Dozens of states across the country have legalized or decriminalized marijuana in recent years. However, it is still against the law to possess any amount of marijuana in Texas. The criminal penalties for being arrested with marijuana in Texas can vary depending on the circumstances.
While the possible criminal penalties for marijuana possession are serious, you should also consider how a conviction can affect the rest of your life. Being convicted of marijuana possession could make it more difficult to:
- Find housing: Some apartments will not rent to tenants who have a criminal history. This is especially the case for crimes that involve felonies. You may find that fewer or no apartments will allow you to sign a lease.
- Find employment: Most jobs perform a background check to assess the financial and criminal histories of job applicants. Depending on the nature of the job, you may find that fewer employers will offer you employment. There are also certain types of jobs (law enforcement or a job with a security clearance) that will not hire you even if you were caught with a small amount of marijuana.
- Stay employed: Some jobs will terminate your position if you are caught with and charged for possession of marijuana.
These consequences are possible even if you are caught with a small amount of marijuana. If you are caught with a large amount or a concentrate and charged with a felony, it is essential to contact a criminal defense attorney. A felony charge could severely limit the opportunities mentioned above.
Do I Need an Attorney if I Am Arrested with Marijuana in Texas?
An attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. For example, if you were initially charged with a felony, your attorney could work to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. In some cases, an attorney can argue for the case to be dismissed. This means it may be possible to eventually expunge the record.
Lewisville criminal defense attorneys Jared Julian and Michael Crowder are both former Texas peace officers. Both attorneys have extensive experience helping people in North Texas fight criminal charges.