Being charged with the possession of illegal drugs, use of illegal drugs or being under the influence of illegal drugs is a very serious criminal matter. If you have been charged with a marijuana related offense, or other drug charges, you face a confusing system of legal processes, hearings and court dates and potentially stiff jail sentences. Most people don’t know what to do next or how to help themselves avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction. TX criminal marijuana defense lawyer has the experience to effectively fight for your interests and to protect your freedom while navigating you through the complexities of the legal system.
What Penalties Do I Face if Convicted of Marijuana Possession?
The most common variety of marijuana offense charged in Texas is simple possession. While this unquestionably comprises the largest volume of cases, a marijuana possession arrest nevertheless involves potentially serious penalties including loss of a motor vehicle license, a criminal record, and can even involve jail. Keep in mind that in TX, no amount of marijuana is too small to avoid arrest and fines for simple possession can be up to $1,000 and 6 months in jail.
Common Possession Scenarios include:
- Police find a joint or two on you or on property belonging to you.
- Police find “roaches” in an ashtray or on the floor of your car
- Police find an empty baggie with seeds or trace amounts of marijuana (even just crystals or red hairs will result in an arrest…)
- Police find paraphernalia that could be used to smoke marijuana like rolling papers, pipes, bongs, one-hitters, etc…
- Police find paraphernalia that could be or is typically used to transport marijuana or process it such as scales, jars etc…
In Texas, simple possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana is considered a disorderly persons offense. Disorderly person offences are considered minor, however they can still carry maximum penalties of up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines. If you are a first time offender, you may be eligible for a diversionary program known as a Conditional Discharge. Diversionary programs usually involve drug testing in lieu of jail, and the promise that the offense will be dismissed from the individual’s record as long as the periodic drug tests that are required come back negative, and the rules set forth by the diversionary program are followed. A good attorney will navigate the mandatory court appearance with you, and insure that your record is properly expunged, preventing the stigma of drug conviction from appearing on your employment applications and background checks for the rest of your life.
Distribution of Marijuana and Possession of Large Quantities.
A marijuana charge becomes significantly more complicated where it involves distribution given the potentially penalties involved under the law. The penalties for selling marijuana hinge on the weight of marijuana involved and location of the sales.
The following is a layout of the penalties that result when a person is convicted of marijuana sale or marijuana distribution. The penalties are divided by the quantity of marijuana involved.
- 1st Degree Crime – 25 pounds or more of marijuana, or 50 or more marijuana plants, or 5 or more pounds of Hashish.
- 2nd Degree Crime – 5 or more pounds of marijuana, but less than 25 pounds of marijuana, or between 10 and 49 marijuana plants, or between 1 and 5 pounds of hashish.
- 3rd Degree Crime – 1 ounce or more of marijuana, but less than 5 pounds of marijuana, or 5 grams or more of Hashish, but less than 1 pound of Hashish.
- 4th Degree Crime – Less than 1 ounce marijuana, or less than 5 grams of Hashish.
The penalties also apply to the sale or distribution of hashish. The degrees of different charges carry different penalties:
1st degree sentence = 10-20 years in prison
2nd degree sentence = 5-10 years in prison
3rd degree sentence = 3-5 years in prison
A marijuana crime conviction may have a significant impact on your life including: the loss of your current job and future employment opportunities, potential jail time, driver’s license suspension, probation, fines, assessments, and mandatory incarceration if this is a second or subsequent distribution offense or involves a School Zone. Even if it is your first offense for a marijuana offense in New Jersey, you need an experienced New Jersey marijuana defense lawyer to minimize the impact a conviction could have on your future. We are your best defense against the consequences of marijuana charges.
All Marijuana crimes require an aggressive Marijuana Defense Attorney that challenges the evidence and circumstances of your arrest
Let’s face it, whether you have been charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, or a school zone offense- all marijuana charges are extremely fact sensitive. Considering that most defendants’ marijuana charges arise as a result of a police-initiated search of their person, car or home, you need legal guidance to build a solid defense and determine whether or not your constitutional rights have been violated. We have the experience to immediately determine if the police acted inappropriately, and if so, the tenacity to seek to have the case dismissed. Also, if you have been “set up” by an informant or undercover police officer, we will be there to challenge the police procedure used to arrest you or any police-initiated identification procedure used to implicate you in the crimes charged.
As your marijuana defense lawyer, we will explore all the details of your case and potential defenses including but not limited to:
- Improper search of your person, home or car.
- Lack of proof of possession or control of marijuana.
- Lack of probable cause to stop your car.
- Lack of enough evidence to establish distribution.
- Breech in chain of custody and testing of the marijuana.
Other Drug Offenses
Drugs such as Meth-amphetamine, Marijuana, Heroin, Crack-Cocaine, Cocaine, Oxycodone, Valium, etc., are all examples of “controlled substances.” Many prescribed medications are considered controlled substances and are illegal to possesses, use or transport without a prescription. Often times, a person charged with possessing or using drugs will qualify for “Diversion” which means he or she can avoid jail and get the case dismissed after completing a short class. Prop-36 is another jail-alternative treatment program that many drug offenders may qualify for. Also, there are cases where a motion can be filed, such as a motion to suppress evidence that was obtained in violation of the Defendant’s constitutional rights. Often times, if such a motion is granted, the case is dismissed. It is important that any person charged or arrested for a drug offense contact an attorney immediately to determine what is the best course of action.
If you have been arrested or charged for a drug offense, criminal attorneys have the experience and legal knowledge to successfully fight your case in court. They will meticulously review all discovery and subpoena any existing drug test results directly from the lab. If needed, a knowledgeable expert will re-evaluate the test results to determine its accuracy. We will analyze the case to determine if there are any motions that can be filed, like a motion to suppress, motion to reveal an officer’s disciplinary record (“Pitchess” motion), motion to quash warrants, etc…
The following are some common examples of Drug-Related offenses:
• Possession of Controlled Substances
• Possession for Sale of Controlled Substances
• Possession or Cultivation of Marijuana
• Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
• Possession of Paraphernalia
• Possession of Certain Chemicals with the Intent to Manufacture
• (…examples may be Pseudo-ephedrine or ephedrine)
• Sale, Transportation or Trafficking of a Controlled Substance or Narcotic
Contact Us for all Texas Marijuana Defense Strategies
If you have been charged or indicted for First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree and even Fourth Degree possession with intent to distribute marijuana, we are ready to defend you.