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Texas POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

Drug Crime Defense Lawyer in Houston

Marijuana is technically not a controlled substance in the state of Texas. Many areas of Texas, including the Austin area, offer more leniency with marijuana than other controlled substances. Despite not having medical marijuana laws in place, in some jurisdictions, having a medical marijuana license is a legitimate defense.

Samuel M. Gardner is a skilled drug crime defense attorney in Houston. Call (713) 489-2358 to discuss your case with him.

Penalties for Possession

Marijuana is in a class of its own and encompasses plants (dried or growing), seeds, loose buds, or rolled joints. With any marijuana case you still risk license loss and jail time. Counties known to be harsh with drug possession can place the defendant in county jail for even trace amounts of marijuana. Carrying less than 2 ounces on your person can result in 180 days in jail or a maximum fine of $2,000. However, having more than 4 ounces on your person is treated as a state jail felony.

Penalties for Selling

Selling marijuana is a much more serious offense. Selling or having more than 4oz. is a state jail felony, and the sale or distribution of more than 50 LBS is an enhanced first-degree felony. Charges can be filed against growing marijuana, the severity of the charges again dependent on the amount being cultivated.

If you are found with marijuana on your person (in your shoe, pockets, etc.) you will be charged with possession. However, if the police find cannabis in your home or vehicle, you will more likely be charged with constructive possession. Constructive possession gives Texas law officials the right to confiscate any of your property, including your car and home, under the grounds that the property could have been used to traffic illegal substances. The police have this right even if you avoid conviction. If you are charged with constructive possession, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney.

DEFENSES FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION

There are four main defenses that can be taken against marijuana possession charges.

  1. Lack of control. The defendant may claim they didn’t have control over the drug and that it was under someone else’s control.
  2. Lack of knowledge. The defendant had control, but didn’t realize the drug was there. Lack of knowledge may also mean the defendant didn’t identify the substance as marijuana.
  3. Forced possession. Under the threat of violence or some other extenuating circumstance, the defendant was forced to hold onto the drug.
  4. Incorrect substance. The police arrested the defendant for a completely different substance that looks like marijuana. This is a provable, absolute defense.

There are other options open to the defense, such as negotiating a plea agreement for dropped charges in exchange for drug rehabilitation and probation. In cases where the defendant is carrying just over a felony weight of cannabis, the lawyer may be able to negotiate the charges down to misdemeanors. Almost all jurisdictions will be more lenient to first-time offenders.

THC CONCENTRATES

Derivatives of marijuana in a concentrated form, like oil, wax, or hashish, is considered a Group 2 controlled substance. Possession of marijuana derivatives is a very serious offense. Very few jurisdictions will allow for leniency when dealing with THC concentrate possession. Group 2 substances have a maximum fine of $10,000. For reference, the following list outlines charges and corresponding maximum prison time based on weight:

  • Under 1g: State jail felony. 2 years in state jail.
  • Less than 4g: Third-degree felony. 10 years in a state prison.
  • Less than 400g: Second-degree felony. 20 years in a state prison.
  • More than 400g: Enhanced first-degree felony. 99 years in prison, and a maximum fine of up to $50,000.

Note that a criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate for a county jail instead of state jail if charged with a state jail felony. This is preferable because the defendant’s incarceration time may be reduced for good behavior.

Call (713) 489-2358 to schedule a consultation with experienced drug crime defense attorney Samuel M. Gardner in Houston.

MY PRIMARY GOAL IS TO GET YOUR CASE DISMISSED

Take a look at our results.
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury / Injury to Public Servant
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Mistrial / Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Evading Arrest
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Felony Evading Arrest
  • Dismissed Accused of Forgery Government Financial Instrument
  • Dismissed Accused of Injury to Elderly
  • Dismissed Accused of Possession of a Controlled Substance 28-200g

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