Have you been arrested for possession of marijuana? Even though many states have legalized marijuana possession, either for medicinal or recreational purposes, you can’t lawfully possess marijuana in Texas for any reason. If you’re alleged to possess a “usable quantity” of marijuana, two ounces or less, you can be arrested and charged with class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana, which carries a penalty range of up to
180 days in the county jail, and a fine of up to $2000. Don’t put your freedom at risk! Hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about marijuana possession cases.
Possession of between two and four ounces of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor, and can result in up to one year in the county jail, and a $4000 fine. Accordingly, possession of over four ounces, but less than five pounds of marijuana is a state jail felony, for which you can serve from 180 days to two years in the state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalty range increases from this point, depending upon the amount allegedly possessed. In addition, if you’re convicted of possession of marijuana in Texas, your driver license can be suspended for six months. Before your license can be reinstated, you will be required to take a drug education course, and pay a license reinstatement fee to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
More often than not, people who are charged with possession of marijuana were arrested in their car. Frequently, the sequence of events leading up to their arrest involves them getting pulled over in a routine traffic stop for a minor infraction. The police officer makes contact with the driver, and alleges that he detects the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Under these facts, the officer conducts a warrantless search of the person’s vehicle, and allegedly finds contraband.
In Dallas County, those charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana are frequently offered a form of pretrial diversion, known as a MEMO agreement, as a way in which their case can be resolved. Once successfully completed, a MEMO agreement allows a defendant’s case to be dismissed. To be eligible for a MEMO agreement in a marijuana possession case, you must never have been arrested for any offense more serious than a traffic ticket. Also, in most cases, you must complete 24 hours of community service, take an anti-drug class, and have two clean urinalysis tests. Additionallly, you must pay a fee in the amount of $620. Assuming these requirements are timely met (usually, within two months of making the agreement), your possession of marijuana case will be dismissed. In most cases, possession of marijuana cases that are dismissed in this fashion can ultimately be expunged. Once expunged, you can then lawfully deny ever having been arrested or charged with the offense, even when applying for jobs or seeking housing. An attorney who handles these types of cases can further advise you on possible defense strategies, as well as other potential consequences that can arise as a result of your possession of marijuana charge.
In short, Texas still considers possession of marijuana a crime. Anytime you’re charged with a crime, you should hire a lawyer. Depending upon the amount of that which you are alleged to possess, you can even be charged with felony possession of marijuana. However, Dallas County allows for outright dismissal of marijuana possession cases, in certain instances, if you don’t have a prior arrest record, and the amount of marijuana allegedly possessed is under four ounces.