Charges for marijuana drug crimes are common in Texas, especially as medical uses become more prevalent, but the penalties involved can confuse those facing them. Drug crime offenders can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances, and penalties include high fines and/or prison time and criminal background on record.
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code statute 481.121, marijuana possession is defined as an individual knowingly or intentionally possessing a usable amount of marijuana. This possession is classified as either constructive or actual possession. Actual possession is defined by having marijuana physically on you. However, constructive possession means that the drug is in a place that you have exclusive access to, such as your luggage. Both of these are considered possession and carry harsh consequences.
The severity of penalties that an accused individual face depends on the amount of marijuana that the individual possessed:
1: If the alleged offender was in possession of 2 ounces or less, the offense can result in a Class B misdemeanor, which can be penalized by a prison sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
2: If the accused offender possessed more than two ounces but less than four ounces of marijuana, a conviction for the offense can result in a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison sentence up to 1 year and/or a maximum fine of $4,000.
3: If the total amount of marijuana possession is five pounds or less but more than 4 ounces, the criminal offense will result in a felony of the third-degree conviction, punishable by a sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
4: If any individual possesses marijuana 2,000 pounds or less but more than 50 pounds, the offense can ultimately result in a felony of the second-degree conviction, punishable by 2 to 20-year prison sentence and/or fines up to $10,000.
5: If the total amount of marijuana possession is more than 2,000pounds, the criminal offense is punishable by life imprisonment, or it can be a term of 5 – 99years in prison and/or a fine up to – $50,000.
Sometimes a court may be willing to accept participation in a drug program in lieu of the above sentencing. Texas offers several drug programs, but most last 12 months or longer and include substance abuse treatment, counseling, and rehabilitation. After the program is completed, probation may be required. The combination of these penalties is determined for each individual by the court.
The penalties, rehabilitation, and other measures that an individual incurs are based mostly on previous charges, the amount of marijuana (drugs) involved, the nature of the offense. The laws allow the court to flexibly decide what would be the most productive punishment for the individual. For this reason, it can be very helpful for an accused offender to enlist the aid of a drug crime lawyer. An expert drug crime lawyer fort worth might be able to get a sentence reduced or commutated to rehabilitation rather than prison time.
At Cole Paschall Law, we provide extensive consultations, so you have an opportunity to escape harsh punishments for your alleged offenses, or at least get away with lesser penalties or community services. To start developing a solid and impactful case against any criminal charges, call the law office of Cole Paschall Law, a drug crime law firm with over 50 years of experience in Fort Worth, TX at 1- 817-477-4100.