Even with the recent marijuana legislation around the United States, Texas still considers owning or using cannabis to be a crime. One of the most common offenses in the Houston area is possession of marijuana. In Texas, possessing any amount of marijuana is illegal.
A person convicted of possessing marijuana may face heavy legal penalties. These can include steep fines and possible jail or prison time. However, the standard statutory penalties are not the only route to go. If you acquire a skilled defense attorney, you may be able to reduce or dismiss your charges.
Texas Marijuana Possession Attorney
Any person, who has been charged with marijuana possession, should seek trusted legal representation. A practiced attorney can assess evidence, file motions, and advocate your participation in a drug court program. Do what is best for you and contact Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm.
Attorney Brian Benken is experienced in criminal defense. He can investigate your case, uncover your legal options, and clarify the criminal process to you. When it comes to any drug offense, you need representation. Call Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation today.
The Benken Law Firm defends clients accused of marijuana crimes throughout all parts of Harris County and surrounding counties including Pasadena, West University Place, and Houston communities such as Meyerland, Sharpstown, and Greenspoint.
Get ahead of your charges. Call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 to speak to an attorney today.
Overview for Marijuana Possession in Texas
- Definitions of Marijuana in Texas
- Penalties for Cannabis Possession
- Drug Courts
- Collateral Consequences of a Marijuana Conviction
- Additional Resources
The Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121 states it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marijuana. Remember, that marijuana does not include sterilized seeds incapable of germination, resin from the plant, mature stalks of the plant, or any oil or cake made from the plant.
Some other common terms for marijuana include:
- Mary Jane
Texas Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Houston
The penalties for marijuana possession are dependent on the amount possessed. A marijuana possession conviction can range from a misdemeanor to felony charges. The following are the legal consequences for possessing marijuana:
- Less than Two Ounces – This is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Two to Four Ounces – This is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in prison, and a fine of up to $4,000.
- 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 prison, 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, which is punishable by up to 99 years of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $50,000.
Drug Courts in Harris County, Texas
Harris County provides drug courts for non-violent, repeat drug offenders. The purpose of drug courts is to reduce the cycle of drug abuse and prevention of future crimes. The Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) program serves those struggling with addiction through therapeutic and medical treatments.
To be able to participate in a drug court program, the defendant must plead guilty or no contest. However, this comes with certain benefits. Successful completion of a drug court program may result in reduced or dismissed charges. Additionally, you will not have a trial or complete the legal process. A skilled attorney can weigh the pros and cons of entering a drug court program in Harris County.
There are certain qualifications a person must meet to participate in Harris County drug courts. A person is eligible for a drug 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
- Has 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.
There are several reasons a person may be excluded from drug court. Certain prior convictions can bar you from participating in a drug treatment program. A defendant will be banned from Harris County drug court if he or she:
- 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;
- 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 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.
- Is seriously and persistently mentally ill and cannot participate in the structure of the drug court
The consequences for marijuana-related convictions are even further reaching and extend beyond the legal realm. In fact, a conviction for possession or distribution of marijuana might haunt the defendant for the rest of his or her life. They may have difficulty getting into the higher education institutions they want to attend or obtaining professional licenses.
Many defendants are also excluded from employment in specific industries. Many places won’t hire applicants with prior drug-related charges.
Thankfully, an arrest does not mean a conviction. If you are under investigation for marijuana possession, The Benken Law Firm can help minimize the consequences and penalties of your marijuana charges so that you can get back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Drug Courts – Visit the official website for the Harris County District Courts. Find more information on Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR). Learn the eligibility requirements, the judges and their schedules, important court forms, and the STAR Drug Court Alumni Association.
Marijuana Possession Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Health and Safety Code. Find more information outlining marijuana possession and other controlled substance offenses. Read more on the charge specifics, penalties, and possible admissible defenses in court.
PaRC: Houston, TX – Click the link to access the official website for PaRC (Prevention and Recovery Center) which is drug and alcohol addiction treatment center in Houston, TX.
Houston Marijuana Possession Lawyer | Harris County, TX
Have you or someone you know, been charged with marijuana possession in the Harris County area? If so, it is important that you seek trusted representation. Call Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm to see your legal options today.
Brian Benken is experienced in criminal defense in Texas courts. He is passionate about defending his client’s rights. Attorney Brian Benken will suppress evidence, file motions, and see if you qualify for a drug program. Do what is best for your future. Call the attorneys at The Benken Law Firm today.
The Benken Law Firm defends clients charged with marijuana crimes throughout all parts of Harris County and surrounding counties. Call us today at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free consultation.