Every year in Texas about 70,000 people are arrested for marijuana possession, while about 1,500 more are arrested for marijuana sales.
In fact, according to the most recent data from the FBI, nationwide there were more than 700,000 arrests for alleged marijuana offenses in 2014, and nearly 90 percent of those arrests were for possession alone. That means, over the course of the year, marijuana arrests occurred at a rate of once every 51 seconds.
Although public opinion is shifting toward marijuana reform, the penalties for a marijuana conviction in Texas are still life-altering.
In one of our recent posts, we discussed how an increasing number of Texans support marijuana legalization.
Still, if convicted of possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana in Texas, a person faces the possibility of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The possible penalties increase as the amount of marijuana increases, with a conviction for possessing more than 2,000 pounds resulting in a mandatory 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up of to $50,000.
Additionally, a marijuana conviction can result in negative collateral consequences, such as suspension of your driver's license, difficulty finding employment and difficulty renting a home. If you are a student convicted of a marijuana offense, then you could lose your student loans.
With the stakes this high, it is crucial to explore every available legal option for protecting your rights, freedom and future.
Don't let an encounter with law enforcement have a negative impact on your life for years to come. Contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney for early intervention in your case.
With offices in McKinney and Sherman, Texas, the criminal defense lawyers of Nix | Poet are strong advocates for people accused of drug offenses. Not everyone charged with a marijuana crime is guilty, and too often police officers violate the rights of the accused.
For more on criminal defense in North Texas, please see our drug crime overview.