Cannabis is illegal in Texas. It shouldn’t be. Laws related to marijuana or “marihuana” have been debated throughout Texas, and some cities and localities have implemented programs to reduce the burden of enforcing prohibition. Such as pre-trial diversion programs for misdemeanor possession cases, first-offender programs and law enforcement citing and releasing individuals so they avoid being arrested and jailed.
The charges involving marijuana crimes still carry heavy penalties that can affect many aspects of the offender’s future. For instance, if you are charged with possession of marijuana, you will have an arrest record that could appear in background searches for potential employers and landlords. The charges may seem overwhelming, so it’s important to hire an experienced and passionate defense attorney to protect and defend your liberties.
Marijuana Defense Attorney in San Antonio, TX
If you find yourself charged with a marijuana-related offense, contact an experienced attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. The attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr not only fight individual cases, but we are active in the National Legal Committee of NORML, an organization that advocates for the reform of marijuana laws throughout the state of Texas and the United States.
Attorneys at the firm have been asked to speak at NORML’s legal seminars numerous times throughout the years. In addition, the National Legal Committee of NORML awarded attorney Gerry Goldstein with its highest honor, the Al Horn Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement, in December 1999.
Our attorneys fight these cases aggressively in the courts throughout San Antonio, Bexar County and the state of Texas. The best defense often involves filing and litigating all viable motions to suppress evidence or statements. Many of these cases involve unreasonable and illegal searches and seizures that should be thoroughly contested in court. Call (210) 226-1463 for a free consultation.
For any marijuana crime, a good defense requires filing and litigating motions to contest the legality of the search, as well as the sufficiency of the evidence. Contact the attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr to discuss your case.
Overview of Marihuana Laws in Texas
- Definition of Marijuana Under Texas Law
- Different Types of Marijuana Crimes Under Texas Law
- Marijuana Possession Penalties in Texas
- Defenses to Marijuana Charges
- Resources for Texas Marijuana Offenses
Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused controlled substances in the United States. According to FBI statistics based on reports from state law enforcement agencies, Texas made more than 70,000 arrests for marijuana-related crimes in 2011. The vast majority of these arrests — more than 98% — were for possession.
It is a product of the cannabis plant and is currently used as a recreational drug and a medical aid. This substance has acquired many nicknames, including weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane, reefer, dope and ganja. It can also come in different forms, including edibles and concentrates, like “hash” or “hashish.”
Chapter 481 of the Texas Controlled Substance Act under Section 481.002 defines marijuana as the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not, the seeds of that plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of that plant or its seeds.
The term does not include the resin extracted from a part of the plant or a compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the resin. It also excludes the mature stalks of the plant or fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant and the sterilized seeds of the plant that are incapable of beginning germination.
The Texas Controlled Substances Act defines the criminal offenses and penalties associated with marijuana use in the state. Some of the most common marijuana-related offenses in Texas include:
- Possession of marijuana: Possession is defined as knowingly or intentionally possessing a usable amount of marijuana. The penalties for the offense vary depending on the amount of marijuana in the individual’s possession.
- Delivery : Delivery of marijuana is knowingly or intentionally delivering marijuana. This also is known as the sale of marijuana or drug dealing. Penalties also vary on amount of pot involved.
- Cultivation: This is considered cultivating or growing marijuana. These penalties depend on amount of plants involved. This charge often applies to those involved in “grow houses.”
- Trafficking: Marijuana trafficking is knowingly or intentionally actually or constructively transfer marijuana to another person. Trafficking charges can vary depending on the amount involved. In some instance it could be considered federal marijuana trafficking.
The penalties and punishments for simple possession of marijuana in the state of Texas depend on the amount of marijuana possessed. Penalties could include:
- Two ounces or less is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.
- More than two but less than four ounces is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
- More than four ounces but up to five pounds is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or between 180 days and two years in prison.
- More than five pounds but up to 50 pounds is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or between two and ten years in prison.
- More than 50 pounds but up to 2,000 pounds is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or between two and 20 years in prison.
- More than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or between five and 99 years in prison.
If the amount of marijuana involved is less than one ounce, and is a first time offense, you could be eligible for a dismissal of the charges. A San Antonio marijuana defense attorney could help you fight to keep a clean record and move on.
Our lawyers will carefully examine the facts and evidence related to your case to determine what defenses might exist in your particular situation. Each case is different, and it is important you study all of your options. All areas of the case will be thoroughly scrutinized including:
- Unreasonable search and seizures of evidence
- Violations of reading Miranda warnings
- Evidence collection and storage
- Grounds for suppression
When evidence is suppressed it often leads to a dismissal of the underlying charges. If a case is not dismissed, the suppression of some evidence in the case often makes obtaining a reduction in the charges or an alternative resolution in drug court or other diversion program more likely.
NORML – This organization works to change the public opinion of marijuana and to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. The organization also serves as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.
San Antonio NORML – This local chapter of NORML works to educate people throughout the San Antonio area on the medical, legal, environmental, and civil libertarian arguments for more reasonable treatments of cannabis laws in Texas and the United States.
Center for Health Care Services Drug Court Program – The Center for Health Care Services provides case management, psychiatric, substance abuse treatment services to the felony and misdemeanor Drug Courts in Bexar County.
Office of National Drug Control Policy – This Web-based resource center provides the general public, community leaders and other interested people with facts, knowledge and tools to better understand and address marijuana in their communities.
Hiring a Marijuana Defense Lawyer in Texas
If you were arrested for marijuana possession or any other drug-related offense, it is in your best interest to obtain skilled and aggressive representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. We represent clients charged with possession, possession with intent to sell, delivery and trafficking cannabis. We also represent clients charged with felony crimes related to the possession of marijuana THC concentrates such as wax, oil, budder, or shatter.
Call us today at (210) 226-1463 to discuss your case. Our marijuana defense attorneys represent clients throughout San Antonio, Bexar County, and the surrounding areas throughout Texas.
This article was last updated on Friday, November 11, 2017.