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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
If you are facing charges of possession of marijuana concentrates, you may initially think that the charges are not serious. After all, although marijuana is certainly not legal in the state of Texas, the penalties for a marijuana charge are much less harsh that for other illegal drugs. However, under Texas law, THC concentrates are not considered the same drug as loose marijuana.
As a result, you may want to seek the advice of a Lubbock possession of marijuana concentrates lawyer before pleading guilty or otherwise admitting to these charges. With a dedicated criminal defense attorney by your side, you could craft a strong defense strategy and fight for a positive resolution to your charges.
What are THC Concentrates?
THC concentrates contain resin that comes from cannabis. These concentrates come in different forms or consistencies and may be known as wax, dabs, oil, shatter, crumble, or budder. Individuals use these substances in different ways, such as by smoking, vaping with THC oil cartridges, eating, or rubbing it on their skin.
Marijuana Concentrates are Controlled Substances
Under Texas law, controlled substances are assigned to penalty groups according to their perceived harms. All substances in a particular penalty group are subject to the same levels of punishment, but sentencing may vary based on the amount of the substance in question.
However, under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.183, marijuana has its own penalty group that it shares with no other drug. Nonetheless, marijuana concentrates, which contain THC, are classified not in the penalty group for marijuana, but in Penalty Group 2, pursuant to Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.103, with various other types of controlled substances.
Charges for possession of Penalty Group 2 controlled substances are far more serious than those for marijuana possession, due to a huge disparity in the potential penalties.
Potential Penalties for Possession of Concentrated THC
According to Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116, possession of a THC concentrate is always a felony charge. The severity of the felony charges depends on the weight in grams of the concentrate that individuals have in their possession. This weight may be artificially inflated in the case of edibles, because the weight of the food also counts as part of the weight of the THC concentrate.
Possession of less than one gram of a THC concentrate is a state jail felony. Possession of one to four grams of a THC concentrate is a felony of the third degree, and four to 399 grams is a felony of the second degree. 400 grams or more of a THC concentrate constitutes a felony of the first degree.
The resulting penalties are very harsh, just as they would be for other controlled substances in Penalty Group 2. Even a state jail felony carries a sentence of incarceration of between 180 day and two years, and the sentences increase as the felony level increases. If charged with first degree felonies for possessing 400 or more grams of THC concentrates, individuals can potentially face a sentence ranging from five years to life in prison.
Aside from the potential sentences of incarceration, individuals convicted of any of these felonies may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000. Individuals’ drivers’ licenses also are subject to automatic suspension because their convictions involve possession of a controlled substance. Given these high stakes, it is advisable to consult with a Lubbock possession of THC concentrates attorney before attempting to handle the charges alone.
How a Lubbock Possession of THC Concentrates Attorney Could Help
The differences in potential penalties for marijuana possession and THC concentrates possession is vast, and the consequences of a felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance are severe. Working with a Lubbock possession of marijuana concentrates lawyer may help you determine your options, build a defense, and resolve your charges as positively and efficiently as possible.