Despite movements across the country, possession of marijuana is still very much illegal in the state of Texas. Because of that, residents of Fort Worth and the greater DFW Metroplex area will face repercussions if found with any amount of marijuana. However, you still need to understand how marijuana laws currently work in Texas and what you can do if you are accused of possession.
MARIJUANA IS ILLEGAL IN ALL CASES IN TEXAS
There's a lot of misinformation out there regarding the status of marijuana in Texas, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area. Understand there's currently no scenario or situation in which marijuana is legal in Texas. It's not legal for recreational or medicinal purposes.
Therefore, you can face penalties in any situation involving marijuana. This applies to finding marijuana in your home, vehicle or on your person. It applies to any type of marijuana, including in plant form, as a concentrate or as an edible. Sometimes, just finding yourself in the general vicinity of marijuana can turn into a charge against you.
THE PENALTIES THAT COME WITH MARIJUANA POSSESSION
Penalties for possession of marijuana can vary depending on several factors. Possession of marijuana carries different charges from selling or manufacturing. This can become a relevant distinction for those who stand accused of growing or distributing marijuana, especially when there was only the intent to use it personally.
Texas statutes dole out penalties for marijuana possession based on weight. Possessing 4-ounces or less of marijuana constitutes a misdemeanor. But don't assume you'll have an easy road because of that classification. Even as a misdemeanor, the charge comes with a maximum of one year in prison and a $4,000 fine.
If you are found with 4-ounces or more of marijuana, then that’s it's a felony. Possession of marijuana felonies come with mandatory minimum sentencing. These sentences can start at three months, and max out at two years, for any amount between 4-ounces and 5-pounds. There's also a $10,000 fine. Beyond 5-pounds, the maximum time you can spend in prison increases exponentially.
Possession of marijuana concentrates start off as felonies and have even stiffer penalties. Even at a gram or less, you can face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Other penalties can apply as well due to the nature of the arrest. For example, if the possession charge comes as a part of a DWI, you may also lose your license.
WHY YOU NEED TO DEFEND AGAINST ANY MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGE
The penalties for possession of even a tiny amount of marijuana can severely affect your life. Even if you only see three months in prison, that's three months where your life goes on hold. You can lose your job, and it puts a strain on your relations with the people around you.
The fine alone can create a tremendous amount of hardship for many people. Also, if you're a single parent, an arrest and conviction can lead to a number of issues regarding the care of your child.
Because of all the possible negative outcomes, you should immediately seek experienced legal help.
LEGAL DEFENSES FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGES
Don't assume a possession charge is set in stone. There are many defenses to such charges. They will vary case-by-case, but it's important you pursue them. Sometimes, you can have charges dropped, or reduced. Even a small reduction can make a large difference. Remember, just 4-ounces can represent a misdemeanor or a felony.
Many defenses for marijuana have to do with precisely how law enforcement found the marijuana and the specific circumstances surrounding your alleged possession of it. The best defense you can possibly have is an experienced criminal attorney.
You will need an attorney with a background in dealing with drug offenses in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. If you or a loved one finds themselves facing a charge of marijuana possession, contact the Law Office of J. Warren St. John of Fort Worth, Texas.