5 Things To Know About Marijuana Possession In Texas
Possessing even a small amount of marijuana in Texas or a product containing THC can result in serious criminal charges that ultimately can lead to jail time and significant fines. If you are arrested for possession of marijuana or you are facing charges, it is critical to seek help from a Temple drug defense lawyer to begin strategizing about the best defense in your case. In the meantime, the following are five things to know about marijuana possession laws in Texas.
- Intent or Knowledge of Possession is Necessary for Possession Charges
In order for a person to be convicted of possession fo marijuana under Texas law, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove knowledge or intent of possession. The statute expressly states, concerning the offense of “possession of marihuana,” that a “a person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marihuana.” Accordingly, if you are driving another person’s vehicle and you do not know they have marijuana in the glove box, for example, you cannot face penalties for possession.
- Penalties Will Depend on the Amount of Marijuana in Your Possession
The penalties for possession of marijuana will depend on the amount in your possession or allegedly in your possession. The penalties are as follows:
- Class B misdemeanor for 2 ounces or less, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000;
- Class A misdemeanor between 2 and 4 ounces, which can result in up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000;
- State jail felony for possession between 4 ounces and 5 pounds, which can result in up to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000;
- Third-degree felony for possession between 5 and 50 pounds, which can result in up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000;
- Second-degree felony for possession between 50 and 2,000 pounds, which can result in up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000; and
- Potential for life imprisonment for possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana, and a fine of up to $50,000.
- Medical Marijuana Possession May Be Lawful
Under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP), possession of a small amount of marijuana may be lawful for certain patients with a valid prescription for medical purposes.
- Many Defenses to Marijuana Possession Exist
There are many possible defenses to marijuana possession depending upon the facts of the case, such as:
- No knowledge of possession;
- No intent to possess marijuana;
- You were lawfully permitted to possess under the Texas Compassionate Use Program;
- Fourth Amendment violation, meaning that you were unlawfully stopped and searched for marijuana, or that your property was searched unlawfully (e.g., without a valid warrant or without probable cause); or
- You Should Not Try to Handle Your Defense On Your Own
While you might assume that you can handle your own defense if you are a first-time offender, or if you were caught in possession of only a small amount of marijuana, it is critical to keep in mind that Texas takes marijuana possession very seriously, and it is critical to have assistance from a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling cases like your own.
Get in Touch with a Texas Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
Whether you have questions about a family member’s drug charges or you need help defending against marijuana possession charges, you should contact one of the experienced Temple marijuana possession defense attorneys at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC for assistance with your case.