While there have been some changes to marijuana laws in Texas in recent years, you still cannot possess or sell marijuana unless it is prescribed for medicinal purposes. People caught with marijuana can be charged with crimes. The types of punishments that they may face depends on the amount of marijuana they possess.
Potential penalties for marijuana possession
The potential penalties people may face are:
- If they possess less than 2 ounces, they could be charged with a class B misdemeanor, which could result in a fine up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.
- If they possess between 2 ounces and 4 ounces, they could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in a fine up to $4,000 and jail for up to a year.
- If they possess between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana they could be charged with a state felony and face a fine up to $10,000 and a jail sentence between 180 days and 2 years.
- If they possess between 5 pounds and 50 pounds they could be charged with a third degree felony. These can result in a jail sentence between 2 years and 10 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
- Possessing between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds can be charged as a second degree felony. People could potentially face a jail sentence between 2 and 20 years and be fined up to $10,000
- Possessing more than 2,000 pounds could result in a first degree felony. The potential jail sentence is between 5 years and 99 years and a fine up to $50,000.
The potential penalties for marijuana possession in Texas can be significant, but people only face these potential penalties if they are convicted of the crimes. Being charged does not mean people are automatically guilty. There are potential defenses, which often start with whether the police legally searched people. Evidence of the crime could be suppressed if the search was illegal. Experienced attorneys understand the potential defenses and could guide one through the criminal process.