Charged w/ Possession of Marijuana or THC? DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY!

First and foremost, there have been recent changes in the law concerning what is defined as marijuana and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) under the Texas Health and Safety Code. I discussed these changes in the law in a recent blog post TX Hemp & Marijuana Law – New Laws for 2019.

Essentially, the new law states that any plant or substance derived from a plant, that has a THC concentration less than 0.3% is no longer defined as a controlled substance (or marijuana) for purposes of the Texas Health and Safety Code’s punishments for related offenses.

WHY TO NEVER PLEAD GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF MJ OR THC

1. TX crime labs Cannot quantify how much THC is in ANY substance

None of the Texas crime labs that are used to test for the presence of controlled substances has the ability to test for the QUANTITY of THC. The only thing that they can test for is the PRESENCE of THC. The GC/MS laboratory analysis are very sensitive, and can detect even 1 mg of THC, however, they DO NOT have the ability to quantify how much THC a suspected substance has.

This creates a HUGE problem for District Attorney’s Offices across the state. Simply put, they cannot prove that the suspected substance is actually controlled and regulated as a PG 2 substance, marijuana, or Hemp, because it has a THC concentration below the threshold level.

2. New law has enactment date of September 1, 2019 – HOWEVER, statutory construction dictates it be applied to ALL future cases.

Without nerding out too much…follow me on the statutory construction of a new law like the Texas Hemp Farm Act to understand WHY THE NEW LAW IS RETROACTIVE:

  • The new law is outside the Texas Penal Code
  • The new law is ambiguous because it has an enactment date, but no enabling legislation or a savings provision (basically this means that the new law does not specify to what offenses it applies to; eg, if a person is arrested before the enactment date and tried after the enactment date.
  • When a law is ambiguous, the Texas Government Code gives guidance in the interpetation and application of a new statute under Chapter 311, TX GOV CODE.
  • Under the Texas Government code: “If the penalty, forfeiture, or punishment for any offense is reduced by a reenactment, revision, or amendment of a statute, the penalty, forfeiture, or punishment, if not already imposed, shall be imposed according to the statute as amended.” TX GOV CODE 311.031(b)
  • Since the penalty or punishment for substances with less than 0.3% THC is reduced, the new statute applies, despite when the alleged offense was committed.
  • Applying the new Statute requires that the jury find beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance you were alleged to have possessed contained a THC concentration over 0.3%.

3. If they cannot prove the quantity of THC in a given substance, they cannot prove guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

The labs cannot tell the difference between 95% THC and 0.00001 % THC.

BEFORE YOU PLEAD GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF THC OR MARIJUANA…

Call LeGrande Law for a FREE consultation

If accused of a drug crime, including Possession of Marijuana or Cannabis Oil (THC), you need an attorney with proven results, winning cases.  Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande

281-684-3500

MEXICO LEGALIZES RECREATIONAL COCAINE USE

The legal climate in Mexico right now has unexpectedly come out on the side of individual liberty and against the drug war, even as they spent billions of dollars fighting that drug war every year. One could argue that the legal system is in conflict with the political goals of the country in the drug war. The caveat to the ruling is that it only applies to use and possession and does not authorize transfer or sale – an interesting legal gymnastics that will likely be modified over time.

Advocates of the ruling like Lisa Sanchez of Mexicans United Against Crime have commented: “This case is about insisting on the need to stop criminalizing … drug users and designing better public policies that explore all the available options.”

On the political side – the opposition is obvious, with the Mexican government’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk saying it will attempt to block the judge’s order, which was handed down earlier this year and first announced Tuesday.

On the legal side their is review as well, with a panel of judges set to review the ruling and decide whether it should be carried out.

In Texas, possession of cocaine is a felony offense if you are in possession of any detectable amount (even residue that cannot be weighed in a lab). Section 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code regulates cocaine possession – with it being listed as a Penalty Group 1 substance.

You will sometiemes see cocaine possession as “PCS PG1” on court paperwork. The penalties for possession of cocaine in Texas are as follows:

  • Less than one gram: State Jail Felony (6mo – 2Y state jail).
  • 1 to 4 grams: 3rd Degree Felony (2 – 10Y TDCJ)
  • 4 to 200 grams: 2nd Degree Felony ( 2 – 20Y TDCJ)
  • 200 to 400 grams: 1st Degree Felony (5 – 99Y TDCJ)
  • More than 400 grams: 10 to99 years, or life

CATCH A DRUG CASE?

If you are accused of possession of cocaine or ANY controlled substance drug crime

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande TODAY!

281-684-3500

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

Tristan LeGrande – LeGrande Law

I will not answer any questions and I will not make any statement.

Seems simple enough, but the majority of clients that call me with a legal issue do so AFTER they have already spoken to the police, made a statement, or even given a recorded interview. This can seriously damage their defense – if you the police are investigating a crime and they either tell you that you are a suspect, you think you may have done something illegal, or you have any reason to think you might be suspected of doing anything illegal – DO NOT SPEAK TO THE POLICE AND DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.

