In Texas, the punishment for possession of marijuana will depend on the weight of the marijuana that is actually seized by the police. The below listed chart demonstrates the range of punishment for the amount of marijuana possessed:
|AMOUNT||LEVEL OF OFFENSE||CONFINEMENT||MAX FINE|
|0 – 2 ounces||Class B Misdemeanor||0 – 180 Days in Jail||$2,000|
|2 – 4 ounces||Class A Misdemeanor||0 – 1 Year in Jail||$4,000|
|4 ounces – 5 pounds||State Jail Felony||180 Days to 2 years||$10,000|
|5 – 50 pounds||3rd Degree Felony||2 – 10 Years||$10,000|
|50 – 2000 pounds||2nd Degree Felony||2 – 20 Years||$10,000|
|> 2000 pounds||1st Degree Felony||5 – 99 Years or Life||$50,000|
In addition to the punishment ranges listed above, a conviction will cause an automatic suspension of your Texas Driver’s License for a period of 6 months. Anyone under the age of 21 will be subject to an additional waiting period of 6 months after the suspension runs before the person is eligible to have their license reinstated. The Texas Department of Public Safety will also require the a Drug Offender Education Class be completed prior to reinstatement.
However, Texas law allows an exception to the suspension requirement if the person is placed on some type of community supervison, which includes probation or deferred adjudication (a type of probation which doesn’t result in a conviction).
One other major consequence of a marijuana conviction is that if a person is convicted of a drug offense while receiving Federal Student Loans, then they are barred from receiving financial aid. The chart below explains the consequences of a drug conviction:
|Possession of illegal drugs||Sale of illegal drugs|
|1st offense||1 year from date of conviction||2 years from date of conviction|
|2nd offense||2 years from date of conviction||Indefinite period|
|3 plus offenses||Indefinite period|
Because of the serious consequences that result from a marijuana conviction, it is important that you hire an experienced Texas marijuana defense attorney who understands how the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution is designed to protect citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. Even if you were searched and drugs were found on you or in your home, it does not automatically mean that you should be convicted. The police are limited in their legal ability to search you or your home without your permission, without a warrant, or without some other form of probable cause such as seeing the drugs in plain view. If the police do not follow the procedures required for a legal search, then a judge can exclude those drugs as evidence and the Government will be forced to dismiss your case. Additionally, the law requires that the police have valid reason to conduct a traffic stop. If the police officer did not have a valid reason to stop you, then any drugs that were found during that stop will also be excluded as evidence against you, forcing the State of Texas to dismiss their case.
Dustan Neyland is an experienced Houston Marijuana Defense Attorney who will provide you the best legal defense possible and will work hard to protect your rights and freedom. Contact us today at (281) 312-0155 to schedule a consultation.