Possession of Marijuana: Penalties and Defenses

April 4, 2016

Possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense in some states and jurisdictions. While the fight for decriminalization of marijuana is widening, Texas continues to consider possession of marijuana as a criminal offense, with strict penalties for prosecution. Unfortunately, with the changing laws related to marijuana use and possession, and inconsistency between state laws, it can be confusing to understand your rights, possible penalties you could face if criminally charged, and what defenses you can pursue for the best outcome possible. 

Possession of Marijuana Charges and Penalties

In order to be criminally charged for possession of marijuana, you must possess a usable amount of marijuana. Depending on the amount of marijuana you possess, the charges and penalties will vary. The basic structure of Texas marijuana possession laws looks as follows:

2 ounces or less Up to 180 days Up to $2,000
4 ounces or less, but greater than 2 ounces Up to one year Up to $4,000
5 pounds or less but greater than 4 ounces 180 days-2 years Up to $10,000
50 pounds or less but greater than 4 ounces 2-10 years Up to $10,000
2,000 pounds or less, but greater than 50 pounds 2-10 years Up to $10,000
More than 2,000 pounds 5-99 years/life Up to $50,000

It is important to note that the individual circumstances surrounding your arrest or criminal charges could result in different penalties than those listed. 

Possession of Marijuana Defenses

If you have been arrested or accused of illegally possessing marijuana, you are not automatically guilty. Further, you have the right to defend yourself against criminal allegations. With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can find the defense options that work best for your individual case. Some commonly used defenses include:

  • Officer’s failure to administer Miranda rights
  • Illegal search of your home, vehicle, person, or property
  • Insufficient evidence for conviction
  • Entrapment
  • Mistaken identity
  • Violation of your Constitutional rights

Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney may offer several suggestions toward achieving the best outcome possible. 

Getting Legal Help

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, do not wait to get the legal guidance you need. Texas laws are strict, but you have certain legal rights that could help protect your future. Contact a Texas criminal defense attorney to begin the process of defending those legal rights. Being charged with a crime is serious, but you do not have to face the justice system alone.