While states across the nation take steps to legalize marijuana, the Texas legislator has not made any significant steps toward legalization. Except for a few, rare, medical exceptions. marijuana is still illegal in Texas. If a Texas police officer stops you and you have the drug on your person or in your vehicle, you can be arrested. Having a drug charge on your criminal record could affect the rest of your life. It’s important that if you are arrested or ticketed while in possession of marijuana that you hire a qualified drug crime attorney.
How can a Marijuana Drug Charge Affect My life?
While a drug charge may not seem like a big deal, it can have lasting effects on your life. For example, potential employers and landlords will run a background check to see if your fit for employment or living in their home. As part of these background checks, your criminal record may show up.
A person with a drug charge on their criminal record may experience the following consequences:
- Losing out on employment opportunities
- Denial of student or financial aid for college
- Suspension or expulsion from your college
- The privilege of choosing where you live
- Significant fines and penalties
- Non-citizens may face deportation
In other words, one moment of your life can have lasting negative effects that ripple into several areas of your life. If you are facing a drug charge, you need the help a qualified drug crime attorney.
What are the consequences for marijuana possession?
The penalties for marijuana or THC possession offenses vary depending on the amount alleged to be in possession at the time of the arrest. An arresting officer will likely weigh the substances at the scene. The total amount of the substances is used when calculating the penalty, for example, if you have a pan of pot brownies, the weight of the entire contents of the pan will be used when calculating the penalty classification. However, if the officer weighs the substance in a container, such as a glass container the marijuana is found in that cannot be used in assessing the penalty classification.
What happens if I’m not arrested for marijuana, but was issued a ticket?
Marijuana charges are being handled differently county to county and even officer to officer. While most Texas counties are still arresting anyone in possession of marijuana, some counties are choosing to issue tickets instead. These tickets DO NOT mean you haven’t been charged. It simply means they are choosing not to arrest you based on your promise to appear in court on a later date.
Is the THC in CBD illegal?
The recent legalization of CBD products in Texas did not legalize all forms of THC. In fact, only products with a concentration of .3% of THC or less were legalized. Marijuana has a much higher concentration of THC than .3%.
Does it matter if I have THC in the plant, oil, or edible form?
Yes. In Texas, pure THC—whether in oil, edible, wax, or other forms—is a felony even if you have only the smallest amount. Possession of marijuana can be charged as anything from a class B misdemeanor up to a serious felony depending on how much you have.
If you are facing a drug charge, a qualified criminal defense attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help.
What should I do if I stopped by the police and am in possession of marijuana or THC?
How you conduct yourself during a stop with the police can make a difference in your case including, the charges you face or how aggressively the prosecutor pursues you. The following steps will give you and your attorney the best chance toward the best resolution possible.
You do not have to consent to a search of your person or vehicle
Whether you are stopped in a vehicle or walking down the street, the police must have probable cause or your consent before conducting a search. The exception to that is when they conduct what is called a “Terry Frisk” to make sure you do not have any weapons that can hurt them.
If you are pulled over and the officer asks if it is okay to look around in your vehicle the safest answer is always no. Although it is possible for the officer to find another way to conduct a search of your vehicle, such as through probable cause or a warrant. However, by not providing consent you are giving your attorney more to work with when looking at your case.
You have the right to remain silent. Use it.
When an officer says tell me what you have and it will be easier, they mean easier for them. Often, everything you say is being recorded. Any statements you make before and after your arrest are put in the officer’s report. Everything you say can be used as evidence against you. While you should always answer direct administrative questions such as your name and driver’s license information, it is always best to tell the officer you wish to exercise your right to remain silent for any other questions.
Don’t be rude to the officers.
Protecting yourself does not mean you have to be rude to the officers. Be cooperative and polite without incriminating yourself when possible. Identify yourself to the officer. Be aware that resisting being placed under arrest or in detention will likely result in additional charges. Finally, understand that the prosecutor reviewing your case will likely take into consideration your attitude toward the officer. Save the rude, crude or vulgar comments for venting with friends and family in private.
Hire a criminal defense attorney that will fight for you
Being charged with a drug crime can be scary. For this reason, it is important to begin working with an attorney as early on in the process as possible. The sooner you get a qualified drug charge attorney working on your case and fighting for you—the better.
The Carlson Law Firm handles criminal charges in Bell, Coryell, Milam, and Lampasas counties. Our criminal defense attorneys will fight for you every step of the way. Our attorneys are offering free virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your legal needs do not need to be put on hold. Contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free discreet consultation today.