Even though attitudes relating to marijuana are changing, an arrest for possession of marijuana should still be taken seriously. In Houston and all of Texas, marijuana drug possession charges can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the type and amount of marijuana involved. If you are convicted for possession of marijuana, you can face jail time, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Even if you are found with less than 2 oz of marijuana, you face Class B misdemeanor charges. Possession of over 4 oz of marijuana is a felony charge.
If you’ve been charged with marijuana drug possession in Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we have successfully represented many clients in drug possession cases. Before you discuss your case with the police, we recommend contacting us for a consultation. We will protect your rights and develop an effective legal strategy for your defense.
Do You Need a Marijuana Possession Lawyer in Houston?
Many states have legalized marijuana, but Texas has not. Sometimes defendants assume that marijuana charges aren’t serious. On the contrary, being convicted of a marijuana-related charge can have a lasting impact on your life. You could be facing a felony charge that carries a penalty of over a year in jail. Additionally, being convicted of marijuana possession can negatively impact your career and housing options down the road.
Hiring an attorney with specific experience representing people who’ve been charged with marijuana possession is crucial. Your lawyer will carefully evaluate your case and help you understand the type of charges you’re facing.
Next, your lawyer will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case against you. After looking at the evidence against you, your lawyer will advise you of your constitutional rights and legal options. It is critical that your attorney aggressively challenge the stop or detention and search in any drug possession case. Your lawyer will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome that will have the least negative impact on your finances and freedom.
Types of Marijuana Possession Cases We Handle
The crime of possession of marijuana occurs when the defendant knowingly or intentionally possesses any usable quantity of marijuana. Sometimes, people assume that they won’t be charged if they only have a tiny amount of marijuana on their person. However, under Texas law, possession of any usable quantity is illegal. The specific types of offenses are based on the amount of marijuana the defendant allegedly possessed. As a result, marijuana possession crimes are classified as follows in Texas:
- Two oz or less – Class B misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to 180 days
- Between two and four ounces – Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
- Between four ounces and five pounds – state jail felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a minimum of 180 days in jail up to 10 years in jail
- Between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds – a second-degree felony punishable by a minimum of two years up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000
- More than 2,000 pounds – first-degree felony punishable by a minimum prison sentence of five years up to 99 years and a fine of up to $50,000
When defendants are accused of possession of significant amounts of marijuana, they could also face charges for drug distribution. Prosecutors may allege that the defendant intended to sell the marijuana, a crime that carries enhanced penalties in Texas.
Houston Prosecutors Must Prove That You Were In Possession of Marijuana
Prosecutors must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. In marijuana drug possession cases, prosecutors must prove that the defendant possessed marijuana. Under Texas law, possession is defined as “actual care, custody, control, or management.” A common defense against marijuana possession charges involved disputing that the defendant possessed marijuana. Possession can be actual possession or constructive possession.
Actual possession involves marijuana being in a person’s pocket, hands, backpack, purse, or otherwise on the individual’s person. Constructive possession could mean marijuana found in a location over which the defendant has dominion and control. For example, if the police find marijuana in a chair in the living room of the defendant’s house, they may bring drug possession charges. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we know how to hold prosecutors accountable. If the prosecutor doesn’t have evidence that you had actual or constructive possession of marijuana, we will negotiate to get your charges dropped.
Plea Bargains in Cases
Many drug possession cases end in a plea bargain. A plea bargain occurs when the prosecutor offers to reduce the seriousness of the charges in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty. Suppose a prosecutor charges a defendant with felony drug possession. The prosecutor may offer to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty. Prosecutors are far less likely to engage in a plea bargain with a defendant who doesn’t have his or her own legal counsel.
When you hire a criminal defense lawyer from Ceja Law Firm PLLC, you can rest assured that it is our goal to obtain the dismissal of your drug possession charges. We’ve successfully helped countless clients obtain a dismissal of marijuana or drug charges. In some cases, accepting a plea bargain isn’t in your best interest. We are prepared to take your case to trial and advocate diligently for you.
Consult With an Experienced Houston Drug Defense Attorney
Attorney Jose Ceja is a former drug prosecutor who is well-versed in drug cases. He has literally handled thousands of drug cases in his career and has an extensive understanding of search and seizure law. After carefully reviewing your case, we will diligently advocate the best outcome possible. Our main goal is to get your marijuana drug possession charges reduced or dismissed. If you are charged with marijuana or drug possession anywhere in the Greater Houston area, call us today to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.