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Drug citation and release program set to begin

People may be interested to learn that a program that could eliminate jail time for some Dallas residents who are accused of marijuana possession was set to go into effect on Dec. 1. However, they should remain aware that marijuana is still illegal in both the City of Dallas and the entire state of Texas.

The program will allow residents of certain areas who are stopped with four ounces or less of marijuana to be given a citation. In order to qualify for this program, the person accused of marijuana possession must be at least 17 years old and have no criminal history or outstanding warrants. Additionally, he or she must be in possession of a valid driver's license or valid Texas state ID. Those who meet this criteria would not face jail time for the crime.

Essentially, the citation allows the resident to walk away from the incident with just a ticket instead of a misdemeanor charge. However, residents should be aware that the cite and release program does not work in drug free zones, which includes certain areas like near day care centers and schools.

Those who are facing marijuana charges in Texas could potentially be punished with time in jail or probation. Not only will a conviction on marijuana charges result in legal consequences, a person could lose his or her job. A criminal law attorney may assist with challenging the prosecution's case against the accused person. In some cases, the attorney may investigate the traffic stop that resulted in an arrest to determine if the authorities followed proper procedures. The attorney may also challenge the traffic stop in general if the authorities did not have the required reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle in the first place.

Source: CBS DFW, "City Of Dallas Marijuana Cite And Release Program Begins Friday", Nov. 29, 2017

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