I was given a ticket for a Possession of Marijuana offense and never went to jail. Do I still need a lawyer?
The short and simple answer to that question is “yes”. In recent years, some Texas cities have implemented “cite and release” programs for possession of marijuana offenses when the amount in possession is small. Cities that implement these programs will leave it up to officer discretion whether to arrest someone caught with small quantities of marijuana or just fingerprint them and give them a ticket. The rationale behind these programs is that this specific charge is not serious enough to waste officer time and resources to take an offender into custody. Because this crime is considered a low-level offense and does not pose a threat to the community, often times, when someone is charged with this type of offense, they are given a ticket and let go.
Many people assume that because they only receive a ticket and were not arrested, they don’t need to hire an attorney. While tickets are issued for these types of charges, they are not the same as a traffic ticket. You will still be charged with a criminal offense, you will be required to come to court and you will be required to dispose of your case properly. Failure to do so may result in your arrest. po
Under Texas law, possession of marijuana under 2 oz. is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. Class B Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days (6 months) in a county jail and an optional fine not to exceed $2,000.00.
The Texas Penal Code also provides that possession of marijuana more than 2 oz. but less than 4 oz. is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. Class A Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in a county jail and an optional fine not to exceed $4,000.00.
As you can see, even though you were not arrested for your possession offense, the consequences of these charges is still serious and could result in the imposition of a jail sentence. If you were caught and given a ticket for a possession of marijuana charge, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney and dispose of your case properly.
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