Several thousand individuals in Dallas are arrested for possession of marijuana, or cannabis possession, each year. This offense includes any usable amount of marijuana in Texas, which can be as insignificant as the amount of marijuana in a joint.
Although most marijuana possession charges in Dallas are for Class B misdemeanors (the least severe charge for marijuana possession), an alleged marijuana possession offender can be charged with a felony drug offense. Additionally, many law enforcement officials will try to charge the alleged offender with the more serious offense of delivery of marijuana, in addition to charges for possession of drug paraphernalia.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Texas, it is important to hire an experienced marijuana defense attorney in Dallas to help you create your best legal defense to the charges against you.
Possession of Marijuana Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX
If you have been charged with marijuana possession in Dallas, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Dallas Possession of Marijuana
Under section 481.002 of the Texas Health and Safety Code marijuana or marihuana can be defined as any part of the Cannabis plant, any seeds from the Cannabis plant, and any compound, derivative, salt, mixture, or preparation of the Cannabis plant or its seeds. However, marijuana does not include sterilized seeds incapable of germination, resin from the plant, any mature stalks of the plant, or any oil or cake made from the seeds or mature stalks of the plant.
Marijuana is also commonly referred to as:
According to section 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, an individual can be charged with possession of marihuana (marijuana) if they knowingly or intentionally possess any usable amount of marijuana.
Actual and Constructive Possession in Dallas
In Texas, the prosecution must prove the alleged offender committed every element of marijuana possession beyond a reasonable doubt before they can convict the individual of the offense. This means the prosecutor must prove the alleged offender had either actual or constructive possession since possession is a required element to a marijuana possession offense. If the prosecution cannot demonstrate the alleged offender’s possession, the marijuana possession charges may be reduced to a lesser offense or even dismissed.
- Actual Possession – Actual possession can occur if the alleged offender had actual, physical control of the marijuana on their body or in their possession. For example, an individual can have actual possession of marijuana if it is in their pocket, in their car, or in their purse.
- Constructive Possession – Constructive possession is generally much harder for the prosecution to prove and can occur if the alleged offender meets the following three requirements:
- They were aware that marijuana was in their presence and it was an illegal substance;
- They had the intent to take actual possession of the marijuana; and
- They were physically able to take control of the marijuana.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in Dallas
Marijuana possession penalties in Dallas can vary depending on a number of factors, including the amount of the substance and whether the alleged offender has any previous drug convictions.
- An individual charged with an amount of two ounces or less can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
- An individual charged with an amount of more than two ounces but less than four ounces can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
- An individual charged with an amount of five pounds or less but more than four ounces can be convicted of a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- An individual charged with an amount of 2,000 pounds or less but more than 50 pounds can be convicted of a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- An individual charged with an amount of more than 2,000 pounds can be convicted of a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by life in prison or a term ranging from five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.
DIVERT Program in Dallas
The Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment program (DIVERT) is a Dallas County drug program for felony drug offenders who are eligible for pre-trial release.
An individual can qualify for the program if they are charged with possession of marijuana in an amount of more than four ounces, but less than five pounds. However, if the offender has a previous criminal conviction or has a history of engaging in violence, they would not be eligible for the program.
The DIVERT program usually lasts for 12 to 18 months and consists of three phases. The program generally involves substance abuse education, substance abuse treatment, and participation in education and employment services.
If the alleged offender successfully completes the program, their charges will be dismissed. However, if they fail to complete the requirements of the program, they will be prosecuted for their offense.
Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Marijuana Possession Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged marijuana possession throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the repercussions of your alleged offense.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.