The Hidden Legal Repercussions Associated with Facing Marijuana Charges in Texas

Nowadays, the usage of marijuana and its associated stigma in the United States are certainly fading.  Many people find that marijuana usage should be legalized, or least, the punishments associated therewith to focus on larger-scale offenders such as marijuana farmers.   In fact, there are certain places in the United States where people who are caught with marijuana either receive a slap on the wrist or sometimes, no punishment whatsoever.  In Texas however, while some would argue that our lawmakers have “loosened up” a bit in terms of prosecuting and punishing those arrested for marijuana use, there are a number of hidden legal repercussions associated with the drug that should not be ignored.   Unfortunately, many criminal defense attorneys forget to inform their clients of this fact simply because they are outside of the scope of normal plea negotiations and typically occur months down the road.  With this in mind, it is important to consider the following before accepting a plea offer involving a conviction for marijuana possession in Texas:

  • Pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code, a personal can face an automatic license suspension or flat-out license denial with just one marijuana conviction.  While the length of time of the suspension often depends upon the circumstances, the minimum period in Texas is 180 days.   Keep in mind that Texas law further permits the Department of Public Safety to suspend a person’s license indefinitely until the person has completed a drug offender counseling and education program.
  • Being convicted of marijuana possession may affect one’s eligibility to continue to receive financial aid for school.  Back in the 1990s, Congress aimed to crack down on drug use among loan-borrowing students by prohibiting or restricting those eligible to apply who were convicted of marijuana possession.  However, the government loosened its heavy-handed approach in this regard, which at the time, prevented many qualified students from attending college.  Now, if a person is actually enrolled in school and receiving financial aid to support their education, they could face losing this funding, even with a single drug conviction.
  • When facing a marijuana possession conviction, it can be discoverable by an employer, institution of higher education, or a professional licensing board.  Over the years, I have heard of numerous people who were either denied, or their license was subject to certain probationary requirements, when trying to obtain a law or other type of professional license due to a  previous drug conviction – even one that is 20 or plus years old!  Moreover, it is important to also consider that some jobs and institutions of higher learning (such as law school, medical school, numerous undergraduate schools, etc.) take drug possession convictions more seriously than others.

If you are interested in learning more about the above, or are facing marijuana possession charges in Texas, contact Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at 214-521-4567.  For over three decades, Dallas criminal defense attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals throughout the City and County of Dallas facing all types of drug-related offenses – no matter how challenging or complex.  Don’t wait to obtain the representation you deserve – call our office today for the legal help you need!

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