It’s hard enough being caught up in a marijuana DWI charge in Texas, let alone not knowing the state’s marijuana laws. While DWI charges are serious, they can be won. This piece will look at the Texas marijuana laws and your options in case you face an arrest.
- Texas DWI facts at a glance: According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas recorded a total of 24,617 DWI crashes in 2019. It is illegal to drive while impaired of any drug, illicit or otherwise, in Texas. As such, anyone who smokes or consumes any form of marijuana and operates a vehicle while intoxicated can be arrested and charged for a DWI/DUI offense in the state.
Let’s now have a deeper look at the state’s Marijuana laws:
What Does the Law Say About Marijuana DWI in Texas?
According to the Texas Penal Code 49, a motorist can be charged for a DWI offense if it is established they lack the normal use of their mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of marijuana. Currently, no Texas law specifies the level of marijuana or its metabolites that causes impairment. Since it carries an illegal status, any amount of marijuana found in the person’s test specimen can be used to prove they were driving under the influence.
What Are the Penalties for Marijuana DWI Convictions in Texas?
The penalties for DWI in Texas are the same regardless of whether you were driving while intoxicated by marijuana, alcohol, prescription drug, or any other illegal drug. Penalties of DWI marijuana conviction in the state include:
- First offense: Attracts between 3 to 180 days jail term and a fine of up to $2000. Your license can also be suspended for between 90 days and one-year
- Second offense: Attracts between 30 days to 1 year jail term and a fine of up to $4000. Your license can also be suspended for between 180 days and two-year.
- Third offense: Attracts between 2 to a 10-year jail term and a fine of up to $10,000. Your license can also be suspended for between 180 days and two years.
All the above penalties can be accompanied by additional penalties, including community service, drug therapy, DWI school, and vehicle impoundment.
Can I be arrested for DWI with marijuana possession in Texas?
The Texas House of Representatives recently passed a Bill 88-40 that lowered the criminal penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana of 1 ounce or less. However, possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana is currently a Class B misdemeanor in the Lone Star state. The offense attracts up to 180 days in jail and a $2000 fine.
If you have marijuana on your person in some Texas locations, the law enforcement can add a drug possession charge to your initial DWI marijuana drug charge. However, some jurisdictions in Texas, including Houston and Harris counties, no longer prosecute low-level marijuana possession.
If you have been arrested…
Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.
What Is the Difference Between a DUI And a DWI in Texas?
DUI means driving under the influence, while DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Texas distinguishes between DUI and DWI charges, and as such, defense strategies for each are different. According to the Texas Traffic Code, a DUI charge is only issued to minors of 21 years and below. Penalties for a DUI in Texas include up to 40 hours of community services, a fine of up to $500, a license suspension of up to 60 days, and more.
DWI is a more severe offense targeting adults who are clearly driving while impaired. Depending on each case, DWI penalties include massive fines, driver’s license suspension or revocation, and jail time.
What Is the Best Thing to Do When Facing Marijuana Driving Charges?
A DWI charge can be a scary experience considering the heavy penalties it attracts. However, you should never despair or feel so intimidated to plead guilty. Some of the critical things to keep in mind when facing a DWI charge include:
- Don’t enter a guilty plea: It can be tempting to plead guilty and get the whole matter over quickly. However, this is a grave mistake to make as DWI charges never really go away on their own. Instead, contact an experienced DWI attorney to help assess your case and recommend whether a guilty plea is a better option.
- A DWI charge is beatable: Don’t assume that your fate is sealed just because you are guilty of the offense. An experienced attorney with years of experience representing clients in a similar position can provide a defense strategy that significantly increases the chances of a successful outcome. The experienced Austin DWI lawyer Doug Murphy has the resources, expertise, and skills needed for a successful outcome.
- Consider the consequences of DWI conviction: it is essential to take the consequences of a DWI marijuana conviction seriously. Apart from the standard penalties, a DWI drug conviction can impact your personal record and makes it hard for you to secure a scholarship, job, professional licensing approval, and insurance premiums. As such, you need to work with experienced Austin DWI lawyers to help reduce the chances of your conviction.
DWI Marijuana Drug Lawyer in Austin, Texas
A DWI conviction can impact the quality of your life and ability to make a living. If you face a DWI drug offense in Austin, the experienced attorneys at Stephen T. Bowling have the resources and capabilities to successfully fight DWI charges. With decades of proven expertise in and out of the courtroom, we can successfully guide you through the process. Contact us today to discuss the circumstances of your case and the available options. Our team has helped hundreds of clients and can help you win your case.
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