Harris County First Chance Intervention Program Offers Dismissal for Class B Possession of Marijuana Charge

While possession of marijuana is still illegal in Texas, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office has started a program that results in a dismissal for first time arrestees charged with possessing two ounces or less.

Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. Under state law, a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by jail time of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000.

According to the DA’s office, the purpose of the program is to help first time offenders charged with what is increasingly viewed as a non-serious crime avoid a conviction and jail time while freeing up law enforcement resources to fight more serious cases.


What Does The Program Involve?

Under the terms of the program, the Harris County Pretrial Services Department will monitor participants for periods of either 60 or 90 days. The length of the program will be based on the findings of the Department after an intake interview that will be used to evaluate the participant and their circumstances.

During an individual’s time in the program, they will be required to not break the law in any way. The cost to participate in the program is $100, although the fee may be waived if the participant can demonstrate that they are indigent and are unable to pay. Lastly, the participant must agree to and complete either eight hours of community services or eight hours of a cognitive class.

Once all of the requirements of the program are satisfied, the case is dismissed. In the event that a participant fails to meet the requirements of the program or wishes to withdraw, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.


Who is Eligible to Participate in the Harris County First Chance Intervention Program?

  • The participant must not have been detained or arrested for being in possession of any more than two ounces of marijuana.
  • The participant must not be charged with any other crime at the time of detention/arrest with the exception of a Class C misdemeanor.
  • A person is not eligible to participate in the program if he or she has any warrants or holds outstanding for any crime (including Class C misdemeanors). Having valid identification at the time of the detention is required to search for any warrants and verify eligibility for the program.
  • The individual is not eligible if he or she has been convicted of a crime that is not a Class C misdemeanor. However, convictions while the individual was a minor are not disqualifying.
  • The individual will not qualify for participation in the First Chance Intervention Program if he or she has ever participated another intervention program for a Class B misdemeanor or higher.

If you are charged with possession of marijuana, please contact me at (713) 487-7575 to discuss options regarding your case including the First Chance program.

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