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Does jail time come with small marijuana possession charges?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Texas is one of many states that has legalized CBD and hemp. However, marijuana still remains illegal for residents to possess or use within the state’s borders. While Texas has not legalized this drug like other states, it has started to see a reduction in the amount of retribution that those charged with drug crimes experience.

The expensive cost of testing

As police departments throughout the state of Texas have evaluated the amount of annual testing costs that they’re doing in regard to DWI and drug crimes, they’ve decided to switch gears. Traditionally, any individuals with suspected marijuana possession were arrested and charged. The police tested the suspected marijuana to see if it contained more than .03% of THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives a person the notable high feelings linked with marijuana use. To reduce the costs spent on testing suspected marijuana, police departments have switched from administering arrests to issuing citations.

Jail overcrowding

With social distancing guidelines present in 2020, many jails let individuals with lesser drug crimes be released early. To help avoid overcrowding from the start, many police departments are lessening the charges associated with having small amounts of marijuana. Offenders who are caught with larger amounts of marijuana, have a criminal history of violence or are in possession of a firearm are still being arrested and charged.

As Texas police departments review their department costs throughout 2020 and their goals for 2021, many have changed how they approach charging people when it comes to smaller amounts of marijuana possession. In most counties, a person with less than 2 ounces of marijuana on them will not be charged with any major offense or arrested. However, there is no hard-and-fast rule for what one county department must stick to compared to another. An individual who is taken into custody may want to talk to a defense attorney about their options.