Parker County - TX
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Law Offices Of Richard C. McConathy
Possession of Marijuana
Despite growing legalization or decriminalization all over the country, marijuana remains illegal in Texas. Marijuana is referred to in the Texas Controlled Substances Act found in Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code as “marihuana,” even though the drug is not classified under any Penalty Group and remains a controlled substance for which it is illegal to possess any amount.
Possession of a smaller amount of marijuana is generally a misdemeanor offense, but certain amounts may lead to felony charges. A conviction for any marijuana-related crime can have a multitude of long-term consequences.
Although most marijuana possession charges in Dallas are for Class B misdemeanors (the least severe charge for marijuana possession), an alleged marijuana possession offender can be charged with a felony drug offense. Additionally, many law enforcement officials will try to charge the alleged offender with the more serious offense of delivery of marijuana, in addition to charges for possession of drug paraphernalia.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Texas, it is important to hire an experienced marijuana defense attorney in Parker County to help you create your best legal defense to the charges against you. You need to understand that even minor marijuana possession crimes can still have lasting consequences, so it is in your best interest to try and avoid as many of those outcomes as possible.
Were you or your loved one arrested for marijuana possession in Weatherford? Prosecutors expect guilty pleas in these cases but you may be able to fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed with the help of an experienced lawyer.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively defend you and work to achieve the most favorable possible outcome so you are able to regain control of your life. Call (817) 458-3226 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation that will let us go over every detail of your case.
Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121 establishes that a person commits “possession of marihuana” when they knowingly or intentionally possess a usable quantity of marijuana. The amount of marijuana allegedly possessed dictates the classification of the crime, with offenses usually being graded as follows:
Under section 481.002 of the Texas Health and Safety Code marijuana or marihuana can be defined as any part of the Cannabis plant, any seeds from the Cannabis plant, and any compound, derivative, salt, mixture or preparation of the Cannabis plant or its seeds. However, marijuana does not include sterilized seeds incapable of germination, resin from the plant, any mature stalks of the plant, or any oil or cake made from the seeds or mature stalks of the plant.
Marijuana is also commonly referred to as:
In Texas, the prosecution must prove the alleged offender committed every element of marijuana possession beyond a reasonable doubt before they can convict the individual of the offense. This means the prosecutor must prove the alleged offender had either actual or constructive possession since possession is a required element to a marijuana possession offense. If the prosecution cannot demonstrate the alleged offender possession, the marijuana possession charges may be reduced to lesser offense or even dismissed.
Actual Possession – Actual possession can occur of the alleged offender had actual, physical control of the marijuana on their body or in their possession. For example, an individual can have actual possession of marijuana if it is in their pocket, in their car or in their purse.
Constructive Possession – Constructive possession is generally much harder for the prosecution to prove and can occur if the alleged offender meets the following three requirements:
How your crime was classified will determine the extent of the consequences you face. In general, crimes in Texas are punishable as follows:
People convicted of any offense under the Controlled Substances Act will automatically have their driver’s licenses suspended under Texas Transportation Code § 521.372. The suspension typically lasts 180 days, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will not issue licenses to any convicted individuals who did not hold a valid license at the time of their offenses.
In some cases, an alleged offender may be able to argue that they were not the actual owner of the marijuana involved. Some people may be charged for possession cases involving shared homes or vehicles.
One common factor in many marijuana possession cases concerns how authorities discovered and obtained the marijuana involved. If police used an illegal search and seizure in your case, the drugs could be inadmissible in court and the criminal charges will likely be thrown out.
The Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment program (DIVERT) is a Dallas County drug program for felony drug offenders who are eligible for pre-trial release.
An individual can qualify for the program if they are charged with possession of marijuana in an amount more than four ounces, but less than five pounds. However, if the offender has a previous criminal conviction or has a history of engaging in violence, they would not be eligible for the program.
The DIVERT program usually lasts for 12 to 18 months and consists of three phases. The program generally involves substance abuse education, substance abuse treatment and participation in education and employment services.
If the alleged offender successfully completes the program, their charges will be dismissed. However, if they fail to complete the requirements of the program, they will be prosecuted fro their possession of marijuana offense.
Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy — Identified as a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to promoting an honest dialogue about marijuana use and the negative effects of its criminalization and removing penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use, the mission of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy includes allowing seriously and terminally ill patients to safely obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It also wants to open a safe, legal market where Texas business owners cultivate and sell marijuana to adult consumers with accountability and reasonable oversight. You can learn about coalition partners such as Texas National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a trans-partisan, educational 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that focuses on cannabis law reform, and Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies.
Texas DPS | Texas Arrest Data — Marijuana accounts for a majority of drug possession and general drug abuse arrests in this 2015 report summarizing Texas arrests. The DPS website also contains data for 2016 and 2017 in Excel files. According to KRWG-TV/FM, 97 percent of marijuana arrests in 2015 were for possession of 2 ounces or less.
If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged marijuana possession in Weatherford or another community in Parker County, do not go into court alone. Have an experienced and capable criminal defense lawyer on your side to defend you against the criminal charges and work to secure the most favorable outcome possible.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will examine your case and identify the strongest possible defense options during a free and completely confidential consultation. We will answer all of your legal questions and discuss every option you have when you call (817) 458-3226 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
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