Marijuana Ticket in Austin?
Many individuals are confused and worried about what to do after they have been given a marijuana ticket in Austin, Texas. This confusion stems from the relatively new “cite and release” law that allows police officers to issue someone a ticket for possession of marijuana for possession of smaller amounts of marijuana, rather than arresting them at the time of the incident and taking them to the Travis County Jail.
Ticket for Possession of Marijuana in Austin
Practically speaking, a “cite and release” occurs when a person is cited with a ticket for possession of marijuana and then released after promising to appear to court before a certain date. In Austin, this appearance is usually made at Travis County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 or JP 5. It is usually at this first appearance that the individual will go through all the normal booking procedures, just as if they had been arrested at the time of the incident. For example, the person will appear before a judge, be photographed, have their fingerprints taken and will have to post a bail bond. They will also have to return to criminal court to face the marijuana possession charge, just like anyone else who is arrested and released on bond. As you can see, if you have received a marijuana ticket in Austin, you need to treat it just like an arrest.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in Texas
The penalties for marijuana possession in Texas usually depend on the amount of the drug and where it was found. In Texas, possession of marijuana under 2 oz is classified as a Class B misdemeanor and is considered the least serious type of marijuana offense. However, even a Class B misdemeanor carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,000 in fines.
Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession:
- Two ounces or less. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both.
- More than two ounces, but less than four ounces. Penalties include a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Felony Possession of Marijuana:
- Four ounces or more, up to and including five pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between 180 days and two years in prison, or both.
- More than five pounds, up to and including 50 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between two and ten years in prison, or both.
- More than 50 pounds, up to and including 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between two and 20 years in prison, or both.
- More than 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $50,000, between five and 99 years in prison, or both.
Additional Penalties for Possession of Marijuana
In addition to the penalties for marijuana possession under Texas law, there are also collateral consequences for a marijuana conviction in Texas. For example, you may have your Texas Driver’s License suspended and a permanent marijuana conviction on your criminal history. You may also be denied employment, student loans, housing and face the stigma of being a drug user.
The Travis County Criminal Court’s can be scary, confusing and stressful. If you have been arrested for any type of criminal charge, you should seek legal counsel immediately. Prosecutors in Texas take great pride in their conviction rate, which makes it critical that you have your own skilled lawyer who can work hard on your behalf and who will fight to keep your criminal record clean.
Austin Marijuana Lawyer
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or have received a marijuana ticket in Austin, TX, please call Attorney Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. You may also contact us through email. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett will take your misdemeanor or felony possession case seriously and will work with you to develop a defense that may be able to keep a drug conviction off of your criminal record.