Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana
Over time, the usage of marijuana has become more normalized as multiple states have legalized it medically or recreationally. While this is a step in the right direction to decriminalizing marijuana, we still have a long way to go. The state of Texas still has marijuana listed under their Controlled Substances Act; therefore, possession of even trace amounts of the drug is a crime.
Possession of less than a gram of cannabis on your person can result in misdemeanor charges. A conviction could land you in jail for a period as well as outstanding legal fees. If you or someone you know has been charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis, then we urge you to get in contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Houston Defense Attorney for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession in TX
While marijuana possession is a common crime, the penalties are nothing to scoff at. Having experienced and skilled legal representation ready is crucial if you’ve been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in Texas. Find effective and efficient counsel with The Benken Law Firm.
Brian Benken is a reputable defense attorney with over 30 years of practice he can utilize for your case. With both prosecutorial and defense experience, he knows what goes on each side of the courtroom. To get in contact with The Benken Law Firm, call (713) 223 - 4051. We can set up your first consultation free of charge and discuss your legal options in further detail. The Benken Law Firm accepts clients throughout all parts of Harris County and Texas including Houston, Missouri City, Belalire, Deer park, El Lago, Nassau Bay, Webster and South Houston.
Overview of Marijuana Misdemeanor in TX
- Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Charges in TX
- What is MMDP?
- Possible Defenses to Marijuana Possession
- Additional Resources
Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Charges in Texas
The penalties for marijuana crimes are determined by the quantity of cannabis the offender possesses. In Texas, possessing more than four ounces at once time will mean an automatic felony charge. If you have less than four ounces of marijuana, then your crime will be classified as either one of the following:
- 2 Ounces or Less – Class B Misdemeanor; or
- 4 Ounces or Less – Class A Misdemeanor
Although not as grave as a felony, a misdemeanor charge isn’t something to overlook. A class B misdemeanor can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. For a class B misdemeanor, the maximum penalty you can receive is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. In addition to these punishments, the Texas Transportation Code Section 521.372 stipulates people convicted of any offender under the Controlled Substances Act must have their driver’s license suspended for a period.
What is Harris County’s Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP)?
In an effort to decrease marijuana misdemeanor convictions, Harris County has implemented a pre-charge diversion program called the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP). It’s a voluntary program where the offender has an opportunity to avoid arrest, jail booking and even the filing of a criminal charge. Offender will instead be offered a cognitive thinking course that they must complete within 90 days. They must then pay a nonrefundable $150 program fee and not break any laws until the course is completed.
To be eligible, you must fulfill the following requirements:
- Be at least 17 years of age;
- Have been detained or arrested for possession of less than four ounces of marijuana;
- Possess sufficient identifying information at the time of detention or arrest according to the intervening law enforcement agency’s policy
You cannot qualify for MMDP if you have:
- Been charged with an additional crime afterwards other than a class C misdemeanor ticket;
- Was in possession of a concealed handgun and marijuana; or
- Currently have an active warrant out for your arrest
Possible Defenses for Marijuana Crimes in Texas
Every criminal case is unique and, in some cases, they require creative defenses. So, it’s always beneficial to have an experienced attorney on your side to review the individual aspects of the case in order to determine the best defense for your situation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer with extensive practice with marijuana cases can draw and build on a number of possible legal defenses.
Some of the most common defenses against misdemeanor marijuana possession charges in Texas include, but are not limited to:
- Drugs belonged to another person;
- Unknowing possession;
- Alleged offender was authorized medical marijuana user;
- Illegal search and/or seizure;
- Alleged controlled substance was not actually cannabis; and
- Marijuana planted by authorities
MMDP Information | Harris County DA— Visit this website of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to learn more about the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program. Access the site to learn how to apply, the success rate of the program, recent press releases and more.
Texas Controlled Substances Act – Visit the official website for the Texas Statues to read up on their Controlled Substances Act. Access the site to view which drugs are listed under which Penalty Group, the penalties for possessing an illegal controlled substance and more.
Marijuana Defense Lawyer in Harris County, Texas
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, it’s important you enact your right to remain silent until you can find experienced legal representation. The penalties surrounding cannabis possession could impact your life drastically, so it’s vital you act now. For a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney, contact The Benken Law Firm.
Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm has decades of experience to draw on for your case. He has aggressively defended thousands of people from various types of charges and can do the same for you. Call him now at (713) 223 - 4051 to set up your first consultation free of charge. The Benken Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County area and throughout the state of Texas.