In: Drug Crimes

People are Still Being Arrested for Hemp

People in Texas are still being arrested for possessing hemp, in spite of federal and state legalization of the plant. According to a story in the Texas Tribune, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper arrested a man for possessing what the agency claimed was nearly a ton of marijuana near Amarillo in late 2019 – in spite of lab analysis paperwork the man presented that indicated that he was in possession of hemp rather than marijuana.

After being jailed for nearly a month and facing federal charges, the man was released and the charges dropped after results of testing confirmed that the substance was hemp.

Distinguishing Between Hemp and Marijuana Requires Testing

When Texas lawmakers legalized hemp last year, they changed the definition of marijuana to cannabis plants with more than .03 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unfortunately, it often impossible to distinguish between hemp and marijuana through observation alone, leaving law enforcement officers in a state of confusion as to what to do when they find someone with what could be either legal hemp or illegal marijuana. In response to the confusion,  many prosecutors are declining to file charges until testing procedures are put in place, and some municipalities have gone so far as to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

If You Have Been Arrested for Marijuana Possession, You Need a Lawyer

A marijuana conviction can result in significant legal penalties and collateral consequences that can affect your life for years to come. For this reason, if you have been arrested for the possession of marijuana, you should call a lawyer immediately – regardless of whether you were in possession of marijuana or hemp. Do not expect law enforcement or the prosecution to do anything to protect your rights.

There are many potential defenses that a lawyer may be able to raise in a drug possession case. Here are some of the most common:

  • Unlawful Search – the police need to have probable cause or a warrant in order to search you, your vehicle, or your home. If they don’t and search you anyway, it may be possible to exclude any evidence they gathered from court.
  • The Substance Discovered was Not Contraband – If the police misidentified the substance that you possessed as contraband (for example, they believed hemp was marijuana), it may be possible to have the charges against you dropped with simple lab testing.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Denton Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for drug possession or trafficking, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, the early intervention of a lawyer can result in a much better outcome and may even prevent charges from being filed in the first place. To schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer in Denton, call our office today at 940-222-2488 or contact us online.