Being accused of marijuana-related crimes in Fort Worth can be a stressful time. In some cases, it can even be the first time someone has found themselves on the wrong side of the law. The good news is that there are qualified lawyers in Texas who not only understand what you’re going through, but can help you, too. At Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC, we’re here to help.
Because of ever-changing drug laws, there’s a lot to learn about what to expect when you’ve been charged with marijuana-related crimes. From sentencing to trials and appeals, you need to arm yourself with information. Consulting with a Fort Worth marijuana lawyer could mean the difference between going to jail and getting your charges dropped.
What Happens If You’re Arrested for Possession
The penalties in Texas vary depending on the amount of marijuana you’re alleged to have had, but if it’s two ounces or less, you could be facing a class B misdemeanor, up to 180 days in jail, and fines of up to $2,000.
Also, never forget that a conviction for marijuana possession in Texas will show up on your criminal record for the rest of your life. It’s a very serious charge that could affect your ability to:
- Get a job
- Get promoted and build a career, if you can get a job
- Receive financial aid for college
There is some good news, however. When you have an experienced marijuana lawyer on your side, there are many ways to challenge the charges and possibly avoid the penalties, but it will depend on your set of circumstances.
Your Defensive Strategy for Marijuana Charges
If you have been accused of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, which is by far the most common charge, you may be able to get into a pretrial diversion program at the discretion of the court. This will allow you to go through drug treatment and counseling programs instead of serving time in jail or paying fines.
Otherwise, your lawyer may be able to convince the prosecutor that there is not enough evidence against you and possibly succeed at getting your charges dismissed or lessened. You may also be able to have the charge dismissed if it’s determined that the law enforcement officials who arrested you didn’t have probable cause to stop you in the first place.
Was Your Encounter with the Cops Even Legal?
Getting pulled over by a police officer is a frightening experience. We all know that in the eyes of the law, we’re innocent until proven guilty. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that when the police stop you, you’ll be treated as such.
Cops may interrogate you, search your car, or even in some cases make an arrest. Whether any of these actions are legal depends on whether they have probable cause to do so. Examples of things you could do that might get you pulled over include:
- Running red lights
- Swerving over the centerline
- Blaring loud music in a quiet neighborhood
While none of the above actions are enough to get you searched, if the officer smells marijuana in your vehicle or notices any drug paraphernalia, they might have probable cause to perform a search and arrest you for possession.
But what if they don’t notice any of these red flags? Can they still search your vehicle? Legally, no. If they don’t have probable cause, or at least a reasonable suspicion, they’re not allowed to search your car or person when making a traffic stop.
Even if they do have probable cause for an arrest and/or search, there are still limits on what exactly they can do. If these limits are crossed, your arrest could be invalid. Make sure you pay close attention to every detail when you get pulled over. Providing this information to your marijuana lawyer later could help us uncover any kind of police misconduct that could work in your favor.
Don’t Wait! Call for Your Free Consultation
While marijuana may be legal for medical and recreational use in certain states, it’s still illegal to possess or sell marijuana in Texas. If you are facing drug charges, your Fort Worth marijuana lawyer will defend your interests and work to help you avoid harsh penalties. Fill out our online form below for a free consultation, or contact Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC by phone today at 817-334-7900.