State Representative Harold Dutton, D-Houston, has filed two bills that
would lower the penalties for drug possession.
HB 184 would reduce the penalty for possession of less than two ounces
of marijuana from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor. Other Class C
misdemeanorsinclude traffic tickets, public intoxication and gambling. Convictions
can carry a $500 fine or community service.
Dutton’s other bill, HB 182, would reduce the penalty class for possession
of less than one gram of a controlled substance from a state jail felony
to a Class A misdemeanor. Controlled substances include cocaine, ecstasy,
LSD and heroin. A Class A misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year
in prison and a $4,000 fine. A state jail felony, on the other hand, could
mean 6 – 24 months in jail plus a fine of up to $10,000.
Supporters of the measures say these bills could save Texas taxpayer money.
Texas counties would save on indigent defense costs and the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice wouldn’t be tied up incarcerating low-risk offenders.
The new legislative session begins on January 8 and is sure to be as contentious
as ever. Whether Dutton’s bills will get any attention or not, has
yet to be seen.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, you need a
New Braunfels criminal defense attorney you can count on.
Contact the Kyle Law Firm today to set up a free consultation.