Marijuana is known by many names which include pot, grass, dope, green, sticky green, dro, good, dodie, weed, and a host of other names. Although the drug is popular and legal in a number of states, you’ll be arrested and jailed if you’re found to be in possession of the drug in Austin and most other counties and towns in Central Texas.
Major cities in Texas are starting to lighten up their pursuit of convictions on people caught with small quantities of the drug, that’s intended for personal use. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll avoid jail if caught with a small amount of the drug. The smaller counties surrounding Austin and other major cities in Texas aren’t as forgiving, and will pursue a conviction of defendants caught with even trace amounts or marijuana.
Georgetown Marijuana Possession Attorney | Williamson County, TX
If you have been arrested for marijuana possession in Texas, contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski. attorney Jackson F. Gorski is a leading drug crimes lawyer in Austin and leaves no effort spared during the process of developing defense strategies for defendants.
If you’re ready to discuss your case with an experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer, call The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski at 512-960-4646. He can utilize his years of experience to obtain a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County.
- Penalties For Marijuana Possession in Texas
- Potential Defenses for Marijuana Possession
- Effects Of A Criminal Charge
- Can The Charge Be Removed?
- Additional Resources
Penalties For Marijuana Possession in Texas
Penalties for a marijuana possession conviction vary in Texas depending on the amount of marijuana an individual has in their possession. Some of the penalties are felonies, while others are misdemeanors. It is essential for an individual to obtain legal representation if they are charged with marijuana possession in Texas.
Depending on the amount of marijuana an individual is found to possess, the penalties can vary as follows:
- Two ounces or less – Class B Misdemeanor, up to a $2,000 fine, and a sentence of up to 180 days in jail
- Two to four ounces – Class A Misdemeanor, up to a $4,000 fine, and a sentence of up to one year in jail
- Four ounces to five pounds – State Jail Felony, up to $10,000 fine, and a sentence of between 180 days and up to two years in jail
- Five pounds to fifty pounds – Third-degree Felony, up to $10,000 fine, and a sentence between two to ten years in prison
- Fifty pounds to two-thousand pounds – Second Degree Felony, up to $10,000 fine, and a sentence between two and twenty years in prison
Potential Defenses for Marijuana Possession
A defense may reduce or even eliminate a drug charge. Depending on the details of the case, an experienced attorney can find defenses for the case and bring them in front of the judge or jury to reduce a potential sentence. We have seen defenses, including lack of actual possession of the substance, being unaware of the illicit drug, and the defense of being entrapped by law enforcement work in these situations. We may also be able to use a defense that the individual has a legal prescription for the use of marijuana.
For law enforcement to be able to prove that the individual is guilty of marijuana possession, they must prove that the individual had the marijuana in their possession. If the marijuana was not in the individual’s possession, either through a mistake by law enforcement or if they see a package that is not marijuana, we may be able to show that the individual was not in possession of marijuana.
If the charged individual did not know that they were in possession of an illegal drug, they might also have other defenses. Depending on the situation, someone may have planted the drugs on the individual or in their control. If they were then caught with it in their possession, they might be charged with marijuana possession, but without knowledge, they will likely not be convicted of the crime.
Finally, if an individual has a valid prescription to use medical marijuana, they are allowed to have a specific amount of marijuana in their possession without it being a crime. By proving the valid prescription, we may use this as a defense, and the accused individual may avoid conviction for the crime.
Effects Of A Criminal Charge
As with any criminal conviction, a conviction of marijuana possession will go on a criminal record. Once an individual has a criminal record, it can be found by potential employers, housing authorities, and banks, who will look up criminal records to determine if they will give a loan for various reasons. The degree to which the effects will be seen in the individual’s life will vary depending on the outcome of the charges. The greater the weight of the charge, the more effects will be present in the individual’s everyday life.
Even though there will be many effects they may see throughout their life, like diminished employment opportunities and decreased qualification for financing; there will also be other effects. Having a criminal record can impact an individual’s personal life as well. Once friends and family discover someone’s criminal record, they may treat them differently and not want them around their children or certain family members. Considering the other effects of a criminal charge on an individual’s life is imperative to understanding the gravity of the situation.
Can The Charge Be Removed?
Once something is placed on a criminal record, it may be able to get removed eventually. In Texas, a crime can be removed from a criminal record—called expunged—after some time. This means that when employers, landlords, and banks run a background check, they may not see the charge. This can help the individual have better chances at home loans, getting jobs, and renting apartments or homes.
In Texas, an individual arrested for a crime but never officially charged, or found not guilty, can have their record expunged. Once an individual is charged and found guilty, they are no longer eligible for expungement, but they may qualify to request an Order of Nondisclosure, which seals the records in Texas. This would remove the charge from the public domain so banks and future employers may not be able to see it, but law enforcement will still be able to see it. This can come into play if the charged individual commits another crime in the future.
Filing for an expungement can be a complicated and confusing process. Depending on the final charge of the crime, the individual may have to wait as long as three years to request an expungement. Once an expungement is requested, it is up to the judge’s discretion whether it will be granted or denied. The chances of success in the expungement process are better with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Texas NORML – This website provides information on the history of marijuana in Texas and the future of legalizing recreational marijuana in Texas.
Texas Controlled Substances Act – The Texas Controlled Substances Act explains the possession of marijuana charge in Texas and the penalties.
Austin Marijuana Possession Lawyer | Travis County, TX
When it comes to possession of marijuana cases in Central Texas the outcome, as with every case, depends on what county you are in and whether or not you have prior arrests. Even though it is illegal and you may have been caught red handed that does not mean that you have to come away with a conviction.
The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has years of experience defending Texans arrested for marijuana possession and will work hard to get your charges reduced or dropped. Call 512-960-4646 to schedule a free consultation today.
The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown, TX.