As you probably already know, the right to remain silent is an important right. The 5th Amendment to the US Constitution acknowledges the right not to be compelled to offer evidence against yourself. The “Miranda” rights we are all familiar with hearing from television is a reflection of the Supreme Court recognizing this very important right. What you don’t say can’t hurt you. If you find yourself in a situation where the police want yo question you or have you make a statement, you need to calmly, but assertively, inform the officer (or agent, investigator, etc) …

  1. You will not be making any statement
  2. You will not be answering any questions
  3. If you are under arrest, you want to speak to a lawyer immediately.

Many people are intimidated when the police contact them and ask them to come in and answer questions or make a statement. Make sure you listen carefully to what the officer tells you – they are REQUESTING that you make a statement or answer questions. They will likely want you to sign something waiving the important rights I mentioned earlier. DO NOT DO IT.

One final important caveat is that you must ASSERT your right to remain silent if you are arrested. Simply staying quiet is not enough. If the police are asking you questions, you need to state simply “I am using my right to remain silent,” or something to that effect. Unfortunately, some cases have required this type of assertion to invoke all of your 5th amendment protections. See Salinas v. Texas, 133 S.Ct. 2174 (2013)

Before you even consider talking to the police, contact attorney Tristan LeGrande for a free consultation. If you have already been charged with a crime, don’t leave it up to chance! Hire an aggressive attorney with a track record of success!

LOCKED UP?

CALL LEGRANDE LAW!

281-684-3500

If you are accused of ANY CRIME, do not leave your future up to chance! You need an attorney with a track record of fighting criminal cases!

 Attorney Tristan LeGrande GETS RESULTS – CALL NOW – Free Consultation!

CONTACT ATTORNEY TRISTAN LEGRANDE TODAY!

http://www.legrandelaw.com
http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Fort Bend County begins Cannabis Oil Diversion Program!

It finally happened, Fort Bend County, Texas has taken the bold step of offering those found in possession of THC concentrate (wax, dabs, shatter, Tetrahydrocannibinol) the opportunity to avoid a felony on your record, and allow you to get your case dismissed. In the last several months, Fort Bend County rolled out the “Felony Fresh Start Cannabis Oil Diversion Program.” Details about the program can be found below.

For several years, counties like Harris County have been offering those found in the possession of small amounts of marijuana an opportunity to keep charges off their record, if they are found by law enforcement to be in possession of small amounts of Marijuana. Harris County residents can be found in possession of up to a quarter of a pound of marijuana (up to four ounces), and you are not even arrested or charged (so long as you are not accused of doing anything else wrong more than a traffic offense).

CLICK HERE to review additional info from the Harris County District Attorney website about the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program. 

The Fort Bend County Fresh Start Cannabis Oil Diversion Program does have certain criteria that he or she must meet in order to be eligible for the program:

  • Be 17 years of age or older
  • Formally charged with Possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 2 (Tetrahydrocannibinol), 400 grams or less (State Jail Felony3rd Degree Felony, or 2nd Degree Felony
  • Has no additional charges arising out of the same arrest other than Class B possession of Marijuana, or Class C tickets
  • Has no outstanding warrants other than Class C Misdemeanor tickets
  • Is not on bond, deferred adjudication or probation in Fort Bend County or any other jurisdiction for any offense other than a Class C Misdemeanor.

A person is not eligible to participate in the Cannabis oil diversion program if he or she:

  • Is a “true habitual,” or has a criminally violent background
  • Commits the current offense in a “drug free zone”
  • Commits the current offense in a correctional facility
  • Does not enter the Cannabis Oil Diversion Program within the first 30 days of their first court appearance (unless the program was not in place at that time)
  • Is not currently enrolled in the Fort Bend County Fresh Start Marijuana Diversion Program, the cannabis oil diversion program, or has been previously enrolled in either program.

Additionally, applicants to this program are required to submit an application packet containing Character reference letters, and proof of employment or enrollment in a school or university. The requirements for submission of this packet vary case by case. Please contact a criminal defense attorney with experience practicing in Fort Bend County for additional details about submission of the application packet.

So then why would you hire an attorney?

  1. Not everyone is eligible,
  2. There are new defenses available to Defendants now that hemp, hemp oil, and CBD oil are legalized. State owned laboratories do not currently have the ability to distinguish between the three because very small amounts of THC are contained in all three, and the labs can only detect the presence, not the quantity, of THC in the sample.
  3. You still may be able to fight your case. If the stop or search of your person or property was illegal, you may be able to get your case dismissed, or evidence suppressed at trial.

***UPDATE *** making information public about the cannabis oil diversion program has brought attorney Tristan LeGrande significant blow-back from the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, and even from fellow criminal defense attorney’s that practice in Fort Bend County (unhappy because this knowledge means fewer clients for some of them). Sorry, not sorry. The public DESERVES to know how TREATMENT OF THESE TYPES OF OFFENSES IS CHANGING!

CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF THC (wax, dabs)?

If you are accused of any drug crime, including Possession of THC Concentrate, you need an attorney with a track record of winning drug cases.  Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500

http://www.legrandelaw.com
http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

Tristan LeGrande – LeGrande Law

(Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2, PCS PG2)