Ticket for Possession of Marijuana in Austin?
In order to save local law enforcement the time and costs associated with the arrest of such offenses as marijuana possession, the Austin Police Department and the Travis County Sheriff’s Department, at an officer’s discretion, have the ability to issue tickets for certain possession of marijuana offenses instead of actually physically arresting someone and taking them to the Travis County Jail. While a person may not initially be booked into the Travis County jail, the marijuana possession case will still show up on the person’s criminal record and they will still have to go through the process of going to court to defend the marijuana charge. The marijuana ticket is still considered an arrest for the purposes of a criminal background check and will be available to the public. As you can see, a ticket for possession of marijuana is not a joke in Texas.
A Ticket for Possession of Marijuana is Not Just a Fine
Some people have incorrectly assumed that because they were cited for possession of marijuana as opposed to being physically arrested and taken to the Travis County Jail, that the offense of possession of marijuana is similar to a traffic citation. A marijuana ticket is not something that you just pay a fine for and the case is over. If you receive a marijuana ticket, you also face, at the very minimum, up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. It is important to understand that the fine you face for a marijuana ticket is the same amount as the fine you would face if you had actually been arrested for a possession of marijuana at the time of the incident. Again, that fine is up to $2,000, for a Class B Misdemeanor charge, which is the misdemeanor charge for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.
The cite and release ticket programs have been implemented by both the Austin Police Department and the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. The decision of whether or not to arrest an individual for possession of marijuana is discretionary by the officer.
Marijuana Ticket Process in Travis County
The defendants that are cited and released for their marijuana charge instead of being arrested at the time of the offense, they will be given a citation and directed to Travis County JP 5 Court or Travis County Justice of the Peace 5. These defendants will go through the magistration process, the bonding process, and will then, like everyone else who was actually arrested for possession of marijuana, be required to return to court for their marijuana charge.
Marijuana Possession Defense Attorney in Austin
It is in a person’s best interest to hire or consult an Austin criminal defense lawyer as soon as they have been arrested or cited for possession of marijuana. A defense attorney can examine the case while the details of the detention or arrest are fresh on a person’s mind. A defense attorney can also meet with the defendant to fill out bonding paperwork and prepare in advance for having to go to Travis County JP 5 to take care of the magistration and bonding processes. This may considerably speed up the walk-through process as well as help prepare the defendant in regards as to what to expect.
If you have been arrested or charged with drug possession or a drug-related charge and are confused or unsure how to proceed, please call Attorney Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626 for a free consultation. You may also contact us through email.