Getting Caught With Weed – Collin County vs. Dallas County
What happens if you get caught with weed in Texas depends on the amount of marijuana with which you are caught and the city you are in.
In Dallas County, if you are caught with less than 4 oz. of weed, the police no longer have to take you to jail due to a Cite and Release program that was instated December 2017. Instead, you could be fingerprinted and then given a court summons.
This does not change the potential punishment range for the offense, instead only avoids the initial arrest. The purpose of this change is to free up officers in the field so that they can handle offenses that are more serious. The law benefits the arrestee by allowing them to go home the same day of the offense instead of spending the night in jail. The punishment range is still the same if an arrestee is convicted of the offense.
When using the Cite and Release law, Dallas police officers must determine two things:
- Where the arrestee lives
- Whether the arrestee has any warrants
If the person resides within the county and has no warrants, they are given a field release citation and told to report on a certain date in the future.
In Collin County if you are caught with less than 4 oz. of marijuana you will more than likely be arrested and charged with possession. Even though the cite and release law has been on the books since 2007, few Texas cities and counties have implemented this program— but the list is growing. Houston, Austin and San Antonio are among large cities with similar programs in place.
So be prepared, if you are caught with marijuana in cities outside of Dallas County (Collin, Denton, Tarrant County) you could be arrested and taken to jail.