Marijuana (referred to in Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code—otherwise known as the Texas Controlled Substances Act—as “marihuana”) does not fall under a specific Penalty Group, but it remains a controlled substance in the Lone Star State. The Texas Controlled Substances Act makes it a criminal offense for any person to possess any amount of marijuana, and even seemingly trivial amounts of cannabis can result in an alleged offender facing misdemeanor charges.
Prosecutors in Montgomery County handle misdemeanor marijuana possession cases differently than their counterparts in Harris County. The difference between the two neighboring locations can be extremely important for alleged offenders who may be able to qualify for a diversion program that will result in no criminal charges being filed.
Lawyer for Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana in Conroe, TX
Were you arrested in Montgomery County or Harris County for allegedly possessing 4 ounces or less of cannabis? You should avoid making any kind of statement to authorities until you have first contacted Evans & Powell, PLLC.
Conroe criminal defense attorneys Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent clients accused of marijuana crimes in communities throughout Montgomery County and Harris County, including The Woodlands, Pinehurst, Shenandoah, Willis, Oak Ridge North, Patton Village, and many others. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (936) 622-2000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Montgomery County Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Information Center
- How does the alleged amount of marijuana possessed impact the grade of the offense?
- What are the consequences if a person is convicted of misdemeanor cannabis possession?
- Are there any defenses against these kinds of charges?
- Where can I learn more about misdemeanor possession in Conroe?
Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.121, a person commits possession of marihuana if he or she knowingly or intentionally possesses any usable quantity of marijuana. Possession crimes involving more than 4 ounces of cannabis are felony offenses, but 4 ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor and is classified as follows:
- 2 ounces or less — Class B misdemeanor; and
- 4 ounces or less but more than 2 ounces — Class A misdemeanor.
Under a new Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP) that went into effect on March 1, 2017, alleged offenders who are caught with 4 ounces or less of cannabis in Harris County will offered an opportunity to take a cognitive thinking course instead of being arrested, ticketed, or required to appear in court. Montgomery County does not have such a program for alleged misdemeanor offenders.
“Unlike Harris County, Montgomery County will not become a sanctuary for dope smokers,” Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said in a press release in response to the new policy. “I swore an oath to follow the law—all the laws, as written by the Texas Legislature. I don’t get to pick and choose which laws I enforce.”
Alleged offenders accused of possessing 4 ounces or less of marijuana in Harris County will be required to sign up for and complete within 90 days a four-hour MMDP cognitive decision-making class, pay a nonrefundable $150 program fee, and not break the law before completion of the course. Failure to complete any of these requirements will result in criminal charges being filed, with convictions subject to the same consequences listed above.
In Montgomery County, a prosecutor will typically file criminal charges against alleged offenders accused of possessing 4 ounces or less of cannabis. Convictions in such cases are punishable as follows:
- Class B misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000; or
- Class A misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
In addition to the punishments listed above, Texas Transportation Code § 521.372 also stipulates that people convicted of any offense under the Controlled Substances Act will have their driver's licenses automatically suspended. The suspension is usually 180 days, but the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will not issue licenses to any convicted individuals who did not hold a valid license at the time of the offense.
When a person is accused of a cannabis possession offense in Texas, he or she may have any one of a number of possible legal defenses. Every case is different, so it is always beneficial to have an experienced attorney review the unique aspects of your arrest in order to determine which defenses could be applicable to your own situation.
In general, some of the most common defenses against misdemeanor marijuana possession charges in Conroe or surrounding areas include, but are not limited to:
- Unknowing possession;
- Drugs belonged to another person;
- Illegal search and/or seizure;
- Alleged controlled substance was not actually cannabis; or
- Marijuana planted by authorities; or
- Alleged offender was authorized medical marijuana user.
Texas DPS | Texas Arrest Data — View a 2015 report summarizing Texas arrests, including marijuana offenses. Data is broken down by a variety of categories, yet marijuana accounts a majority of drug possession and general drug abuse arrests in virtually every one. In 2015, KRWG-TV/FM reported that 97 percent of marijuana arrests that year were for possession of 2 ounces or less.
Diversion Program | Office of District Attorney, Harris County, Texas — Visit this website to learn more about the MMDP for Harris County. You can also read about the economics of marijuana prosecution and view related infographics. Also find answers to frequently asked questions and download an MMDP press kit.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Defense Lawyer
If you are facing misdemeanor criminal charges for an alleged cannabis possession offense in Montgomery County or Harris County, it will be in your best interest to quickly seek legal counsel. Evans & Powell, PLLC defends individuals in Magnolia, Woodbranch, Panorama Village, Splendora, Cut and Shoot, Porter Heights, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County and Harris County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Conroe who will make every possible effort to help you achieve the most favorable resolution toy our case that results in the fewest possible penalties. Call (936) 622-2000 or complete an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.