 99 years and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
In determining the sentence within the range allowed by law, courts will consider all relevant background information, including any prior offenses, and all the circumstances surrounding the individual offense.
Laws Regarding Medical Marijuana in Texas
It is illegal to possess marijuana in Texas for any reason and possession of medical marijuana is not a defense. Even if you are visiting Texas from one of the 14 states that allows possession of marijuana for medical purposes, and you have a medical marijuana card documenting a valid medical condition for possession in your state, you will still be charged with marijuana possession and, if convicted, you will be sentenced depending upon the amount of marijuana you possessed at the time of your arrest.
Defenses to Marijuana Possession Charges
In order to obtain a conviction of possession of marijuana, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly and intentionally possessed marijuana. Defenses may include:
- You did not know the substance was marijuana.
- You did not intentionally possess marijuana. Someone may have slipped it into your pocket, purse or glove compartment without your knowledge.
- The substance was discovered pursuant to an illegal search.
There are other defenses that can be raised based on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, it is imperative that you protect yourself and consult with an experienced marijuana possession defense attorney as soon as possible to help you prepare a defense.
Contact an Experienced Fort Worth Marijuana Possession & Distribution Defense Lawyer
If you, or anyone you know, is facing a marijuana possession charge in Texas, contact The Hampton Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation. Jeff Hampton is a former Tarrant County prosecutor who knows how the other side works, so has an edge in defending your case. Whether charged as a misdemeanor or felony, a conviction can deprive you of your freedom and cause you difficulty in many of life’s transactions such as getting a job, car or home loan, or renting an apartment or house. The charges are serious and you need an aggressive, strategic marijuana possession attorney standing by your side fighting for your freedom.