The offense of Possession of Marijuana carries different punishments depending on the amount possessed. The most common mistake made by those accused is to say that they did not own the marijuana. The offense is possession, however, and the State will get a conviction if the State can prove the accused is in care, custody, management, or control of the substance. Another issue the State will have to prove is whether the amount was usable.
Range of Punishment
If the usable amount of marijuana is:
- less than 2 ounces - jail time up to 6 months and/or a fine up to $2,000
- 2-4 ounces: jail time up to 1 year and/or a fine up to $4,000
- 4 oz. - 5 lbs.: 180 days to 2 years in a State Jail Facility and a fine up to $10,000
- 5 lbs. - 50 lbs.: 2-10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- 50 lbs. - 2,000 lbs.: 2-10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- over 2,000 lbs.: 5-99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $50,000
That is not all the punishment the accused faces upon conviction. Upon conviction, DPS will suspend your driver's license for 6 months.
In addition, if you are in 1000 feet of a school, park, or in another designated "drug free zone," the punishment increases substantially. For instance, if the amount is less than 2 ounces, the jail time increases to 1 year and the fine up to $4,000.
Don't risk these significant punishments if you are accused of possessing marijuana. There are ways an experienced attorney can challenge the methods by which you were arrested or searched and there are types of probation possible that will not result in the suspension of your license.