As more states decriminalize marijuana and medical marijuana laws are becoming increasingly popular, it’s easy for people to think of marijuana possession charges as no big deal. That perception will shift instantly if you’re caught by law enforcement with any amount of marijuana on your person.
While Texas has a medical marijuana law on the books, medical marijuana as an affirmative defense would only work in cases of severe epilepsy and specific forms of marijuana extract that are high in CBD and low in THC. In other words, if you are caught with marijuana, even if you contend that you use it for medical purposes, you could be facing real penalties.
The impact of a marijuana possession charge
Possession of two ounces or less is considered a misdemeanor, with punishments including up to one hundred and eighty days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Possession of any amount of hash or concentrate is a felony offense, punishable by anywhere from 180 days in prison to 20 years or even life, depending on the amount you were carrying.
In addition to these direct consequences, you will also have a drug conviction on your criminal record. This will make getting a new job, finding a place to live, or passing a background check of any sort difficult. It will also preclude you from receiving most forms of federal student aid for the rest of your life. In short, being convicted of or pleading guilty to marijuana possession charges can be a life-altering mistake!
Compounding factors in marijuana arrests
Did you know that you can face additional charges if you’re found in possession of any kind of paraphernalia? This includes smoking pipes, vaporizers, scales, modified e-cigarettes that use hash oil, or even grinders and storage jars. Many of these items, while common for recreational users, can also be used by law enforcement or a prosecutor to make it look like you’re a distributor, allowing them to bring you up on even more serious felony charges.
There are many other factors to consider, all of which can impact the charges and consequences you face. If you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. There are serious consequences you’ll be facing, and an attorney can help to minimize the charges, improve a plea deal, or even contest the discovery of critical evidence, resulting in your charges being completely dropped.
If you or someone you love are facing marijuana possession charges, take immediate action by retaining skilled defense counsel. Relying on a public defender could be the difference between getting accepted into a diversion program and ending up with the maximum possible sentence.