Attending college not only provides Texas students with an education, but it also offers the opportunity for life experiences. When these experiences include marijuana use, the consequences of a drug conviction can affect their long-term plans. We often represent college students charged with drug crimes.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, marijuana is a Schedule I drug. The substances or chemicals in this category have a high potential for abuse, and little or no acceptable medical use. Although hemp is legal in Texas, marijuana is not. Colleges must have strict anti-marijuana policies, and each campus has particular guidelines. Without them, the school risks losing federal funding. As a result, a drug conviction could change your college experience overnight.
Most educational institutions have penalties for drug possession that range from academic probation or suspension to expulsion. If you spend time in jail due to your conviction, you might miss too many classes, delaying your graduation. A drug conviction could also prevent you from attending the graduate program of your choice.
The fines for drug possession could be thousands of dollars. In addition to the immediate expense, you may also lose your federal financial aid. Depending on whether this is a first or subsequent offense, you may have options that help you keep the loans.
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug from a DEA perspective. However, it is a Group 2 substance in Texas. Penalties depend on whether you have prior convictions and how much cannabis you have. The fines can go to $50,000, and the prison term begins at 180 days for possession of two ounces or less.
Texas has some of the harshest marijuana penalties in the country. A strong defense can reduce or eliminate the charges altogether.