In Texas, possession of marijuana is at a minimum a class B Misdemeanor, and ranges up to a 1st Degree Felony. Any level of Marijuana conviction will result in a 6 month suspension of your driver’s license.
Marijuana cases usually trigger a search and seizure analysis, have the potential for suppression of the evidence, and may call for a dismissal of charges. For example, if an Officer smells marijuana being smoked in your home, he/ she cannot just walk in and arrest you. The Officer needs a warrant. If the Officer got a warrant, did the Officer do it correctly? To learn more, keep reading.
If the cops had a warrant, am I going to get convicted?
Whether or not you get convicted depends on many factors. First, the warrant in your case will need to be tested for several things, including (1) proper mechanics in the affidavit preparation (2) determinations of legal sufficiency (3) probable cause determination from the four corners of the warrant affidavit (4) magistrate process completed correctly (5) general warrant determination (5) comports with both 4th Amendment of US Constitution and Article I Sec. 9 of the Texas Constitution (6) sufficient specificity of the person or thing to be searched or seized (7) presence of conclusory statements, etc., etc.
The point here is that even where the Prosecutor is armed with a warrant signed by a Judge, this area of law is one of the more complex, and can be a minefield for even experienced Police Officers or Prosecutors. If there is a warrant in your case, a Criminal Defense Attorney should test that warrant to the fullest extent possible to ensure that their client’s rights are fully protected.
Attorney Kyle Watkins has written hundreds and hundreds of search and arrest warrants. Kyle has specifically taught and trained Police Officers and Prosecutors how to write (what is nicknamed) an “airtight” warrant for everything from houses, to cell phones, to blood / DNA, to cars, to businesses, to computers. It is this training and experience Kyle brings in review of the work done by the Police and Prosecutors in your case to determine what, if any, errors occurred.
If I consented to a Police search, am I going to be convicted?
Consent is not consent unless it was given freely and voluntarily. If an Officer says: “You let me search this car or I’m taking your wife and kids to jail along with you,” that is not consent. Officers cannot threaten a person with jail/ Immigration consequences/ CPS/ physical force or violence and then claim that the consent was freely and voluntarily given. To learn whether you actually consented, you need to speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney.
What is the punishment for marijuana in Texas?
These are the general punishments, but additional factors can affect the punishment range.
- Class B Misdemeanor: less than 2 ounces
- Class A Misdemeanor: 2 – 4 ounces
- State Jail Felony: 4 ounces – 5 pounds
- 3rd Degree: 5 – 50 pounds
- 2nd Degree: 50 – 2,000 pounds
- 1st Degree: more than 2,000 pounds
What is the most common punishment/ outcome for a first-time Misdemeanor marijuana case?
If you have no prior criminal convictions, and you are charged with class B possession of Marijuana, you are a candidate for anything from dismissal following a drug treatment course to one of several forms of probation. These probations range from “Pre-Trial Intervention” probation to “Deferred Adjudication” probation to “Straight” probation.
What is “Pre-Trial Intervention” probation?
This is the best kind of a probation, in that it results in a dismissal that can be expunged (permanently removed) from your record. Simply stated, this is an agreement between the DA’s Office and the Citizen accused, where the Citizen accused agrees to abide by the terms of the probation for the period defined in the agreement (usually 6 months to 1 year) and at the end of the term the DA dismisses the case outright (provided all of the terms and conditions have been met). If and when the case is dismissed, you are eligible to then expunge the record, meaning to permanently remove all evidence of the offense or charge from the records of the Government (Police, Prosecutors, DPS, etc.). For a full understanding of the pros and cons of a Pre-Trial Intervention Probation you should speak with a Central Texas Marijuana Criminal Defense Attorney.
What is a “Deferred Adjudication” probation?
This is the second best type of probation, where the Citizen accused must enter a plea of guilty; however, the Court does not make a finding of guilt. There is a term of probation (6 months – 2 years) and conditions of the probation (drug offender education program, etc.), and assuming all goes well at the end of the probation, there is no conviction. Because the Court does not make a finding of guilt, the Probationer is eligible to request that the Court issue an Order of “Non-Disclosure” (commonly referred to as a ‘sealing’ of the record). If the Court grants the Non-Disclosure, the record is available for review only by certain agencies: Police, Prosecutors, Board of Law Examiners, Medical Licensing Board, etc. For a full understanding of all of the pros and cons for a Deferred Adjudication, you should speak with a Bell County Marijuana Criminal Defense Attorney.
What is “straight” probation?
“Straight” probation is typically seen in a circumstance where the alternative would be jail time. The result of a plea to a straight probation is a finding of guilt, which means a conviction. The Probationer would be made to abide by the conditions of the probation for the term of the probation. For a full understanding of all of the pros and cons for a straight probation, you should speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney.
What should I do if I got charged with a Marijuana case?
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney right away. Even a simple class B Marijuana case can have long lasting consequences. Especially if you have a clean record, you want to get that conviction off of your record by any legal means. This may mean any number of things, depending on the complexity of the case. In any event, you do not want to be attempting to explain this situation to a future employer decades later. No matter the level of the charge, it needs to be taken seriously – this is your life, your future, and you must protect and defend it at all costs.