In Houston and across Texas, the increasing acceptance of marijuana use might be slowly changing its perception as dangerous and worthy of intense prosecution. However, the Lone Star State has yet to follow the lead of other states across the nation and legalize it for recreational use. This is worrisome for anyone who uses it, but it is especially challenging for college students who could face a litany of problems for charges related to it. With that, it is important to know how to craft a legal defense after an arrest.
A medical emergency can supersede marijuana charges
The law is specific as to how people who are charged with possession of marijuana might be penalized. For college students, the consequences can not only harm their freedom, but cost them money and result in problems at school. Their entire future can be damaged. Those who have two ounces or less will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor; for four ounces or less, it is a Class A misdemeanor; more than four ounces but five pounds or less is a state jail felony; having more than five pounds but 50 pounds or less is a third-degree felony; and having more than 50 pounds but 2,000 pounds or less is a second-degree felony. Those who have more than 2,000 pounds will face at least five years in prison and the possibility of up to 99 years. There can be a fine of up to $50,000.
Medical emergencies are a notable exception to being arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. If a person was in the presence of another person who needed medical help for any reason while in possession of marijuana, that could be an effective defense. The person must have requested medical help while the emergency was in progress, stayed at the scene until help arrived and cooperated with law enforcement and medical personnel. The person who was suffering from the overdose could also be shielded from charges. The situation will be assessed to decide if this is a reasonable defense as circumstances might nullify it. Examples are if an arrest was in progress at the time or another criminal offense was in progress.
There are many avenues for advancing a defense for marijuana possession
In recent years, people have needed to call for help for others who were having a dangerous reaction to drugs. A sticking point in calling was the fear of arrest for drug crimes. This area of the law is designed to encourage people to call for assistance if it is needed. When arrested for possession of marijuana after having called for medical help for another person, this is a strategy to fight the charges.