Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana
Our nation is on a journey toward broader acceptance of the use of cannabis. More and more states are opening up to at least the medical value of this natural product, and we can hope that, eventually, everyone will realize that criminalization is only hurting our society. Unfortunately, Texas lags behind in this journey. Our state still has harsh penalties for even the mere casual user of marijuana.
If caught with even a tiny amount of marihuana (also known as weed or pot), you could be charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. That may sound like no big deal, but it still carries penalties that include fines and jail time. We also live in a country with a decades-long, failed "War on Drugs," which means that, in some people's eyes, carrying a drug conviction on your permanent record makes you the enemy. A mark like that could affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment or even obtain higher education.
But if you've been arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge, you don't have to accept your fate. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the cannabis charges and find every weakness in the prosecution, possibly leading to the charges being reduced or even dismissed, and, if you choose to plead "Not Guilty," will fight for your acquittal.
Houston Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Lawyer
Matt Horak will put his experience to work for you. Matt has been a Harris County Assistant District Attorney before "switching sides" to defend the rights of Houston residents. He understands how prosecutors work, a knowledge that benefits his clients charged with marijuana possession or other charges. Matt is a member of NORML and works toward responsible drug laws.
If you've been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, contact Matt Horak, an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney. Horak Law will help you understand your charges, will look at your specific circumstances and determine the best defense for you. Call (713) 225-8000 to learn more about your legal options during a free, in-depth consultation.
Specifics and Penalties for Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges
To be convicted a person of misdemeanor possession of marijuana, the state of Texas must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person "knowingly and intentionally" possessed four ounces or less or marijuana. There are two difference misdemeanor charges, each carrying different penalties. The severity of the penalties depends on the amount of marijuana the person was carrying:
- Class B Misdemeanor: The lesser of the two offenses, the state can charge you with this if you are carrying two ounces or less of pot. If convicted, you could be sentenced up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor: This charge is for people arrested possessing more than two ounces of marijuana, but no more than four ounces. It carries penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine up to $4,000.
The sentences are guidelines, and your circumstances could change the range of penalties. Your criminal history is also a factor. For instance, if you have no felony conviction on your record, the judge must sentence you to probation for a year with mandatory drug counseling.
Possible Defenses to Misdemeanor Possession Charges
The state must prove your guilt, "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is a tough standard to prove, but Harris County prosecutors do it every day. There are strong defenses that your attorney could mount, which may include:
- Illegal search of your person, home, vehicle, or property
- Failure of the arresting officer to read your Miranda rights
- Lack of evidence
- Lack of intent
- Mistaken identity
- Valid alibi
- Other constitutional violations
There are many possible defenses. The availability of these depends on your specific circumstances. A criminal defense attorney will look at your situation and determine your strongest defense or defenses and argue for you.
Horak Law | Harris County Lawyer for Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges
A misdemeanor charge of the possession of a small amount of marijuana can have a big effect on your life. If you've been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, take a good look at your legal options.
Horak Law can defend you. Matt offers a free, no-obligation consultation to look at our case and help you understand your charge. Call (713) 225-8000 for a fighter for you.