Felony Possession of Marijuana
The penalties for marijuana possession are dependent on the amount of drug possessed. Those who carry a large quantity of marijuana may face felony charges. A felony conviction can result in large fines, possible prison time, and the indefinite label of being a “felon.”
Convicted felons may have issues when applying for jobs or housing. Additionally, you may be unable to possess a firearm. It is important that you take steps to create your defense now. If you or someone you know has been charged with felony possession of marijuana, it is vital that you gain representation.
Felony Possession of Marijuana Attorney, Houston TX
Are you facing felony criminal charges for alleged marijuana possession offense? You must be aware of what may happen next. A skilled attorney can clarify your options and help you create a sturdy defense. The difference between a conviction and a dismissal may be as simple as a call. Get in contact with attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm.
Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is compassionate with clients and aggressive in the courtroom. He understands that the legal court system is daunting. Brian Benken wants to be your guide through this process. Gain a partner with Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm.
Attorney Brian Benken accepts clients throughout all parts of Harris County including Pasadena and West University Place. He also represents those in Houston communities including Spring Branch, Westchase, and Greenspoint. Call us at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.
Overview for Felony Possession of Marijuana
- Penalties for Felony Marijuana Possession
- Texas Drug Courts in Harris County
- Possible Defenses for Felony Marijuana Possession in Texas
- Collateral Consequences for a Felony Conviction
- Additional Resources
Penalties for Felony Possession of Marijuana in Texas
Texas penalties for marijuana possession are determined by the quantity of marijuana. Felony charges for marijuana possession normally carry heavy penalties. These penalties can include steep fines and the potential for incarceration.
The following are the felony-level penalties for marijuana possession in Texas.
- Four Ounces to Five Pounds – This is a state jail felony, which is punishable with a minimum of 180 days in jail and a maximum of two years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Five Pounds to 50 Pounds – This is a third-degree felony, which is punishable with a minimum of two years in jail and a maximum of 10 years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 50 Pounds to 2,000 Pounds – This is a second-degree felony, which is punishable with a minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of up to $10,000.
- More than 2,000 Pounds – This is a first-degree felony that is punishable by up to 99 years of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $50,000.
Texas Drug Courts in Harris County
In some cases, drug courts may provide an alternative to incarceration. The Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) program serves those with chemical dependency through therapy and rehabilitative means. The purpose of STAR is to reduce the cycle of drug abuse and prevent repeat offenses.
Participating in a drug program may give you certain benefits. If you successfully complete the drug court program, your charges may be reduced or dismissed. Additionally you will not be required to complete the trial process. A practiced attorney can assess your case and evaluate if participating in a drug court program is beneficial for your case.
The Harris County drug courts require participants to meet certain qualifications. A person can participate in a drug court program if he or she:
- Has a prior drug conviction (misdemeanor or felony) or two prior drug-related arrests, or a first-time offender with a documented history of drug abuse or alcohol dependency; and
- Have a pending felony drug, credit/debit card abuse, felony prostitution, state jail felony forgery charge, state jail felony theft charge, tampering/fabricating evidence, or is on probation/deferred adjudication for one of the eligible charges; and
- Is an adult (17 years old or older) or a juvenile certified to stand trial as an adult; and
- Is a legal resident or citizen of the United States of America and is a resident of Harris County in Texas; and
- Has a drug dependency.
Certain offenders are not able to participate in drug court. If a person has any of the following charges, he or she will be excluded from drug court:
- Has a prior conviction, deferred adjudication or pending charge for
- Burglary of a habitation;
- A crime of violence;
- A sex offense; or
- Any case where a firearm is possessed, used, or exhibited.
- Has a pending charge for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance or dangerous drug or a pending clandestine lab charge or a conviction for operating a clandestine lab;
- Has a pending charge for possession of marijuana over five pounds;
- Is seriously and persistently mentally ill and cannot participate in the structure of the drug court; or
- Has been previously terminated from the program or who has previously graduated, whether on community supervision or note, from drug court and is arrested on a new felony drug charge.
Possible Defenses for Felony Marijuana Possession in Texas
You may be overwhelmed when learning about your charges and possible penalties. However, the statutory penalties may not be the only route you take. With a skilled Houston criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to formulate a strong defense. No defense is 100 percent effective. However, The Benken Law Firm can utilize the following defenses that may help reduce or dismiss your charges.
- Invalid search warrant;
- Illegal search and seizure;
- Failure to prove possession; or
- Medical necessity.
Although most Texans are aware that a felony conviction can result in imprisonment and expensive fines, they often forget about the crime’s collateral consequences. For example, a felony marijuana conviction can often result in losing civil rights, losing professional licenses, and having a difficult time gaining employment. It can also damage an individual’s reputation and even revoke their ability to rent an apartment.
If the offender is a student, he or she could also be expelled from their university and lose access to the federal student aid. Fundamental rights such as the right to vote or bear arms will also be temporarily lost.
Felony cases are the most complicated and serious crimes in Texas. This is why anyone that’s facing a conviction should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Texas Marijuana Laws – Visit the official website for Texas legislation. Find more information surrounding marijuana offenses including penalties, legal definitions, and admissible defenses in court.
Harris County Drug Courts – Visit the official website for Harris County District Courts. Find more information regarding STAR, the Success Through Addiction Recovery program. Learn how to be eligible, the overview of the program, and who the judges are on the docket.
Texas Felony Marijuana Possession Lawyer, Houston
If you or someone you know has been charged with felony marijuana possession, it is vital that you contact an experienced attorney. A strategic attorney can create a sturdy defense and battle for your rights in court. Allow The Benken Law Firm to advocate on your behalf.
Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is a criminal defense attorney with years of experience fighting for those accused of felony marijuana possession. He is passionate about defending our client’s rights. Rest assured, Brian Benken will never put you on the backburner. He will inform you through every step of the way, and be sure to clarify all your legal options. Let Brian Benken navigate you through this process.
Call marijuana defense lawyer Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule your first consultation and start your defense today. The Benken Law Firm represents clients charged with marijuana crimes throughout the Houston area including Magnolia Park, Meyerland, Brays Oaks, and Houston Heights.