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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
While nearby states may have legalized cannabis, Texas authorities still take marijuana offenses seriously. Being caught with even a small amount of cannabis or THC concentrate could lead to harsh penalties, including jail time.
If you were arrested for possession of cannabis flower or THC, you should strongly consider retaining legal counsel. For help protecting your rights and fighting for a positive resolution to your charges, contact an Odessa drug lawyer immediately.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana in Odessa?
In Odessa and throughout Texas, there are two different discussions about marijuana. The actual green cannabis flower is treated very differently from its extracts, including THC concentrates, oil pens, and edibles. All forms of marijuana are illegal in the state of Texas. Dallas County may not prosecute for less than two ounces, but that is not the case in West Texas.
The penalties for possession of loose leaf marijuana vary depending on the weight of the drug:
- Two ounces of loose leaf marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the county jail and up to a $2,000 fine
- Two to four ounces is a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in the county jail and up to a $4,000 fine
- Four ounces to five pounds is a state felony punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail
- Five pounds to 50 pounds is a third-degree felony, which has a range of punishment of two to 10 years in prison.
- Fifty to 2,000 pounds is a second-degree felony
- anything above 2,000 pounds is a first-degree felony
The penalties increase sharply when the substance in question is a marijuana concentrate or extract. As soon as THC is processed into another form, such as wax or oil, possession of any amount is a state jail felony.
Long-Term Impact of a Marijuana Possession Conviction
If a person gets convicted of marijuana possession, they will have a drug conviction on their record and their Texas driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time. If the individual has an out-of-state driver’s license, Texas will request that the other state suspend the license. This formality falls under the “Interstate Compact Act,” which is a reciprocity agreement between most of the states in the country.
Additionally, a person can lose their right to have a concealed handgun license for five years after a conviction for even a class B misdemeanor. For some people, the most serious consequences is the impact on educational funding. Under federal law, if a person is convicted of a drug charge, then their right to federal student loans, Pell Grants, Stafford loans, etc. will be suspended for one year.
Imagine a young person who went to Colorado for a good time and was caught bringing marijuana back into Texas. Without an Odessa marijuana lawyer to represent their best interests, they may plea to probation. If it is a straight probation, they have a drug conviction for the rest of their life and they probably will lose their Texas driver’s license. If they are relying on a program or student loan, that is going to be suspended for a year once the feds find out about it.
Contact an Experienced Odessa Marijuana Attorney
Anyone charged with a marijuana-related offense in Odessa needs to understand that in Texas, cannabis possession is a serious criminal offense. Without a strong defense, an individual could have lifelong consequences, and may even serve time in jail. It is critical to consider hiring an Odessa marijuana lawyer who handles these type of cases on a weekly basis and is familiar with the area. An experienced attorney could investigate each case to see if there are issues with the traffic stop, the detention, or the arrest that can be challenged in court.