What kind of trouble am I looking at for leaving state on 2 open marijuana charges?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2012

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What kind of trouble am I looking at for leaving state on 2 open marijuana charges?

Asked on September 16, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the circumstances underwhich you are leaving the state.

If your case is just pending (not a motion to revoke your probation or to adjudicate you) and you don't have any special bond conditions that say you cannot leave the state, then you can leave the State of Texas without any problems as long as you return for any scheduled court dates.

If you have a pending case, but you have some specialized bond conditions that say you cannot leave without permission of the court or some other entity for the court (like the probation department or pre-trial services), then the judge could revoke your bond and hold you in jail until you resolve your case.

If you are leaving with the intention of not returning, then that's a whole different ballgame.  If you leave and miss your court date-- then you could face additional criminal charges.  Bail Jumping or "failure to appear" is a criminal offense in Texas.  The level of your marijuana charge will control whether it's a felony or misdemeanor offense.  If you are on bond for a misd marijuana (any level), then your bail jumping charge will be a Class a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.  If you are on bond for a felony marijuana charge (any level-- including state jail), then your bail jumping charge will be a third degree felony punishable by a range of 2-10 years in prison.  Not every jurisdiction uses bail jumping, but it can be painful for defendants in those counties that do.

If you are on probation and have been released on bond pending a motion to revoke, then you could also get in trouble for leaving the state without checking in and getting permission from your probation officer.  Most probation conditions have a requirement that you stay in a particular county-- and require you to get a travel permit to go elsewhere.  In this situation, the prosecutor could add to the list of violations in the motion to revoke, namely, leaving the state without authorization.  All it takes is one violation to screw up your probation.


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