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How Much Weed Is Too Much? A Guide To Possession Charges

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

It doesn’t matter what’s legal in Colorado, or Nevada when you find yourself holding in Texas. Hemp and CBD are legal, but do you trust that an arresting officer will know the difference? The best way to protect yourself is to know your rights under the law.

Understanding Texas weed laws, how they are applied, and the penalties associated is no different. As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

You may have heard about several of the changes that impact Texas’s enforcement of marijuana laws. It’s only a matter of time until the state gets equipment that’s able to precisely determine the THC content of a plant.

Read on to learn the maximum penalties for each category of weed crime and how charges are determined.

Texas Weed Laws

Texas splits it’s drug penalties across three criteria. These criteria include the qualities of the substance, the amount found, and your proximity to minors and paraphernalia.

Like most states, Texas structures its criminal codes around tiered classifications. Texas marijuana laws allow for class A, B, and C misdemeanors to be charged. They also issue 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree felony charges.

You can read the exact laws as encoded in the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 12 here.

These criteria leave some room to argue about the state of mind of a perpetrator. Did they know minors were nearby? Were they misinformed about the THC content of the product they were buying?

Answering questions like these is why it’s worthwhile to contact an attorney skilled in criminal law to clarify the situation.

Substance Definitions

The first criterion for determining the severity of charges brought concerns the substance(s) found in your possession. Texas law currently makes a distinction for legal hemp and CBD products (those containing less than 0.3 % THC).

The hemp vs marijuana distinction is important for those purchasing medicinal products across state lines in what is known as part of interstate commerce laws. Currently, the recreational use of strains containing THC is illegal.

Shipping hemp is legal in Texas. However, rules regarding the transportation of hemp are murky.

To transport hemp in the state (outside of a postal service, where the package contents are unknown to the carrier) requires a state-issued hemp certificate.

Quantity (Weight)

The second criterion for establishing the severity of charges is weight. Weight can be confusing as you will find both ounces and grams stipulated in the law.

This confusion could lead to charges being brought for several grams under statutes meant for ounces. Making certain that police and court records reflect the right weight is another reason to hire an attorney to fight weed charges.

Intent also affects the charges even with the same weight. For example, possession generally has a lighter penalty than intent to sell.

Cultivation follows possession ounce for ounce, though what gets weighed in a cultivation seizure may be a subject for argument. Arresting officers are unlikely to make a distinction between wet and dry weights.

Proximity Adjustments

The final criterion relates to items and objects found in proximity to the weed. Paraphernalia charges are static but multiples could easily be seen as an attempt to distribute or sell, which raises the charge. You could argue that you have three pipes for a reason but it is likely to be seen otherwise.

Minors within proximity elevate the charge to a felony. This includes selling to and possession near.

Possession Penalties

Possession of weed and paraphernalia can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on weight.

Minors in your proximity make it an automatic felony with fines not to exceed $10,000 for sale of either weed or paraphernalia. Jail time ranges from 180 days to 20 years on a sale.

So, how much weed is a felony in Texas? A THC rich (beyond 0.3%) bud becomes a felony for possession after four ounces. That is just beyond, so four is the cut off with even 4.01 beyond falling into 3rd-degree felony territory.

A 3rd-degree felony comes with 180 days to two years of jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

From four ounces to five pounds is a 3rd-degree felony. From five pounds to fifty is a 2nd-degree. Fifty to 2000 pounds is also a 2nd-degree felony but can double the jail time while keeping the same $10,000 max fine.

Sale Penalties

Sale of weed also falls under misdemeanor by weight but the sale of paraphernalia becomes a felony on subsequent offenses.

Sale of weed is a class B misdemeanor when it is seven grams or less and there is no remuneration. This means that no money or goods change hands. A class B misdemeanor is 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

For seven grams and less with remuneration, it upgrades to a class A misdemeanor. This comes with up to one year jail time and a $4,000 max fine.

Sales beyond seven grams up to five pounds is a 3rd-degree felony. Five to fifty pounds for a 2nd Degree, as well as fifty to 2000. To face a 1st-degree charge you need beyond 2000 pounds and face 10-99 years and a $100,000 max fine.

Hash and Concentrates

These substances are also quantified in grams and are all automatic felony charges. There’s still a distinction made between possession and manufacture/delivery.

For less than a single gram, it is a 3rd-degree felony.

Possession tops out with 10 years to life and $50,000 fine for 400 grams or more.

Manufacturing or delivery increases the charge by a degree per tier until the beyond 400-gram mark. Oddly, this comes with a lower fine of only $10,000.

For a complete list of tiers and their associated charges, read Section 481.120 of the penal code.

Drug Tests

One last thing to know is that falsifying a drug test is a crime. This comes with a class B misdemeanor charge and includes possession of or intent to use anything that can falsify a test.

Failing a test or being convicted of even the smallest possession charge automatically suspends your driver’s license.

Get Justice

Threading your way through the different charges associated with Texas weed laws isn’t easy. Like many criminal charges, you are likely to think you are on the safer side while prosecutors and investigators are hoping for a larger bust.

It’s important to contact us if you have been charged with marijuana possession or a marijuana-related crime. Don’t take your chances that a case will be tossed even if you know you were carrying hemp.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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