Certain law enforcement agents may not be arresting people any longer for low-level marijuana offenses in Texas. Changing state laws regarding hemp has led to a significant amount of confusion and chaos regarding the prosecution of pot-related charges. As a result, individuals facing drug charges have had to alter their approach to drug crimes defense strategies.

This past year, the state of Texas legalized hemp. In order to reduce complications and lower the number unnecessary drug arrests, Texas Department of Public Safety officers has ordered its officers to stop arresting people for misdemeanor marijuana offenses. They are now supposed to write citations instead. This applies in cases where a person may be found in possession of four milligrams of marijuana or less.

While they will not be arrested, these individuals will still have to go to court and could face the same penalties if they had been placed under arrest. There has been a significant amount of disagreement between lawmakers, prosecutors and law enforcement regarding how to enforce the current laws. Many believe that new testing is necessary in order to handle these types of cases appropriately because it is difficult to tell the difference between marijuana and hemp without certain types of tests.

A Texas reader facing even a minor drug offense would be wise to move forward with developing an effective drug crimes defense as soon as possible. A conviction can lead to a permanent mark on a person’s criminal record and result in other potentially life-altering penalties. An assessment of the individual case can help a person see what defense options are available.