Although marijuana has been legalized in multiple states for recreational or medical usage, it remains, for the most part, illegal here in Texas. Unless you fall into a very specific category of people with untreatable epilepsy, then you could still be arrested under state law for marijuana possession. However, it is important to know what you can do if police stop you on the assumption that you are in possession of marijuana. You have constitutional rights that could help you in the event you are stopped or arrested.
If you are stopped by police and they suspect you have marijuana, then it is very important to stay calm. You will likely be asked to produce your license and vehicle registration. Do not refuse this request, as you are required by law to provide this information. If you are carrying marijuana, then do not try to eat or destroy the stash. This could result in being charged with destruction of evidence, which is a felony.
After being pulled over, police officers on the scene are likely to try and establish probable cause to search your vehicle. Probable cause is required for the police to conduct a search, such as visible drug paraphernalia.
You can flex your Fourth Amendment rights and refuse a search if police do not have a warrant. In some cases, this may prompt the officer to bargain with you. They may say something like “just come clean and show me where the weed is and you will not be arrested.” Officers may also threaten to call a K9 unit in an attempt to establish probable cause. You can continue to refuse a search of your vehicle. In both cases, the officers are trying to play on your ignorance of the law so you consent to a search.
Even if police do conduct a search and find marijuana in your vehicle, the evidence may be inadmissible in court if the search was conducted illegally (if your rights were violated). This means your marijuana possession charges could also potentially be dismissed.
If you admit to a crime after being stopped by police, then you could be causing yourself major problems. Most police cruisers have dash cameras that record traffic stops. Whatever you say could be used against you if you are charged with a crime. If you are arrested, then you should remain quiet and tell the officers that you wish to speak with an attorney.
Should I Call an Attorney for Marijuana Possession in Texas?
Just because you were arrested for possession of marijuana in Texas does not mean that you are automatically guilty. The prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. If police did not follow protocol during your stop and you did not incriminate yourself, it will be more difficult for the prosecution to convict you of possession.
You should immediately call an attorney if you or a loved one were arrested for marijuana in Texas. In many cases, prosecutors will add separate charges, such as possession of drug paraphernalia. Drug penalty charges can be severe depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Lewisville criminal defense lawyers Jared Julian and Michael Crowder can review the details of your case and defend you against the charges.