Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney - Marijuana Charges
Montgomery County Texas Marijuana Charge Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.
Marijuana use is still illegal under Texas law, and those who are arrested for possession, sale, or distribution of the drug face serious consequences. The consequences of a marijuana arrest can be severe and long-lasting, affecting a person's employment, housing, and personal relationships. In this article, we will discuss the consequences of a marijuana arrest from a Texas law perspective and provide an overview of the relevant case law.
Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Offenses
In Texas, the punishment for a marijuana offense depends on the amount of the drug involved and the specific crime charged. Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of larger amounts can result in more severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to life and large fines. The sale or distribution of marijuana is also a serious crime in Texas, with penalties ranging from imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000 for less than one gram to life in prison for large amounts.
Affirmative Links in Marijuana Cases
An affirmative link is a legal term used to describe evidence that establishes a connection between a defendant and a crime. In a marijuana case, an affirmative link may consist of physical evidence of the drug or drug paraphernalia, witness testimony, or other evidence that ties the defendant to the drug. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must establish an affirmative link between the defendant and the marijuana.
Courts have held that the presence of a weapon and large sums of cash each have some relevance to the issue of knowing possession of illegal drugs because weapons are often used to protect contraband and money is collected on its sale. See, e.g., Hargrove v. State, 211 S.W.3d 379, 386 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2006, pet. ref'd) (considering presence of weapon as affirmative link); Taylor v. State, 106 S.W.3d 827, 831 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2003, no pet.) (viewing presence of weapons and cash as affirmative links); Porter v. State, 873 S.W.2d 729, 733 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1994, pet. ref'd) (viewing presence of weapons as affirmative link).
Molina v. State, NO. 01-18-00604-CR, 9 (Tex. App. Oct. 22, 2019).
Molina v. State, 593 S.W.3d 51 (Tex. Crim. App. 2019) is a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals case from 2019 that dealt with the issue of affirmative links in drug cases.
In this case, the defendant, Molina, was charged with possession of a controlled substance after a police officer found drugs in his car during a traffic stop. The prosecution relied on the physical evidence of the drugs to establish an affirmative link between Molina and the drugs.
The defense argued that the evidence was obtained illegally and should be suppressed because the officer did not have probable cause to search the car. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected this argument and held that the officer had probable cause to search the car because he smelled the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the car.
The court held that the presence of the odor of burnt marijuana, combined with the officer's training and experience, provided sufficient probable cause to justify the search of the car. As a result, the court found that the evidence was admissible, and the affirmative link between Molina and the drugs was established.
Civil Consequences of a Marijuana Arrest
In addition to the criminal penalties associated with a marijuana arrest, there are also numerous civil consequences that can result from a conviction. For example, a person convicted of a marijuana offense may face difficulty finding employment, as many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record. Additionally, a person convicted of a marijuana offense may be ineligible for certain public benefits, such as housing assistance or student loans.
The civil consequences of a marijuana arrest can be severe and long-lasting, and they should be taken into consideration by anyone facing charges for a marijuana-related crime. If you have been arrested for a marijuana offense in Texas, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and defend you against the charges.
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