Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Marijuana Possession Case?
Hiring an Austin marijuana lawyer may seem like a substantial expense. But once you know the severe, possibly lifelong consequences of a marijuana conviction in Travis County, you’ll probably find a qualified Austin criminal lawyer immediately. Choosing a bad attorney is not worth the risk.
If you are caught with two ounces or less of marijuana in Austin you are subject to extremely punitive laws. This offense can land you a jail term of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. If you are caught with more than 2 oz. but less than 4 oz., the penalties double. That means up to a year in Travis County jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Felony charges come if you are in possession of more than 4 oz. Any amount of less than 5 pounds but more than 4 oz. is considered a state jail felony and you are looking at up to 2 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
A Few Reasons
Someone accused of possession should make sure their attorney is well versed in the particulars of defending possession cases. Most police agencies will weigh the marijuana seized from an arrest with the bag or container the marinuana was seized in. This numerical reading will be falsely high due to the weight of the material that is not alleged to be marijuana. An experienced Austin lawyer will know this and demand that the substance be reweighed. Often this is the difference between a felony and misdeamnor charge. Also, just because an officer claims the substance is marijuana does not make it so. Defendants are entitled to a forensic report from an accredited lab verifying the substance’s orgin. Many times police destroy the sample before it is verified through an accredited lab. A compent Austin marijuana lawyer will also look to confirm the lab report.
As most Americans know marijuana is legal in about 25% of the states for medicinal purposes. Recently Colorado and Washington State have made it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to buy. Under federal law it is still illegal. It is imperative that that an Austin marijuana attorney be abreast of what is going on elsewhere.
What Do I Do When A Cop Stops Me for Marijuana Possession?
So what do you do if you are accused in Austin of possession of marijuana? As a general rule, do not EVER allow an officer to search your car, your person, or your home. Officers may pat down the outside of your clothing but not reach in your pockets. If an officer wants to search your vehicle politely tell them no and do not anwer any more questions.
A favorite trick of law enforcement is to threaten to bring a drug dog out. Don’t fall for it. Remain steadfast that they cannot search. Many courts have held that at a certain amount of time it becomes unreasonable to detain a subject while awaiting a drug dog. Recently the Supreme Court has held that a drug dog may not be used on the perimeter of one’s house to determine probable cause. If police ask for permission to come in, DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! If you do chances are you will not be able to keep them out out of your house. You are within your rights to refuse to open the door until they present a warrant.
Our Most Recognizable Drug War Client
We are proud to have represented Barry Cooper, the star of KopBusters and How to Make Money Selling Drugs, the documentary that also featured Woody Harrelson, Susan Sarandon, and 50 Cent. Barry, an ex-narcotics officer, was described by The Progressive as “the strangest, most brazen activist America has seen in decades.”
Ask Us About Your Marijuana Case
For more advice on marijuana possession issues or a free call with an Austin marijuana lawyer, please contact us now. Get informed and protect your rights with sound legal help.