Phillip A. Linder
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by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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Marijuana possession charges are serious business in Texas

A half dozen states are enjoying legalized recreational marijuana for adults. Nearly half of the states overall have implemented medical marijuana laws. For some, it may seem like marijuana possession charges are not a very big deal anymore. However, in the state of Texas, marijuana possession charges can drastically alter your life. A significant number of Texas prisoners are there on drug charges, and they often face longer sentences than those accused of assault or other violent crimes. If you have been arrested for or charged with marijuana possession, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Even first time offenders face big penalties

They say that everything is bigger in Texas. That is certainly true when it comes to punishments for those convicted under state drug laws. If you are charged with possession of marijuana, you could face serious fines or even incarceration. First time offenders found in possession of natural state marijuana of any amount, up to two ounces, face up to 180 days in prison as well as $2,000 in fines.

Those found to be in possession of hash, butane hash oil (BHO) or other marijuana concentrates will face felony charges. Any amount will result in felony charges. Those charge bring with them between 180 days and two years in prison, as well as a fine of $10,000. Those who are found in possession of more than a single gram but less than four could face between two and ten years in prison, in addition to that massive $10,000 fine.

Medical marijuana won't be a realistic defense

Many people believe, because they are using marijuana to treat serious medical conditions, such as epilepsy or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that the courts will show them compassion. That belief is a mistake, however. The Texas medical marijuana law provides only for the possession of high CBD, low THC marijuana extracts. Other forms of marijuana concentrates or natural-state marijuana are not protected under the medical marijuana law. If you weren't actively complying with the highly restrictive state program, you will not be able to use it in your defense when facing marijuana charges.

An experienced defense attorney can make all the difference

When you're facing marijuana charges, working with a public defender is not in your best interest. They are over-worked and likely not experts in marijuana defense. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands Texas marijuana laws is your best option. From challenging evidence gathered improperly to requesting diversion to substance abuse programs, your attorney can provide you with options.

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