News reports of the legalization of the use of marijuana for medical purposes in some states might be confusing to people living in Texas. The possession, sale and production of marijuana are criminal offenses under both state and federal law in Texas. Conviction of any of the state marijuana crimes can result in a jail or prison sentence.
Houston Marijuana Crimes
Marijuana crimes in Texas generally fall into the following five categories:
- Possession of marijuana
- Marijuana trafficking
- Delivery of marijuana to a child
- Marijuana distribution and delivery
- Marijuana cultivation
Possession of marijuana is simply the knowing or intentional possession of a usable quantity of the drug. Even a small amount of the drug is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. The serious of the charge and the severity of the penalties increase as the amount of marijuana possessed by the suspect increases.
Marijuana trafficking and marijuana delivery and distribution are violations of Texas Health and Safety Code section 481.120 the delivery, distribution or transfer of the drug. Penalties and the seriousness of the charges increase as the amount of marijuana increases.
Delivery, sale or distribution of marijuana to a child or to a person enrolled in a primary or secondary school is a felony in Texas. Unlike other marijuana crimes, even a small amount of the drug involved in commission of the crime is charged as a felony.
Cultivation of marijuana includes the planting, cultivation or harvesting of marijuana. Law enforcement will confiscate plants that it finds although the plant resin, mature stalks, oil or sterilized seeds of the plants are not illegal.
Penalties for Marijuana Crimes in Houston
Most marijuana crimes depend on the amount of the drug to determine whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor and the penalty that is imposed at sentencing. Charges range from a Class B misdemeanor for possession of a small quantity of the drug to a life felony for possession of large amounts.
As with the determination of the charges to be filed, the punishment handed out by a judge at sentencing usually depends on the amount of the drug seized by the police. For example, possession of a small amount of marijuana is punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and a fine up to $2,000. Larger amounts of the drug can increase the sentence to life imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000.
A Houston Marijuana Crimes Attorney Might Help
Arrests and prosecutions in marijuana crimes cases frequently involve the seizure of drugs and other evidence by law enforcement with and without a search warrant. Challenging the methods used by police to seize evidence is where the legal knowledge and courtroom experience of Justin T. Surginer might be of assistance.