“What happens if you get caught with weed in Texas?” This is a question that’s quickly making its way to the top of our FAQ — and with good reason.
The legal status of marijuana and its many variants has undergone years of incremental change across the United States, with some states embracing its medicinal and recreational potential and others, like Texas, maintaining strict laws against its possession.
Although Texas maintains laws against the possession of marijuana, attitudes have become more relaxed on hemp, CBD, and the many kinds of THC on the market — and the weed laws in Texas have changed to become more accepting to follow.
If you are caught with weed in the Lone Star State, you can be arrested and you can be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony in some cases. If you or a loved one has been arrested for drug possession in Texas, call the attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 to begin defending your freedom.
What happens if I bring weed to Texas?
You might have heard that HPD is no longer prosecuting for possession of small amounts of cannabis, or that first-time drug possession charges in Texas are no longer very serious, but weed is still illegal (and probably will be for some time) in Texas.
If you bring weed across state lines and into Texas, even if the weed was purchased legally in a different state, you may be violating federal law as well as state law. Like most drug crimes, the severity of the punishment will depend on the amount and classification of drugs possessed, but charges for drug trafficking are always felonies, and always come with significant jail time.
*Continue reading about the classifications of drugs in Texas.
What is the punishment for marijuana possession in Texas?
Will I do jail time for having weed in Texas? It depends on where you are in Texas, what their current stance on marijuana possession is, how much you’ve been caught with, and whether or not you are committing any other crimes at the time you are caught in possession of marijuana.
The punishments for possession of weed in Texas are as follows:
|< 2 ounces
|Class B misdemeanor
|Up to 180 days
|2 – 4 ounces
|Class A misdemeanor
|Up to 1 year
|4 ounces – 5 pounds
|State jail felony
|180 days – 2 years
|5 – 50 pounds
|2 – 10 years
|50 – 2,000 pounds
|2 – 20 years
|> 2000 pounds
|5 years – life in prison
As you can see, the punishments for personal amounts of marijuana are still significant. It’s crucial to note that these penalties apply to possession for personal use. If you are arrested with a significant quantity of marijuana, it is likely that you will also be charged with intent to distribute, which carries even harsher penalties, including longer prison sentences and larger fines.
Do Texas police prosecute for possession of small amounts of cannabis?
Some cities in Texas (like Austin and Houston) have decided not to arrest people who are in possession of marijuana. Instead, they’re opting for cite-and-release policies. This is especially true if you’re caught with a gram of weed or a similarly small quantity. Rather than wasting city funds to test samples and arrest individuals, you’re ticketed and released. Harris County also has a Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program, which allows people arrested for possession of small amounts of cannabis to avoid arrests and the creation of a criminal background.
However, this isn’t true throughout Texas.
In some places (like Plano or Montgomery County), they will still actively pursue marijuana possession charges. And keep in mind, Texas law still considers any level of marijuana possession illegal. So even if you do have a small amount and even if you are in a city like Austin, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Even a simple possession charge can impact your life for years to come. Getting a job with a misdemeanor drug charge, sorting out child custody situations, and more common life situations will become increasingly difficult to deal with. No matter where you are in Texas, be careful if you do decide to keep weed on you.
Keep reading: Is weed legal in Houston?
What happens if you get caught driving with weed in Texas?
If you’re caught driving with weed in Texas and you’ve been smoking some, you will likely not only be charged for possession of the marijuana itself but also end up facing a DWI.
Weed DWIs are just as severe as regular DWIs in Texas — in fact, they’re the same charge. Weed DWIs can actually be more complicated than alcohol-related DWIs because there is no legal limit for driving high!
You can drink two beers, take a breathalyzer test that reads .04, and be on your way. But if you take two puffs and a police officer suspects that you are stoned, they are not only incapable of verifying your relative sobriety but there is no legal precedent for it!
Additionally, if you are caught driving high while in possession of weed in Texas, you can likely kiss that diversion program or cite-and-release goodbye. Whether you have two grams or two ounces of marijuana on you, if you’re driving high, Texas police will likely charge you with DWI and drug possession — so be extra careful if you’re traveling with a bag.
What happens if you get caught with edibles or oil in Texas?
Being caught with edibles, or other forms of processed and concentrated THC, is a scary prospect in Texas. THC concentrates are actually categorized as being a more severe form of possession, meaning being caught with as little as a gram of a THC concentrate can land you with a felony charge.
What’s more is that although CBD, hemp products, and Delta-8 are all legal in Texas, being caught with edibles or oil made of these things doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Why? Because police aren’t always able to tell the difference, and they likely won’t believe you when you say that it’s just CBD or Delta-8.
If you’re caught holding the bag, don’t let poor police work and a bad understanding of the science put you away. Hire a lawyer who knows the science and can highlight mistakes and inconsistencies in law enforcement’s methodology, like Mark Thiessen of Thiessen Law Firm. Mark is an ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientist, which is the highest form of recognition given to lawyers by the American Chemical Society. If anybody can shed light on the complex and mysterious nature of drug identification and testing, he can.
Caught with weed in Texas? Call the Houston drug lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm today!
With restrictions on weed in Texas loosening up slightly over the last couple of years, it means that overcoming marijuana possession charges is far more likely. However, beating a drug possession charge in Texas still requires proper defense tactics and a skilled defense team.
At Thiessen Law Firm, we know how to get a possession charge dropped. We can help you fight back against unlawful seizures, faulty testing, and even a lack of knowledge or intent. With over a hundred Not Guilty verdicts and thousands of dismissals, we’re ready to make another success story out of your case.
More Helpful Articles by Thiessen Law Firm:
- Do You Go to Prison for an LSD Possession Charge in Texas?
- Possession of a Controlled Substance in Texas: What You Need To Know
- Does Delta-8 Show Up On a Drug Test?
- Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Texas?
- THC vs. CBD: Can Police Really Tell the Difference?