Marijuana Frequently Asked Questions
Get the tough defense you need form a Houston Marijuana attorney!
In the state of Texas,
marijuana offenses are treated harshly and without lenience in most cases. Practically leading
the nation in the number of arrests for marijuana possession, Texas came
in second with 74,286 arrests just in 2010. Their overall arrest rate
for possession of marijuana is the 15th highest in the U.S. and
Harris County comes in at number 5 for the most marijuana possession arrests,
out of every county in the U.S. Many believe that law enforcement resources are being wasted as they try
to put an end to marijuana crimes throughout the state. It is important
to realize that police are on high alert for all kinds of drug crimes
in Houston, but especially marijuana. This can easily lead to false accusations
In the event that you have been arrested it is best to be prepared and
to be as knowledgeable as possible regarding the basics of marijuana offenses.
As a qualified marijuana defense attorney, I have put together a list
of common questions and relevant answers to assist you in the aftermath
of an arrest. While these can be beneficial to review, it is always a
good idea to actually retain a lawyer from the outset of your case.
Common Questions Related to Marijuana Charges in Texas
How much jail time could be imposed for possession of marijuana?
For 2 ounces or less, the charges filed will be misdemeanor, with up to
180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000. For 2 – 4 ounces, the
penalties increase to up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. For 4 ounces
to 5 pounds, the charges are filed as a felony, even in cases when in
fact the marijuana was strictly for your personal use. The fines imposed
include a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, with up to 10 years possible,
and up to $10,000 in fines. There are more extreme penalties for larger
quantities, and if you have a prior criminal record, you could also have
the penalties enhanced. If it is alleged you gave the drug to a minor,
you will be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, with 10 years
possible, as well as $10,000 in fines.
How do I find a lawyer to fight a marijuana charge in Houston?
There are several points to consider when you retain a defense lawyer.
First, is the attorney experienced? Second, can he or she show you a record
of successful verdicts in similar cases? Third, is he or she respected
and well-connected in the legal community? No lawyer can promise results,
so if any attorney makes a promise about results is not being honest.
I served for 5 years as a prosecutor and for
10 years as a criminal defense attorney, and I have worked on thousands of cases. You can read some of my case
results and make a decision for yourself.
Can I get into a diversion program? Do I qualify?
Certain people charged with marijuana crimes will qualify for a diversion
program. If you do not have a prior criminal record for a marijuana crime
or for a violent crime, this is one option. The program includes education
and treatment. If you complete the program, you will have the criminal
charges against you dismissed, but you must complete the program or the
charges against you will proceed. If you need to know if you qualify,
get in touch with me at my firm, Mark Morasch, Attorney at Law.
Is medical marijuana legal in Texas?
Under Texas State law, marijuana is not legally recognized as a form of
treatment for any diseases. Those that are found to have marijuana in
their possession, no matter what the circumstances, will still be charged
with criminal accusations. This is even true for people who may be originally
from a state that has legalized
medical marijuana. You will still be
charged with possession even if you have a medical marijuana card and a documented condition.
What will happen if I get caught driving under the influence of marijuana?
Driving after smoking marijuana is treated the same way as driving under
the influence of alcohol in the state of Texas. The penalties are the
same and there is no differentiation in how they are treated. The minimum
offense includes 72 hours in jail and fines. It could also include community
service hours and an education program regarding drunk driving. Any future
offenses will only increase the penalties and could leave a permanent
mark on your record.
What is the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act?
Even though marijuana is illegal in the state of Texas, those who use it
are still required to pay taxes on it. According to the Tax Stamp Act
under Chapter 159 in the Tax Code, people can be prosecuted not only for
their drug offense, but also for not paying taxes if they do not purchase
tax stamps. These stamps must be affixed to every bag of marijuana and
it costs $3.50 per gram. The only people that do not have to pay taxes
are those possessing under 4 ounces. Anyone who doesn't comply with
this law could be charged with a third degree felony and have to pay up
to 200 percent of the original tax.
What are some possible defenses?
If you have been charged with possession,
delivery or sale of marijuana in Texas, the law enforcement and prosecution will
most likely handle your case very harshly. Having a relentless Houston
marijuana defense attorney by your side from start to finish on your case
can make all the difference.
- If the police did not have the proper search warrant when they found paraphernalia
or drugs in your home or car, this could disqualify any evidence in your case.
- In the same way, illegal methods of search and seizure are unconstitutional
and could very well result in having evidence dropped and potentially
getting charges dismissed.
- There also might be a way to prove that the drugs were not actually in
your possession or that you had no idea they were in in your possession.
As a former prosecutor, I know how their tactics can be and I am prepared
to create a solid defense strategy that can combat their weak arguments.
Retaining the Help of One of Houston's Top Lawyers
Having represented clients throughout Texas for
over 15 years, I am well-versed in the variety of marijuana offenses that come my way.
I have provided my dedicated efforts and creative tactics to many different
clients in Houston, walking away with exemplary case results. Achieving
full case dismissals and dismissed charges on many occasions, take a look
at my case results to see why I am esteemed as one of
H Magazine's Top Lawyers in Houston from 2008-2012.
My experience as a former prosecutor and my passion for protecting the
rights of the criminally accused as a Houston defense attorney has allowed
me to help numerous clients over the years. Please do not place your future
or your freedom in a precarious place.
Contact my office today or fill out my
free case evaluation to learn more.
Available 24/7 to take your call!