Possession of Marijuana

What is Possession of Marijuana?

POM, or Possession of Marijuana is a criminal offense in Texas for possessing marijuana -- at least for now. The offense does not require ownership of the marijuana, or even proof that it's yours. The prosecutors merely must prove that a person had knowledge of and control over the marijuana. Which means if the marijuana is in a backpack at a persons feet, or in a center console of a car, it's the same as if the marijuana were in the person's pocket.

With any marijuana offense, if the case ends with a final conviction, then the person loses their driver's license (or the ability to get a license) for six months. The driver's license will not be reinstated or valid again until the person completes the Drug Offender Education Program (DOEP), even if it's been longer than six months.

Lastly, a conviction for Possession of Marijuana can have effects on student financial aid, since it is considered a Drug Conviction, and may have to be disclosed on FAFSA forms or private funding institutes.


What You Need To Know

For first time offenders, even if the POM is easily proven by the prosecutor (for instance, if there are no Suppression Motion or Jury Trial issues), we can still try to avoid a conviction on your record. Call us to discuss the chances of Dismissing your POM case.

Also, if the marijuana is within a school zone or a park then the offense can be enhanced to a more serious offense (for instance, from a Class B to a Class A Misdemeanor).

With any POM case, there should be a detailed analysis of the case for any illegal search or illegal detention issues. If the officer did not properly conduct a lawful search when discovering the marijuana, there may be suppression Motion issues that could help or dismiss the case.

Second, because it's a drug related conviction, a POM case could have an effect on Student Loans and the FAFSA application. Lastly, in some cases DPS has been suspending a person's Texas Driver's License because the POM is drug related, causing a six month driver's license suspension.


Closely Related Offenses

Related areas to Possession of Marijuana include Possession of Controlled Substance (POCS) cases, and even Drug DWI - Driving While Influenced.

If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.


Jail Release and Bond for Possession of Marijuana

In Travis County, a POM results in a cite and release ticket to be issued. This means a person will not be taken to jail, and instead needs to report to the court listed on the ticket. Currently, POM still has a maximum punishment of 6 months in jail, if a Class B misdemeanor, so be sure to follow the instructions on the ticket. POM is not a ticket in the general sense; Travis County has decided to issue a ticket rather than taking a person to jail -- but the person still needs to report to court or a warrant can be issued, which will result in jail and possibly other charges being added for failing to appear in court.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant , which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.


Defenses for Possession of Marijuana

Defenses for POM are fairly straightforward, and often center on whether the person knew the item was present -- for instance when a pipe is found in the backseat of a car after driving friends around. Other defenses include whether there is the intent to use the item in relationship to a drug.

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.


Work with an Experienced Possession of Marijuana Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Possession of Marijuana cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.


Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.


How We Can Help

Your goal should be Dismissal for any Possession of Marijuana charge. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Keates Law Firm has a track record of dismissals for Possession of Marijuana. Most Possession of Marijuana cases result in negotiated dismissals, where there's usually a trade-off of community service and a class in exchange for a dismissal -- but not always. The main hurdle is convincing the prosecutor to agree to dismiss the case, and Keates Law Firm has experience in Austin's Travis County courts doing just that.


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Sec. 481.121. POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA.

(a) Except as authorized by this chapter, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marihuana.

What are the Punishments for Possession of Marijuana?

If the amount of Marijuana is less than two ounces, then it's a Class B Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and/or $2,000 in fines. Between 2 ounces and 4 ounces is a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail and/or $4,000 in fines. Over 4 ounces of Marijuana is a felony.


Penalties for Marijuana
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Fine Only, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines
State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail, and/or no more than $10,000 fines
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

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