Marijuana is referred to in the Texas Controlled Substances Act found in Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code as “marihuana,” but the drug is not classified under any Penalty Group. It nonetheless remains a controlled substance for which it is illegal to possess any amount.
While possession of a smaller amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense, certain amounts can lead to felony charges. A conviction for any marijuana-related crime can have a multitude of long-term consequences.
Were you or your loved one arrested for marijuana possession in Fort Worth? Prosecutors expect guilty pleas in these cases but you may be able to fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively defend you and work to achieve the most favorable possible outcome. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121 establishes that a person commits “possession of marihuana” when they knowingly or intentionally possess a usable quantity of marijuana. The amount of marijuana allegedly possessed dictates the classification of the crime, with offenses usually being graded as follows:
● 2 ounces or less — Class B misdemeanor
● 4 ounces or less but more than 2 ounces — Class A misdemeanor
● 5 pounds or less but more than 4 ounces — State Jail Felony
● 50 pounds or less but more than 5 pounds — Third-Degree Felony
● 2,000 pounds or less but more than 50 pounds — Second-Degree Felony
● More than 2,000 pounds — First-Degree Felony
How your crime was classified will determine the extent of the consequences you face. In general, crimes in Texas are punishable as follows:
● Class B misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000
● Class A misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
● State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000
People convicted of any offense under the Controlled Substances Act will automatically have their driver’s licenses suspended under Texas Transportation Code § 521.372. The suspension typically lasts 180 days, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will not issue licenses to any convicted individuals who did not hold a valid license at the time of their offenses.
In some cases, an alleged offender may be able to argue that they were not the actual owner of the marijuana involved. Some people may be charged for possession cases involving shared homes or vehicles.
One common factor in many marijuana possession cases concerns how authorities discovered and obtained the marijuana involved. If police used an illegal search and seizure in your case, the drugs could be inadmissible in court and the criminal charges will likely be thrown out.
Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy — Identified as a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to promoting an honest dialogue about marijuana use and the negative effects of its criminalization and removing penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use, the mission of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy includes allowing seriously and terminally ill patients to safely obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It also wants to open a safe, legal market where Texas business owners cultivate and sell marijuana to adult consumers with accountability and reasonable oversight. You can learn about coalition partners such as Texas National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a trans-partisan, educational 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that focuses on cannabis law reform, and Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies.
Texas DPS | Texas Arrest Data — Marijuana accounts for a majority of drug possession and general drug abuse arrests in this 2015 report summarizing Texas arrests. The DPS website also contains data for 2016 and 2017 in Excel files. According to KRWG-TV/FM, 97 percent of marijuana arrests in 2015 were for possession of 2 ounces or less.
If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged marijuana possession in Fort Worth or another community in Tarrant County, do not go into court alone. Have an experienced and capable criminal defense lawyer on your side.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will examine your case and identify the strongest possible defense options. We will answer all of your legal questions when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.