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A Step by Step Guide to Hiring a Marijuana Lawyer

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

While many states have legalized marijuana, Texas continues to go against this trend. As many as 40,000 Americans remain incarcerated on marijuana charges and Texas has the highest conviction rates in the nation. Texas is no place to face marijuana charges alone.

Medical and recreational cannabis is legal in 18 states. It is decriminalized in 13 more. Texas is NOT on either of these lists.

While no one can make these statistics make sense, one thing that does make sense is hiring a marijuana lawyer. It is your best option when facing charges for marijuana possession or distribution.

A lawyer who specializes in cannabis law can help you navigate the system far better than you could manage on your own. They know how the courts handle these cases and can get you the best outcome.

But don’t go hiring the first cannabis attorney you find on the internet. Do your research and find the attorney who is the best match for your case. Here’s what you need to do in a few simple steps.

Understand Texas Cannabis Laws

Texas cannabis laws have undergone some changes in the past few years. If you are a cannabis user or operate a cannabis business, it is very important to understand how cannabis laws in the state work.

In 2019, lawmakers made the decision to legalize certain forms of cannabis plants. The goal was to legalize hemp while maintaining the illegal status of marijuana.

This decision has thrown prosecution cases around the state into disarray. Prosecutors are struggling to figure out how to uphold the new laws without a reliable method of testing THC content.

According to Texas cannabis law, marijuana is currently classified as a cannabis plant if it yields a THC concentration of over 1.3 percent. Anything containing less than 0.3 percent THC is considered hemp and is legal.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is legal for cannabis businesses to sell anywhere in Texas. However, it must also be less than 0.3 percent THC.

Overall, it is illegal to use or possess cannabis according to Texas law. However, medical cannabis is legal in Texas in very specific and limited circumstances.

In 2015, Governor Abbott signed into law the Texas Compassionate Use Act. This act allows for people with epilepsy to use cannabis oil that has less than 0.5 percent THC content.

Then, last year, the governor expanded the act to include other qualifying conditions like ALS, MS, and Parkinson’s disease. But the numbers of people that fall under these categories is extremely small and recreational use, the majority of use in the US, is still illegal in Texas.

Get A Marijuana Lawyer On Your Side

A marijuana lawyer is a criminal lawyer with specific expertise in the area of cannabis law. A marijuana lawyer is aware of and current on the state and federal laws related to marijuana possession and cannabis businesses.

Marijuana lawyers are also familiar with the way the courts and specific judges handle marijuana-related cases. They specialize in keeping their clients out of trouble.

They are able to do this because they keep up with the rapidly changing marijuana laws and the constitutional rights surrounding them. For example, they can determine how evidence against their clients was obtained or if the authorities violated your rights, or if the methods used were unconstitutional.

Look For a Cannabis Lawyer With These Qualities

The benefits of hiring a marijuana lawyer to handle your case are clear. But finding the right lawyer for your case isn’t always as cut and dried. Here’s what you need to look for when interviewing potential marijuana lawyers.

Licensed and Educated

As with any other type of attorney, a cannabis lawyer needs a license to practice law. To obtain a license to practice criminal law, a lawyer must have the proper education and credentials.

First, the lawyer needs to have graduated from an accredited undergraduate university. After that, they must obtain a law degree from a reputable law school.

Finally, they need to have passed the bar exam in the state where they practice. You should be able to find out whether the lawyer you are interviewing is educated and licensed by looking at their website.

Cannabis Law Experience

Hiring any run-of-the-mill criminal lawyer isn’t necessarily going to turn out terribly for you. However, the key to getting the best possible outcome for your case is to hire a criminal lawyer who specializes in cannabis law.

In order to have expertise in the cannabis industry, a marijuana lawyer needs to have tried and won many marijuana-related cases. They also need to be aware of the current marijuana laws and regulations.

Prosecution Experience

It is in your best interest to consider marijuana lawyers who also have experience working as prosecutors. This is extremely important if you want to get the best possible outcome.

Only a lawyer with cannabis law prosecutorial experience will understand the inner workings of how the court prosecutes drug cases. Essentially, they have the insider knowledge needed to win your case.

Local Expertise

When you’re looking for a cannabis attorney, it is important to focus your search on your local area. You will have better luck working with an attorney who practices in the county where your charges were filed.

Your marijuana lawyer will need to keep track of case law and specific policy changes in the state where you were charged. So, naturally, you will benefit from working with a lawyer who has experience in your state.

Likeability and Compassion

You might think that getting the most expensive lawyer with the best track record is what will give you the best chance of winning your case. But what really matters is that your lawyer is able to relate to you.

Hiring a lawyer who doesn’t partake in drinking alcohol or who disapproves of cannabis use isn’t in the best position to defend you.

The personal element your lawyer brings to the court is essential. Your lawyer is the bridge between you and the court. It is your lawyer’s job to humanize you to the court and persuade them to give you the benefit of the doubt.

If they can’t relate to your circumstances, how can they represent you in a positive light?

Inspires Trust and Confidence

On a related note, it is of the utmost importance to choose a marijuana lawyer with whom you have confidence and trust. You need to feel comfortable talking to your lawyer about personal, confidential information.

If you don’t feel you can trust your lawyer, your working relationship and your case will suffer. Find a lawyer who cares about you, who listens well, and who respects you as a person.

Consult a Cannabis Attorney

Texas cannabis laws are more complicated and confusing than ever right now. Don’t leave your personal freedom up to chance.

If you’ve been charged with charges related to marijuana possession or the operation of a cannabis business, it is in your best interest to consult with a marijuana lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry and Texas law.

Looking for a top marijuana lawyer in Montgomery County, Texas? Contact experienced Woodlands criminal defense attorney Andrea M. Kolski today.

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