Possession of Marijuana
The vast majority of marijuana-based arrests in the State of Texas are Misdemeanor-B "Possession of Marijuana Under Two Ounces", punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Very rarely do district attorneys seek a jail sentence in misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases, and frequently my clients will face only a deferred adjudication probation or diversion program and the related fines and community service, with no arrest on their record after completion of their plea agreement and a filing for non-disclosure.
What do you need to know? If you face a diversion program or probation, you will have monthly fees, community service, and you will face regular drug tests. While many elements of your plea agreement are negotiable, the fees and drug tests will be required if you accept probation or a diversionary program. The probation may be administered in another state, if you choose to move to California or Colorado, but the court and probation department is not required to allow you to leave the State of Texas.
Chances are slim that you will get a dismissal on a possession case, no matter how crooked the police were on your arrest. They will often make very specific claims about why they suspected you of having marijuana, and "reading your rights" (per Miranda) has very little impact on the admission of the evidence they collect in most cases. Never say never, but the system is rigged against you once the handcuffs slip on your wrists, and you'll need a quality attorney to achieve the best possible result.
Possession of four ounces to five pounds of marijuana or more, or distribution or sale of a similar amount of marijuana, will result in a felony charge with a much higher range of potential punishment, but your plea agreement will generally not involve a jail sentence. If you have been arrested for a felony quantity of marijuana, hire an attorney immediately, as you may be able to beat the charges with a grand jury packet prior to indictment. Don't wait until you have a court date, since that's post-indictment and too late! Also, if you have children, hire an attorney with a background in both criminal and family law, since Child Protective Services (CPS) may be called in to safeguard your children. Don't let the city take your kids because you possessed an illegal substance! Hire an attorney!
In most counties you are required to appear at all your court settings prior to accepting a plea agreement; however, in some counties hiring an attorney will allow that attorney to appear for you on misdemeanor cases. So once you've been arrested and bonded out, give me a call at (512) 743-1711 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll file a Notice of Appearance in your case as quickly as possible. Don't waste your time going to the court house when you can hire me to do it for you! If you accept a plea agreement, my rates are inexpensive and I accept a flat fee with payment plans, if needed.