TX Hemp & Marijuana Law – New Laws for 2019

The laws have changed in Texas for 2019 and Low-THC products like hemp plant, hemp-oil, and CBD-oil are legal, if they contain less than 0.3% THC.  This is nowhere near full-scale legalization of cannabis, or even legalization for medical use – but, it IS a big step for the state of Texas.  Additionally, there are implications on Marijuana and Cannabis oil (THC) prosecutions, as a result of the new lab, and the State laboratories inability to quantify, or measure, the amount of THC in a plant or oil.  The range of consequences for possession of the plant or the oil is more drastic than ever across the state of Texas – in some neighboring counties you could face the disparate consequences of a dismissal with a class completion in one county, or a guilty plea or felony trial in another.

What does the new law say?

On June 10, 2019, Governor Abbot signed House Bill 1325, what has become known as the Hemp Farming Act (Act). The Act was passed with the intention of promoting the cultivation and processing of hemp and hemp products.  See HB 1325 sec. 2(b)(2). Although it is agreed that the bill became effective upon signing, it is disputed whether it applies retroactively

Under the new law “hemp” plant, and its seeds, derivatives, extracts,etc., with a (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.

How does this affect people charged with Marijuana or THC oil?

The unintended consequence of the law change is that there is added difficulty proving possession of Marijuana and THC, or cannabis oil.  This is because the laboratories around the state cannot distinguish between Hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC, and higher concentration Cannabis plant or THC-oil.  The labs in the state of TX can currently only detect the presence of THC and cannot quantify the amount. 

Now, to prove possession of marijuana or THC-oil, the state must prove possession and also prove that the substance is actually marijuana or a THC containing product with over 0.3% THC. 

The added element that the State of Texas must now prove in a Marijuana or THC-oil case is that “the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the marijuana contained THC greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” COnsidering that the labs cannot prove up the allegation (unless new methods are develloped and implemented), the State must prove this up through other evidence, including admissions and physical evidence indicating the item has a higher THC concentration.  This is the element that has prompted many prosecutors to no longer accept marijuana charges, and to go so far as to instruct law enforcement agencies not to file marijuana cases unless THC levels can be proven to be above the 0.3 percent threshold.

If I am suspected of Marijuana or THC oil possession, what should I do?

#1 DO NOT make any admissions about possession of Marijuana or THC-oil.

2 – DO NOT keep Marijuana or THC-oil products in the original packaging that indicates it is a high-THC cannabis product!

CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA OR THC?

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

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)

I Ran From the Police and They Caught Me! What am I Looking At?

When the adrenaline kicks in, or maybe your fight or flight instinct tells you to ‘RUN,’ people sometimes try to get away from the police.  Maybe you are accused of trying to get away from the police.

Potential punishments for evading arrest or detention depend on several things, namely, whether or not you were in a vehicle, and whether you failed to stop or were attempting to flee.  If accused of running from the police in a motor vehicle, or have a previous conviction for evading arrest – you are looking at Felony exposure.

 

 


What is Evading Arrest (Texas Penal Code 38.04) under Texas Law? 


TEXAS PENAL CODE Sec. 38.04. EVADING ARREST OR DETENTION.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.

Laymen’s terms1. Intentionally flee, 2. Person you know is a cop, 3. Attempting to lawfully arrest/detain.

  • If charged with Evading arrest ON FOOT…the offense is a class A misdemeanor, with a potential punishment of up to 1 year in county jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

IF CHARGED WITH EVADING ARREST IN A MOTOR VEHICLE, IT IS A FELONY

38.04(b)(2) EVADING ARREST OR DETENTION (WITH A MOTOR VEHICLE)

(b)(2) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the actor uses a vehicle or watercraft while the actor is in flight.

  • If charged with evading arrest IN A MOTOR VEHICLE…the offense is a 3rd degree felony punishable by 2 to10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

What is Eluding Arrest (Texas Transportation Code 545.421)? 


This is a lesser known offense that is seldom charged, but is often a more accurate way to describe a situation in which an officer is attempting to arrest or detain someone, but the person does not yield to their authority (they are not necessarily trying to flee, or get away, but just are not yielding to the officers order to stop).

Texas Transportation Code 545.421 Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle and willfully fails or refuses to bring the vehicle to a stop or flees, or attempts to elude, a pursuing police vehicle when given a visual or audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop.

  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a police office is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.  However, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the person, during the commission of the offense, recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury (see the punishment range for class A Misdemeanors above).

CHARGED WITH EVADING ARREST?

CALL LEGRANDE LAW!

281-684-3500

Whether you are accused of evading arrest or detention, or ANY CRIME, do not leave your future up to chance!!!!  You need an attorney with a track record of successfully defending criminal cases.

 Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!

CONTACT ATTORNEY TRISTAN LEGRANDE TODAY!

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

Tristan LeGrande – LeGrande Law

 

THEY DIDN’T READ ME MY RIGHTS!…BUT…DOES IT MATTER?

There is a common misconception about your rights, relating to a person’s “Miranda” rights, and the effect of an officer not reading you Miranda warnings when you are arrested.  Movies and television would have you believe that it is some kind of magic bullet – if they did not read you Miranda warnings, you were going to walk on whatever charges you are facing. Miranda v. Arizona, 484 U.S. 436 (1966).

Not so fast.  “Miranda” has a limited application.  There are two requirements for Miranda to apply:

(1) Custody, and (2) Interrogation.

Essentially, the Miranda court case held that if you are under arrest, you must first be given certain warnings about your constitutional rights, your right against self incrimination (the 5th amendment), and your right to consult with an attorney (6th amendment).

However, for Miranda to apply, it is essential that you are actually IN CUSTODY.  By that I mean, you are under arrest.

How do you know when you are under arrest?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines the point someone is under arrest as: “when he has been actually placed under restraint or taken into custody by an officer…”Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Section 15.22.  In interpreting when an arrest takes place, the 5th Circuit has weighed in with an objective standard: “if a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would have understood the situation to constitute a restraint on freedom of movement of the degree which the law associates with a formal arrest.  United States v. Corral-Franco, 848 F.2d 536, 540 (5th Cir. 1988).

What If You are Under Arrest, Not Given Miranda Warnings, and Then Questioned?

If you are not notified of, and affirmatively waive the following prior to any custodial interrogation, any statements made in violation of Miranda may be inadmissible against you in a criminal prosecution:

  • The right to remain silent
  • Any statements you make can and will be used against you in court
  • You have a right to consult with an attorney prior to answering any questions
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you free of charge

If you are under arrest and the police want to question you DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY FIRST.


If you are accused of ANY CRIME, you need an attorney with a track record of successfully defending criminal 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