Possession of Marijuana in Texas
Fort Worth Marijuana Attorney
So, the police charged you with possession of marijuana or at least arrested you for being near marijuana. Now, you are trying to find a lawyer to defend your marijuana possession charges. We have defended literally hundreds of marijuana cases. We want to help you avoid having a conviction on your permanent criminal record. You can visit our Fort Worth law firm, today, to discuss your case.
We have a particular interest in marijuana defense for several reasons. One, we support efforts for reasonable marijuana law reform. Two, these cases often present interesting legal issues related to the Fourth Amendment. Finally, we believe most people facing these charges are not criminals and do not deserve a permanent criminal history.
Possible Defenses to Marijuana Charges
The defense lawyer handling your marijuana possession case should be able to discuss all possible defenses applying to you situation. Winning your case may include getting the charges dropped or dismissed and sometimes it may mean getting a “Not Guilty” jury verdict. Defense of marijuana charges requires well thought out strategies and tactics.
Some possible defenses to marijuana charges in Texas include:
- Evidence exclusion based on law enforcement unlawfully stopping your vehicle;
- Evidence excluded based on law enforcement unlawfully entering your home;
- Statements thrown out of evidence because law enforcement failed to properly give Miranda Warnings;
- Other constitutional violations by police officers leading to dismissal;
- Law enforcement procedural violations making evidence inadmissible;
- Entrapment by police or other law enforcement;
- Prosecutor failing to prove THC content of seized substance;
- Insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction.
James Luster and Cody Cofer were both prosecutors before becoming criminal defense attorneys. Sit down with them to explore all of the possible defenses to your marijuana charge.
Approach to Possession of Marijuana Charges in Texas
Question 1: Charges thrown out of court?
Marijuana charges, like most drug charges, often hinge on whether evidence was legally obtained by police. In Texas, judges do not throw marijuana cases out of court before trial. Instead, your lawyer can file a “motion to suppress evidence” based on an illegal search and seizure. This may result in the government dismissing your marijuana charge.
Basically, if the police discovered marijuana (or any other evidence) as a result of the police violating your privacy or property rights (Fourth Amendment) then the marijuana should be “suppressed.” Suppressed in this context means the government cannot use it as evidence in your possession of marijuana prosecution (trial). Without the marijuana, the government usually dismisses the charge.
Take note, federal laws related to suppressing evidence are different and less favorable than those in Texas. So, if you have a federal drug charge, call and speak with Cody Cofer (former Assistant Federal Public Defender) and Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney.
This area of law revolves around the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Texas Constitution Article 1 Section 9, and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 38.23. Despite what you might find on different sources related to your rights about search and seizure, very few rules are cut-and-dry. Instead, Fourth Amendment issues have been changing and becoming more complicated since 1914 when a landmark case, Weeks v. United States, was decided by the Supreme Court. So, back to why you need a legal scholar or expert criminal lawyer on your marijuana charge. If you do not have a really good legal reason to throw the marijuana out of court, then we move to Question 2.
Sometimes, if your lawyer has a good relationship with the prosecuting attorney (i.e. he is well known in Tarrant County), then the prosecutor (District Attorney or County Attorney) will listen to your lawyer with an open mind. If your lawyer does a good job of showing the prosecutor the legal issues with the case, the case could be dismissed without having an actual motion to suppress hearing in front of the judge. This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to use a local attorney for your marijuana charge. James Luster was a prosecutor for Tarrant County for years, and now his criminal defense law office is only a few blocks from the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center (downtown Fort Worth, TX).
Question 2: Program allowing you to expunge your marijuana charges in Texas?
The second question is an example of why you want a Tarrant County criminal defense attorney. Every county has different rules and policies about the programs offered for possession of marijuana cases. Ultimately our goal is to get your marijuana charge off of your record, right? The fastest way to do this may be to enroll in a “drug diversion program.”
These programs have strict deadlines and criteria. Unfortunately, out-of-town attorneys often do not get the latest information about these diversion programs. James Luster and Cody Cofer are criminal defense attorneys focused primarily on Tarrant County cases. This includes misdemeanor marijuana charges filed in Tarrant County. So, they spend a lot of time and effort staying familiar with the different programs available to people charged with possession of marijuana in this county. They are members of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, so they get regular email updates and are involved in forum discussions about changing policies. They are able to go to meetings and continuing education focused on the policies and procedures unique to Tarrant County. Most importantly, they are in the Tarrant County criminal courthouse (where your marijuana case is filed) almost every working day.
First time offender drug programs are the least risky way to get a marijuana charge off of your record.
If we can’t get your marijuana case thrown out or get you into a program that leads to expunging the marijuana charge from your record, then we turn to Question 3.
Question 3: How can we get this marijuana charge dismissed in Texas?
The third question is why you want a professional, trustworthy lawyer for your marijuana case. Think about it… If you are charged with possession of marijuana, and the police have a great case against you (without any legal issues), why would a prosecutor dismiss your marijuana charge? It is our job (client and attorney) to give them a good reason.
You have to realize that prosecutors are people. They may have even made a mistake once in their lives. Also, prosecutors (most prosecutors) are not interested in ruining lives just because they can. Instead, prosecutors want their jobs to make a difference. So, it is our job to show the prosecutors that you are taking your possession of marijuana charges seriously. Also, to show the prosecutor that sticking you with a conviction for possession of marijuana or a controlled substance would only hurt you and you do not need such a harsh outcome to correct your behavior.
We are not going to ask anyone to lie by promising they will never smoke weed again. We will ask you to stop smoking long enough to provide some clean specimens for urinalysis. Community service or a Texas Drug Offender Education (DOEP) class may be a part of our plan. Regardless, we keep our (client and attorney) focus on getting your marijuana case dismissed, so you can later get the case expunged.
This is the part of our strategy where your employment, education, and community record pay off. We need to paint a complete picture of who you are. The prosecutor may only see you as a possession of marijuana case. It is the job of your defense attorney to demonstrate for the prosecutor that you are not just a case.