Don't Let Your Past Limit Your Future

Harris County Marijuana Reform

Harris County Marijuana Reform in 2016

January 7, 2016

As we enter into the new year, Houston, Texas has experienced a significant legal change related to cannabis possession. Beginning January 1, 2016, the City of Houston has made the decision to cease all filing of criminal charges made against any minor marijuana possession offenders.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office has issued a new directive, referred to as the First Chance Intervention Program, which dictates that all first-time marijuana offenders must be offered the opportunity to participate in a pre-trial intervention program, when found in the possession of two ounces or less of marijuana by police in the County. This program will only be available for first-time offenders. Those who decide to participate will be subject to classroom work and community service, as well as the elimination of any initial, formal criminal charges filed against them. Once the program is completed, the individual will neither be charged with the crime nor possess a criminal record.

The possession of two ounces or less is classified as a criminal misdemeanor under state law, which may be punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $2000 fine, and will appear on your criminal record. In 2007, Texas lawmakers attempted to address the issue by enacting legislation which permitted the citation of minor marijuana offenders, as opposed to an arrest. However, most police departments continued to make arrests despite the law’s passing, with an estimated 75,000 arrests made annually. Houston remains one of the most populated cities in the nation, with a growing population over 2.2 million people. This new directive is expected to be a warm gesture and change for many local residents. Attempts have also been made by officials in several other metropolitan areas to implement local ordinances in order to discourage the arrest of minor marijuana charges. These areas include Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Miami-Dade County, as well as others.

If you have a prior marijuana offense on your record, contact our team at WipeRecord today to learn how we may be able to help you expunge your criminal record and put the past behind you. We offer a low price guarantee on all of our services. Call us today at 844-947-3732 or take our free and secure, confidential eligibility test here.

Leave a Comment


Recent Posts

Support the Second Chance for Georgia Campaign
June 23, 2020

The Georgia state legislature is currently omitting a key component to a criminal justice reform bill, SB 288 [SB 288 2019-2020 Regular Session]. Lawmakers have not included language to allow a pathway to expungement for nonviolent felony offenders—a measure that would provide immediate positive economic and social change for nearly 600,000 Georgians.   A felony conviction can follow a person around for … Read More>

How to Obtain a License to Carry in Texas with a Criminal Record
May 19, 2020

If you’re trying to obtain a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) in the State of Texas, there’s some important information you’ll need before you start the process.  If you have a criminal record, it’s especially important that you read the following. Be sure to consult with an attorney to check your options for criminal record sealing or expungement. Basic Requirements … Read More>

Disclaimer: The material on this blog has been prepared and is copyrighted by WipeRecord, a division of Eastman, Libersat & Meyler, PC ("WipeRecord"). The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Information provided by or cited to third parties does not necessarily reflect the opinions of WipeRecord or any of its attorneys or clients. Results of any expungement or restoration of civil and/or firearm rights may vary from case to case. We obtained your email address when you took the eligibility test on our website. Please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement. Please refer to our website for prices. This is a legal advertisement. If you have already hired or retained a lawyer in connection with your gun rights restoration, please disregard this letter. Our lawyers do not have professional liability insurance.