As marijuana and its accompanying penalties for sale and possession are undergoing radical changes around the United States, Texas still categorizes it as a crime under most circumstances. People who are arrested and charged for marijuana-related crimes can face various penalties with fines, incarceration and more.
In addition, they will have a criminal record that could reflect negatively upon them as they try to advance in life. Often, this can impact college students, but anyone can be arrested and charged. For some; however, there are options like a diversion program.
What is the marijuana diversion program and am I eligible?
Harris County offers a Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program—shortened to MMDP—for those who would be confronted with charges for possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana. This can be beneficial for those who want to avoid being arrested, booked and having criminal charges filed against them.
The primary objective is to eliminate the extensive time and cost for prosecuting crimes that are relatively low level. Since those who are in possession of small amounts of marijuana are not viewed as significant threats to society, this can keep people who are otherwise law abiding out of the criminal system. With that, they are given the opportunity to take part in a diversion program.
There are only certain people who are eligible for this option. If they are aged 17 or older, have been detained or arrested for marijuana possession Class A and B and possess identifying information when they are detained or arrested, they can take part. There are people who will not be eligible for diversion. If they have been charged with other crimes from their instant detention, have a concealed handgun along with the marijuana or have a warrant for their arrest, they are ineligible.
Having legal assistance can help with a marijuana diversion program
People who have a small amount of marijuana that will warrant an arrest if they are caught but are not doing any harm to anyone else can face criminal penalties for it. The goal with the diversion program is to provide a way out of these drug crimes and let the person maintain a clean criminal record. When arrested for marijuana, it is important to understand if this is an option and to have professional assistance with considering diversion or if other ways to fight the charges are available.