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Marijuana Possession Lawyer in Austin

As of 2017 Texas state law still carries harsh punishments for possession of marijuana (POM). If you're charged with marijuana possession in Austin, a top marijuana defense attorney can be the difference between a dismissed case and a permanent criminal record.

Penalty for possessing marijuana
	in Austin
Possession of marijuana can mean time behind bars

The criminal penalties for a conviction of POM in Austin are set by the Texas Health and Safety Code. They are determined primarily by the amount seized:

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Texas
AmountClassificationMax FineJail Time
Less than 2 ouncesClass B Misdemeanor$2000Max 6 months
2–4 ouncesClass A Misdemeanor$4000Max 12 months
More than 4 ouncesFelony$10000Min 180 days
Source: Texas Health and Safety Code

As a former prosecutor, Sue Berkel has over 30 years of experience with criminal drug charges in Austin. Call today for a free consultation.

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Questions about Marijuana Possession in Austin

Texas Laws on Marijuana Possession

According to the FBI, there were over 135,000 Texas arrests for drug-related offenses in 2014. For Southern states, close to 50% of such arrests are for simple possession of marijuana. Therefore the number of POM arrests is comparable to all other drug-related charges combined.

If you're cited for possession of marijuana in Austin, the buds and seeds will count towards the total weight of the marijuana. The following penalties apply to marijuana possession depending on the weight range:

Full Penalty Table for Texas Possession of Marijuana
AmountClassificationMax FineJail Time
Less than 2 ouncesClass B Misdemeanor$2000Max 6 months
2–4 ouncesClass A Misdemeanor$4000Max 12 months
4 ounces–5 poundsState Jail Felony$10000Min 180 days
5 pounds–50 pounds3rd Degree Felony$100002–10 years
50 pounds–2000 pounds2nd Degree Felony$100002–20 years
More than 2000 pounds1st Degree Felony$50000 5–99 years
Source: Texas Health and Safety Code

Hiring a Lawyer for Marijuana Concentrates

An increasingly common trend in Austin is the police seizure of marijuana edibles such as pot brownies. Texas law does not consider these substances marijuana, but rather drugs in Penalty Group 2. This penalty group includes many drugs generally considered more serious than marijuana, such as ecstasy, PCP, magic mushrooms, amphetamine, and mescaline. The penalty for a conviction of this type is a felony, which carries a mandatory jail sentence. You can be convicted for the possession of a Penalty Group 2 substance even if it is a very small amount.

Penalties for Marijuana Derivatives
Less than 1 gramState Jail Felony180 days–2 years
1–4 grams3rd Degree Felony2–10 years
4–400 grams2nd Degree Felony2–20 years
More than 400 grams1st Degree Felony5 years–life
Source: Texas Health and Safety Code

As if these punishments were not harsh enough for marijuana concentrate, there is an additional risk associated with possession of marijuana derivative products in Texas.

In a publicized 2014 case, a man in Round Rock was charged with possession of a large batch of marijuana brownies. Because the legal code counts "adulterants and dilutants" as part of a controlled substance's weight, the full weight of the brownies (over a pound) was used by the Williamson County prosecution in determining the amount of substance in possession by the defendant. A pound of a Penalty Group 2 controlled substance is classified as a first degree felony, which entails a mandatory sentence from five years to life in prison.

Though the first-degree-felony charge in the Round Rock case was ultimately dropped, it underscored just how vulnerable Austin residents are to severe penalties if found in possession of cannabis edibles. Since the number of similar cases is very low, there is not a clear legal precedent for how possession of edibles will be handled by courts in Texas. If you have been charged with possession of any marijuana derivatives, it will be imperative to contact a seasoned criminal lawyer familiar with marijuana offenses.

Additional Consequences of a Marijuana Conviction

A conviction of marijuana possession in Austin also triggers an automatic suspension of your driver's license for 6 months. If you are later charged with driving with a suspended license, jail time can be the result.

As with many convictions, a permanent criminal record can affect one's prospects for employment, education, credit, and housing in the future. It can also lead to problems traveling internationally.

You Need an Experienced Marijuana Lawyer

The Law Offices of Sue Berkel has extensive experience defending the rights of those accused of marijuana possession. Contact us today for a free consultation on your POM charge.

Education and Licenses

Sue Berkel has lived in Austin since 1976 and graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 1980. She obtained her law degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1983. She has been licensed to practice in Texas since 1984 and in the Federal District Court in the Western District since 1986.

A Former Prosecutor

Ms. Berkel worked as Assistant Attorney General at the Texas Attorney General's Office, handling cases involving day care centers in which abuse or neglect was alleged. After more than one hundred trials and appellate arguments in both federal and state courts, she emerged with an over 90 percent win record. This experience as a former prosecutor gives Sue a valuable perspective in any marijuana possession case. She knows how prosecutors think and knows how to counter their arguments.

A Former Judge

Ms. Berkel also served as a judge at the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings. She rose to the rank of Senior Administrative Law Judge, the highest designation offered. Together with experience as a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer, this experience as a judge makes Sue Berkel one of the most well rounded marijuana lawyers in the Austin area.

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Resources on Marijuana Laws