Possession

Killeen Marijuana Crime Defense Attorneys

Protecting your rights after a pot arrest in Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Waco and across Texas

Marijuana is likely the most commonly used illicit substance in Texas and across the country. It’s been part of our culture for decades and, with the increasing use and acceptance of medical marijuana, it’s not likely to go away any time soon. However, marijuana/cannabis remains illegal under state and federal law, and if you’re arrested and charged with possession, you can face a variety of serious charges.

At the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, our Killeen criminal defense attorneys work to keep your record clean and defend you from overzealous authorities and prosecutors. The collateral consequences of a drug conviction can follow you around for the rest of your life, affecting your reputation and employment prospects. Contact us today for experienced legal assistance.

What are the types of marijuana crimes?

The Texas Controlled Substances Act defines marijuana as the seeds, compounds, derivatives, mixtures or preparations of the cannabis plant. We defend a wide variety of marijuana-related drug crimes, including:

  • Cultivation or growing of marijuana
  • Distribution or sale of marijuana
  • Marijuana DWI
  • Marijuana trafficking
  • Misdemeanor and felony marijuana possession
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia
  • Possession a Drug Free Zone

If you’re facing charges (or believe you’re being investigated) for a marijuana crime, it’s essential to secure an attorney as soon as possible. We can protect your constitutional rights and ensure you’re treated fairly – while defending you with all of our resources.

What are the penalties for pot and marijuana possession in TX?

According to research, in Texas marijuana makes up more than half of all drug arrests, and a whopping 97% of those arrests are for possession of just two ounces or less. Penalties for marijuana offenses are separate from other drug crimes, and charges can vary from misdemeanor to felony.

Our goal is to avoid these penalties, reduce your charges or have them dropped altogether.

Misdemeanor marijuana possession

Possession of up to four ounces of pot is a misdemeanor.

  • Class C misdemeanor. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia conviction can result in a $500 fine.
  • Class B misdemeanor. Being arrested with two ounces can result in 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000.
  • Class A misdemeanor. Possession of two to four ounces of marijuana can result in up to a year in jail and fines up to $4,000.

Felony marijuana possession

Possession of four ounces or more of marijuana is considered a felony.

  • State jail felony. Possession of between four ounces and five pounds of marijuana can be punished by 180 days to two years in prison and fines of $10,000.
  • Third-degree felony. Possession of between five to 50 pounds of marijuana has penalties of two to 10 years in prison and fines of $10,000.
  • Second-degree felony. Possession of between 50 and 2,000 pounds has penalties of two to 20 years in prison and fines of $10,000.
  • First-degree felony. The most serious possession charge, with 2,000 pounds or more. This comes with penalties of five to 99 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

If your child is arrested for pot possession, they may face a different set of charges and penalties as a juvenile. Minors arrested and charged with marijuana possession are unlikely to end up in jail or a detention center – however, these charges are still taken seriously by the court. We work to have your child’s charges handled through intervention and rehabilitation. We’re experienced in working with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and can help you and your child ensure they continue to have a bright future ahead.

What are the penalties for selling, delivering or distributing
marijuana in TX?

Selling or distributing pot or weed comes with harsher penalties than possession. Some of these include:

  • The lowest penalty for selling and distributing is delivering up to a quarter-ounce of marijuana without payment (also called gifting). This is a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties for conviction include jail time up to 180 days and fines up to $2,000.
  • On the higher end, distributing or selling more than 2,000 pounds is first-degree felony. Penalties for conviction include from 10 years to life in prison and fines up to $100,000.

Also, selling any amount of pot to a minor is a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The controversies surrounding marijuana, hemp, and CBD

Marijuana is illegal in Texas; hemp, however, is legal – and CBD is sometimes legal, but sometimes not.

Confused? We understand. Let’s break it all down for you.

What is hemp?

In 2019, Texas legalized the sale and use of hemp-based products. Hemp is the fiber of the cannabis plant, and it doesn’t contain any THC. When companies say they’re growing hemp, what they really mean is they’re growing a particular strain of Cannabis sativa. You can buy hemp clothing, hemp paper, hemp rope – it’s a really hardy plant.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is derived from hemp plants. As the Harvard Medical School explains, “While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a ‘high.’” This is because CBD is not supposed to contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that gets people high.

So what’s the controversy?

Not all CBD products (or hemp products, for that matter) are as TCH-free as they claim to be, and that’s a problem here in Texas. Texas defines marijuana as cannabis containing more than 0.3% of THC. That’s all well and good, but the Texas forensic labs can’t always tell what the level of THC in any given product is. In other words, if your CBD oil tests positive for THC, the labs’ tests won’t necessarily be able to tell that you’re under the legal limit, which means you could be charged with a felony for using a legal product.

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Texas?

No. It’s against both state and federal law to grow pot for personal or medicinal use. It doesn’t matter if you grow it inside your home, in your garden, in a public forest or anywhere – if you’re arrested for cultivating marijuana, you can face some steep penalties. Authorities can even charge you for each plant, which can quickly turn into multiple and hefty charges. You could even be arrested for just having the materials for growing, like seeds and grow lamps.

Penalties for conviction for cultivating marijuana include:

  • One hundred or more plants can result in a minimum of five years mandatory prison time
  • One thousand or more plants can result in a minimum of 10 years mandatory prison time

If authorities suspect a structure or building is a grow house, they may be able to obtain a search warrant and seize anything they believe could be evidence. If this happens to you, call the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm as soon as you can for immediate help in protecting your rights.

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How our Killeen pot arrest defense attorneys can help

An arrest and conviction for marijuana, even as it becomes more and more accepted around the country, can still affect your life in myriad ways, whether you’re an adult or a juvenile. Many employers, and the military, have a zero-tolerance policy on drug use, which can cause problems in finding well-paying jobs or even lose the one you have. You may also be disqualified for federal loans and housing.

When we take your case, we employ a number of defense strategies customized to your particular situation. Possible defenses for marijuana arrests include:

  • Entrapment
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Improper handling of evidence
  • Unusable amount of marijuana for charges
  • Violation of Constitutional rights

Our team of legal professionals takes a tough stand for you, challenging the admissibility of evidence and investigating every move authorities made when searching and seizing anything from your property or person. If anything is out of order, we’ll move to have it thrown out and your charges dismissed.

Strategic Killeen marijuana possession defense attorneys

Even as marijuana laws relax around the country, it’s still an illegal drug in Texas and you can face serious penalties if charged with a pot offense. The marijuana defense lawyers at the Law Firm of Mary Beth Harrell have years of experience representing people just like you when facing charges of pot possession or distribution. Let us help. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form. We have offices in Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Waco, and handle in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us.