While the possession of small amounts of marijuana has been legalized in many states, it remains a misdemeanor level crime in Texas, which means that defendants who are convicted of this offense face serious penalties, including jail time and fines. Although not as serious as a felony offense, misdemeanor allegations should still not be taken lightly, so if you were charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, it is critical to contact a Houston drug charges lawyer who can help you build a strong defense.
Possession of Marijuana
In Texas, it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana. The severity of the penalties that a person faces for allegedly committing this crime, however, depends on the amount possessed and where the arrest occurred. Generally, those found in possession of small amounts of marijuana can expect lower charges. For instance, individuals accused of having two ounces or less of marijuana in their possession are typically charged with a Class B misdemeanor and if convicted, face up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
If, however, a person is found in possession of more than two, but less than four ounces, the charge could be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail. Even in these cases, a person could find him or herself facing felony charges if arrested for possession while in a drug-free zone, like a school.
Intent to Sell Marijuana
Even those who are found with less than half an ounce of marijuana in their possession could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. For instance, defendants who have even one-fourth of an ounce or less of marijuana in their possession could face Class B misdemeanor charges if there is evidence that the substance was intended as a gift. If there is evidence that the drug was to be sold, however, a defendant’s charges could be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor.
Possession or Sale of Drug Paraphernalia
Under Texas law, a person doesn’t even need to be found with drugs in his or her possession to be charged with a misdemeanor crime. Anyone found with an item used to store or use marijuana, for example, can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. Fortunately, this charge doesn’t come with jail time, although defendants who are convicted can expect to pay hefty fines. Selling paraphernalia, on the other hand, is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the customer is a minor, in which case the offense will be upgraded to a felony.
Get Legal Help
Like it or not, possession of even tiny amounts of marijuana is a crime in Texas. An experienced attorney, however, could help a first time offender avoid the more serious penalties of a drug conviction, so if you were recently arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, please call The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates for help. Our dedicated Houston drug charges lawyers are standing by, so don’t hesitate to set up an initial consultation by calling our office at (281) 280-0100 today.