A conviction for a marijuana offense in Dallas can result in serious penalties and repercussions. Although this substance is widely used throughout Texas as a recreational drug, marijuana (also known as pot, weed, bud, hydro, ganja, cannabis, chronic or marihuana) can result in a jail or prison sentence, steep fines, a driver’s license suspension and/or a criminal record.
If you have been charged with a marijuana offense in Dallas, it is important to remember that you will not necessarily be convicted of an offense. The prosecution is required to prove you committed every element of the marijuana offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very difficult to burden, and any doubt in the mind of the jury or judge can result in a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas to help you create your best legal defense.
Dallas Marijuana Lawyer
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Burleson, Waxahachie, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ drug laws and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your alleged marijuana crime.
Dallas Marijuana Crimes Information Center
- Marijuana Definition in Texas
- Marijuana Crimes in Dallas
- Dallas Penalties for Marijuana Offenses
- Texas Medical Marijuana Laws
- DIVERT Program in Dallas
- Dallas Marijuana Resources
Marijuana Definition in Texas
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002, marijuana or marihuana is defined as:
- The Cannabis plant,
- Seeds from the Cannabis plant,
- Any compound of the Cannabis plant or its seeds,
- Any derivative of the Cannabis plant or its seeds,
- Any salt from the Cannabis plant or its seeds,
- Any mixture of the Cannabis plant or its seeds and/or
- Any preparation of the Cannabis plant or its seeds.
This does not include sterilized seeds incapable of germination, resin from the Cannabis plant, any mature stalks of the plant, or any oil or cake made from the seeds or mature stalks of the Cannabis plant.
Marijuana Crimes in Dallas
The Texas Controlled Substances Act (Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code) defines the criminal offenses and penalties associated with marijuana use. A few of the most commonly charged marijuana crimes in Dallas are listed below.
An individual can be charged with possession of marihuana under the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121 if they knowingly or intentionally possess a usable amount of marijuana. Depending on the amount of marijuana in the individual’s possession, this offense is punishable as a Class B or A misdemeanor, state jail felony, felony of the third or second degree or life felony, depending on the amount of marijuana in the individual’s possession.
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121, an individual can be charged with marijuana cultivation if they cultivate or grow marijuana plants under Texas’ marijuana possession statute. The penalties for certain plant amounts are as follows:
- 2 ounces or less – Class B misdemeanor
- More than two ounces, but less than four ounces – Class A misdemeanor
- More than four ounces, but less than five pounds – State jail felony
- More than five pounds, but less than 50 pounds – Felony of the third degree
- More than 50 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds – Felony of the second degree
- More than 2,000 pounds – Life felony
Additionally, anyone who plants, cultivates or harvests marijuana or cannabis plants in Texas is subject to forfeiture of the plants and law enforcement will seize the plants under the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.152.
As defined in the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.120, an individual can be charged with marijuana trafficking if they knowingly or intentionally actually or constructively transfer marijuana to another person in the following amounts:
- ¼ ounce or less without receiving payment (i.e. a gift) – Class B misdemeanor
- ¼ ounce or less with payment (i.e. sale) – Class A misdemeanor
- More than ¼ ounce, but less than five pounds – State jail felony
- More than five pounds, but less than 50 pounds – Felony of the second degree
- More than 50 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds – Felony of the first degree
- More than 2,000 pounds – Life felony
An individual can be charged with marijuana distribution or delivery under the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.120 if they knowingly or intentionally deliver marijuana. This offense is punishable as a Class B or A misdemeanor, state jail felony, felony of the second or first degree, or life felony depending on the amount of marijuana delivered and whether the alleged offender received payment for the marijuana.
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.122, an individual can be charged with delivery of marijuana to a child if they knowingly deliver, sell or distribute marijuana to a child or to an individual who is enrolled in a primary or secondary school. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.
Dallas Penalties for Marijuana Offenses
The basic statutory penalties for marijuana offenses are defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. However, these punishments can increase depending on the amount of marijuana, whether the alleged offender received payment for the offense, whether a child was present during the commission of the offense, whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history and whether the alleged offender used a weapon during the offense.
- A marijuana offense that is a Class B misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000
- A marijuana offense that is classified as a Class A misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine not more than $4,000.
- A state jail felony marijuana offense can result in a jail sentence from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- If the marijuana offense is a felony of the third degree, the alleged offender can be sentenced to a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
- A felony of the second degree marijuana offense can result in a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
- A marijuana offense that is a felony of the first degree can result in a prison sentence from five years to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- Marijuana possession offenses that are life felonies can result in a prison sentence from five years to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000.
- Marijuana trafficking offenses that are life felonies can result in a prison sentence from ten years to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $100,000.
Texas Medical Marijuana Laws
Medical marijuana is not currently legal in Texas or under federal law, although 16 states and Washington D.C. have decriminalized the use of medicinal marijuana. However, many health organizations, doctors and scientists agree there are medicinal benefits to marijuana and patients should be able to legally access marijuana under the supervision of a treating doctor.
Marijuana has been proven to provide relief for many individuals suffering from certain illnesses and ailments. Medical marijuana has proven to be a beneficial treatment and therapeutic for Crohn’s Disease, arthritis, cancer, AIDS, movement or muscle disorders and glaucoma.
Recently, a federal bill has been proposed, HR 2306, which would end the federal government’s regulation of marijuana and give each state the option to decriminalize marijuana, legalize medicinal marijuana or prohibit the use of marijuana.
DIVERT Program in Dallas
DIVERT or Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment is a Dallas County drug program for felony offenders who are otherwise eligible for pre-trial release that have been charged with possession of marijuana in an amount more than four ounces, but less than five pounds.
Marijuana offenders who have previous criminal conviction or have a history of engaging in violent behavior are not eligible for the DIVERT program.
The program is generally 12 to 18 months long and generally consists of three phases, including an orientation and stabilization phase, intensive treatment phase, and a transition and graduation phase. The program involves substance abuse education and treatment and participation in education and employment services.
An individual who successfully completes the program will have their criminal charges dismissed; however, an individual who fails to complete the program will be criminally prosecuted for their marijuana charges.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws(NORML) – NORML is a national organization that seeks to repeal marijuana prohibition so responsible adult usage of marijuana is no longer a criminal act.
Texas NORML website – The Dallas area NORML is dedicated to educating Texas legislators and residents about marijuana truth, lies and myths. A local NORML meeting is held at:Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
2001 California Lane
Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care (TCC) – The TCC was created to educate the public and legislators about the benefits of medical marijuana and to advance compassion for sick and dying patients through advocacy for medicinal marijuana.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) – This international organization is comprised of professionals in the criminal justice industry who believe current drug policies are more harmful than helpful, and seek to repeal current drug prohibition through legalized regulation.
Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) – The MPP is a national organization that aims to increase public support for marijuana policies in order to change state laws to alleviate or eradicate penalties for both medical and non-medical use of marijuana.
MPP – Texas Website – This website contains information about Texas’s marijuana laws and issues, in addition to recent marijuana legislation in Texas.
Texas Health and Safety Code – Marijuana Offenses – The Texas Controlled Substances Act (Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code) lists various offenses associated with marijuana, such as marijuana possession, marijuana trafficking and marijuana cultivation, and the penalties an individual could face if they are convicted of a marijuana crime.
Office of National Drug Control Policy – The ONDCP is a governmental drug agency that provides miscellaneous information on marijuana, including alternative names for the substance, uses of marijuana, various types of marijuana, and the federal offenses and penalties for marijuana crimes.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Marijuana Crimes Attorney
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged marijuana offense throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your marijuana allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County, Denton County, Collin County and Tarrant County.