If you have been following the news, you will have undoubtedly seen calls for legalization of Marijuana in the United States. Texas is well behind the movement compared to States like Colorado and California. In Texas any usable quantity of Marijuana is illegal to possess. Even if you are a resident of a State that has legalized marijuana, crossing into Texas with marijuana can land you in jail or being placed on probation.
Understanding The Situation
If an individual is charged with marijuana possession, they can be charged with a misdemeanor (Class B) or a felony, depending on how much marijuana they have in their possession. Those found with four ounces or less of marijuana may receive:
- Fines as high as $4,000
- Up to one year in county jail
- Suspension of their driver's license for six months depending on their age.
Can Marijuana Possession Charges be Sealed?
There are various ways to have an arrest record or even an adjudication sealed from other’s view in Texas. What follows applies to many types of offenses in Texas not just possession of marijuana. There are truly only three ways to receive and expunction in Texas for a misdemeanor marijuana possession. Your case must either be dismissed, reduced to a class c ticket for which you receive a deferred adjudication or you are acquitted by a judge or jury after a trial. There are waiting periods associated with receiving an expunction in Texas depending on the type of disposition and the degree of the offense for which one is charged.
Believe it or not you can receive a non-disclosure in Texas upon a plea of guilty for a misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Upon successfully completion of a probation or even a jail sentence, assuming no other new cases one may petition the court for a non-disclosure. The non-disclosure laws in Texas had a dramatic change recently from the 2015 Legislative session.
Enlisting the services of a criminal defense attorney is vital to successfully having a marijuana possession charge sealed.
How Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Fight a Marijuana Possession Charge?
If you or a loved one is arrested for having marijuana in their possession, the attorneys at Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC will employ legal strategies to help minimize the consequences of such a charge. For example, an attorney may dispute the amount of marijuana confiscated, dispute the charge of "possession" (did the individual actually have drugs in their care, custody, control or management?) and determine if an illegal search and seizure was performed by the officer. For example, if a police officer searches a vehicle without probable cause or first obtaining consent, a criminal defense lawyer may file a "motion to suppress" to have evidence thrown out of court.
Contact us today if you need legal assistance for fighting a marijuana possession charge.