Jail Time Instead of Probation For Possession of Marijuana

I have a specific question regarding a recent arrest in [XXX] Texas.

My boyfriend was arrested for possession of marijuana (less than two grams) during a traffic stop - he had recently had body work done on his car and the front license plate was missing.

This is his first offense and he was very compliant and was released on a PR bond (after the magistrate had made fun of him first and said he looked like a girl about a half dozen times - quite unprofessional in my opinion).

Anyways, he travels out of the country quite a bit for his job and he's worried that if he is given a long probation sentence it would cause him to lose his job.

Another friend of mine got a DUI and elected to pay a hefty fine and do a little jail time in lieu of probation so that he too could leave the country.

Would this be possible in my boyfriend's case (I know you can't predict what will happen, but I'm wondering if that is even a possibility or if probation is mandatory for a class b misdemeanor first offense)?

He is currently in the process of finding a defense attorney with experience in possession cases.

[Anonymous – via email]

Answer:

Class B Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana is punishable by ‘up to’ 180 days in jail and ‘up to’ a $2000 fine. This means a sentence, after conviction, of as low as 1 day in jail with credit for the time he spent in jail already with a $0 fine is a possibility. 

Unfortunately, it’s only possible to do this if convicted, and while I don’t practice in [XXX] Texas, I imagine that some form of deferred probation without a conviction is a very reasonable possibility.

The local probation department will want him to be employed, so traveling may have to be pre-arranged, but will not likely be prohibited.  If we knew in advance that only a final conviction with jail time, or a deferred probation withou a conviction were possible, he still might need to at least consider the deferred to avoid the conviction - and to set himself up to eventually file a motion for non disclosure to seal the records.

Finally, with no prior arrests of any sort, a good defense lawyer will possibly be able to get your boyfriend a reduction to a Class C (traffic ticket level) offense, or perhaps even a dismissal, with counseling and/or community service done up front. Obviously, either of these outcomes are within the range of best case scenario, and I appreciate your realizing up front I can’t predict a particular result.

However, to answer the question directly, there is no mandatory probation for possession of marijuana in Texas – as is there is, for example, for 3rd offense enhanced Class B public intoxication.

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Comments (9) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jeannie - December 26, 2007 10:13 AM

As a mother whose son has had a Marijuana case in Texas, I would like to warn you that if your Boyfriend accepts a plea resulting in a conviction that it is mandatory in Texas to have his drivers license suspended for at least 1 year. That is if he has a Texas driver's license. One of those "little " things my sons attorney failed to mention to us.

Marijuana DUI Lawyer - February 10, 2008 9:07 AM

As a lawyer I see this happen all the time Jeannie, marijuana convictions will often lead to DMV consequences particularly if the person is under 21.

Drug Lawyer - February 15, 2008 9:19 AM

I agree, the law is harsh as it relates to criminal drug charges. A criminal defense lawyer should warn their clients of this. The laws were designed originally to punish young people where it hurts, their ability too drive, however with more and more young people needing to work in order to help the family I would say the law needs to change.

justian - July 10, 2008 6:30 PM

Yes I am on probation for stealing a car and it was reduced to a misdemeanor so my max time was 45 days and am on supervised probation and now charged with 2 felonies and 2 misdemeanors but pleading guilty to 1 felonies and rest misdemeanors for stealing a car again you think they will just up my probation to intense and let me pay whats owed on damage?

Milly - October 28, 2008 2:49 PM

My boyfriend was arrested last night for the possession of marijuana, and I'm not sure how long he'll be in for. He turned 18 this year and this is the first time he's ever been caught by authorities...he's never done any other drug besides marijuana. Can anyone tell me how long he will be in jail?

Rexie - April 27, 2009 9:52 PM

What is the approximate jail credit per day for williamson county? And does the 2-for-1 thing for time in county jails really exist?

Paige - May 5, 2010 9:41 AM

Whats the longest time someone has been in Prison for Marijuana Possession?

Renee - July 7, 2010 8:57 AM

my son was arrested for a marijuana possession of 5-50 lbs in tarrant county he is already on probation in johnson county for drug charges which he was sent to safe p and boot camp. what is the max. sent. or what does the outcome look like. he has looked at lawyers ranging from 2,500 to 25,000 i'm assuming the 25,000 could probably get him a better deal but we don't have that kind of money so more than likely we pay the 2,500 and get jail time, wondering about how much time?

Quique - November 7, 2010 2:21 AM

This girl of the age of 16 about to turn 17 in January, her mom turned her into jail yesterday for possession of weed, I'm concerned about her, but i don't know when i will see her again... how long will she stay in there?

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