The way people think about marijuana has been changing rapidly. But as more and more states move towards legalization, Texas continues to criminalize it. Depending on where you are in Texas, being in possession of the smallest amount of the drug is enough to put you behind bars.
Conviction of a marijuana crime had the potential to limit your housing, educational and job opportunities. Thankfully, Harris County offers numerous programs that can prevent you from accruing a criminal record and spending time behind bars.
Houston, TX Marijuana Attorney
By visiting this page, you are already considering fighting the charges against you. Why not take the next step and contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC. We will take the time to listen to your story and find the best legal path for your situation.
The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC has years of collective experience defending clients of marijuana crimes. We know what it takes to win a case of have it dismissed. To schedule a free consultation, call (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in the online contact form.
We defend clients of marijuana crimes in every community in Harris County. Some of these communities include South Union, Galena Park, Jacinto City and Houston.
- Possession of Marijuana
- Delivery of Marijuana
- DWI with Marijuana
- Harris County Drug Court
- Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program
- Additional Resources
Most people arrested for possession of marijuana are caught with small amounts of the drug. These are everyday people who pose no threat to society, yet the state is quick to classify them as a criminal. Section 481.121 of the Texas Controlled Substance Acts makes it illegal for anyone to knowingly possess marijuana.
How you are penalized for the crime will depend on the amount of the drug found in your possession. Listed in the chart below are the possible penalties you could face for possession of marijuana.
|Less than 2 oz.||Class B Misdemeanor||No more than 180 days||$2,000|
|More than 2 oz. but less than 4 oz.||Class A Misdemeanor||No more than 1 year||$4,000|
|More than 4 oz. but less than 5lbs.||State Jail Felony||Maximum of 2 years; Minimum of 180 days||$10,000|
|More than 5 lbs. but less with 50 lbs.||Third-Degree Felony||Maximum of 10 years; Minimum of 2 years||$10,000|
|More than 50 lbs. but less than 2,000 lbs.||Second-Degree Felony||Maximum of 20 years; Minimum of 2 years||$10,000|
|More than 2,000 lbs.||Capital Felony||Maximum of 99 years to life; Minimum of 5 years||$50,000|
Since marijuana is still illegal in Texas for recreational purposes, people have to resort to drug dealers for the drug. Marijuana dealers are often caught with large amounts of the drug, so prosecutors go after them harder than those caught in possession of small amounts.
The act of giving the drug to another person is called “delivery of marijuana.” The crime can also include using another person to deliver the drug or leaving it in a car to be picked up at a specific location. It’s not required that you received money in exchange for the drug to be convicted of the crime.
How you are charged for the crime will depend on the amount of marijuana you were found with. You could face the following penalties for delivery or marijuana.
- Class B misdemeanor if you were caught selling ¼ oz. or less, and you did not receive anything in exchange.
- Class A misdemeanor if you were caught selling ¼ oz. or less and your received money or goods in exchange.
- State jail felony if you were caught selling more than ¼ oz. but less than5 lbs.
- Second-degree felony if you were caught selling more than 5 lbs. but less than 50 lbs.
- First-degree felony if you were caught selling more than 50 lbs. but less than 2,000 lbs.
- Capital felony if you were caught selling more than 2,000 lbs.
Most people equate driving while intoxicated with alcohol, but you can be charged with the offense if you are caught driving while stoned. If a police officer pulls you over and finds that you do not have the normal use of your mental or physical capabilities because you ingested marijuana, you can be arrested for DWI.
To determine the amount of the drug in your system you will have to submit to a chemical test of your urine or blood. These tests are spotty though because marijuana can stay in your system for weeks. This makes it difficult to prove you were actually “stoned” when you were arrested for the offense. You have the right to refuse a chemical test, but you will have your license suspended.
The penalties you face for a DWI with marijuana will be charged the same if you were caught driving while intoxicated by alcohol. A first offense is a Class B misdemeanor that entails a minimum of 72 hours in jail, a fine that can cost up to $2,000 and a license suspension for 90 days to a year.
Harris County offers repeat drug offenders the opportunity to participate in the Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) program. STAR is considered a drug court, and it allows repeat, non-violent drug offenders the chance to have their case dismissed once they complete the program.
Not every repeat drug offender is eligible for the program. You must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Either has a prior drug conviction, two prior drug-related arrests or be a first-time offense with a history of drug or alcohol dependency
- Have any of the following charges pending against you:
- Felony drug
- Debit/credit card abuse
- Felony prostitution
- State jail felony forgery or forgery theft
- Tampering /fabricating evidence
- Be 17 years or older, or a juvenile who stood trial as an adult
- Be a legal resident of the United States and a resident of Harris County
- Have a drug dependency
If you are granted the opportunity to attend the program, you will participate in group and individual counseling and treatment programs, submit to random drug testing and appear before the court’s judge. You will also be required to remain sober and either be employed of a full-time student.
The Harris County District Attorney discovered cases involving misdemeanor marijuana possession were causing damage to the economy, workforce and the relationship between the people and our criminal justice system. Too many people that were causing no harm to society were filling up county jails and wasting the resources of the Harris County Police Department.
To combat this issue, the county created the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program. This program made it where you will not be arrested if you are found with four ounces or less of marijuana. Instead, you will be required to pay a fine and complete a four-hour educational course. Failing to complete the course will result in arrest and criminal charge for the offense.
Not all possession charges will be given a free pass. If you are found with the drug in a “drug-free zone,” or a correctional facility, you will be arrested. You will also be arrested if you are on probation, under court supervision by bond or deferred adjudication.
Once you pay the fine and complete the course, your record will remain clean. This doesn’t mean you can disregard the laws of the state. Smaller areas of Harris County have chosen not to participate in this program, according to the Houston Chronicle. Some of these areas include Seabrook, Friendswood, Lakeview and numerous others.
Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program– Visit the official website of Kim Ogg, the Harris County District Attorney, to read her statement about the marijuana diversion program. You can learn more about who is eligible for the program and the procedure law enforcement are required to follow for a possession stop.
Texas Controlled Substance Act– Follow this link to read the full text of the act that governs marijuana crimes in the state. You can also learn about other drug crimes and see which illegal drugs fall under which schedule. The act can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Marijuana Lawyer in Harris County,TX
Harris County may offer programs to keep you out of jail for certain marijuana crimes, but you could still be convicted and sent to jail anyway. The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC will fight the charges against you. We will gather evidence, file motions and vigorously defend you.
Schedule a time to speak with us. We can be reached at (832) 530-4070 or by submitting your information in the online contact form. The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC defends clients in all of Harris County. Some of these areas include South Houston, Pearland, Almeda and Ellington.