Many people who are arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if the individual does not have any drugs or never used any drugs, possession of the wrong materials may result in arrest. Everyday objects may be labeled as “drug paraphernalia” by the police or prosecutors, even chemistry equipment, plastic baggies, baking supplies, or gardening supplies.
Even when the prosecutor does not have a strong case, they often try to get the accused to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. Before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor possession charge for paraphernalia or a controlled substance, contact Texas criminal lawyer Jason S. English to fight for your rights, stay out of jail, and keep a drug conviction off your record.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Texas
Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.125, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally use or possess drug paraphernalia to do any of the following with a controlled substance:
- Contain, or
Drug paraphernalia also includes items and objects used to consume or use drugs, including to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
The definition of drug paraphernalia is so broad that it could include many household items most Texans have in or around the house. The so-called “drug paraphernalia” could include items and products used for baking, cooking, gardening, or medical care. Some examples of drug paraphernalia could include:
- Baking scales,
- Glass pipes,
- Indoor grow lights,
- Hydroponic or aquaponic systems,
- Purity testing equipment,
- Baggies or capsules,
- Hidden compartments in furniture,
- Ceramic or metal pipes,
- Cigars, or
- Rolling papers.
Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia in Texas
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas. A Class C misdemeanor conviction generally will not carry any jail time but could include a fine of up to $500. However, a criminal record could still make things more difficult for someone in the future, even if it was for a minor misdemeanor offense. A criminal conviction is generally part of the public record, and anyone who wants to search your criminal history can discover a drug-related conviction.
Selling or Delivering Paraphernalia in Texas
The penalties for delivery or manufacture of drug paraphernalia are greater. Delivery of drug paraphernalia is a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor conviction can result in up to 1 year in county jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
If an adult delivers drug paraphernalia to a minor who is under the age of 18 and at least 3 years younger than the defendant, delivery of drug paraphernalia is a state jail felony.
Related Drug Possession Charges
Possession of a pipe, bong, or other paraphernalia does not mean that the individual will only be charged with possession. If there is a small amount of drugs on or in the paraphernalia, that may also lead to related drug possession charges.
Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
Jason S. English was a criminal prosecutor for 15 years. He understands how prosecutors approach drug cases and what prosecutors try to do to get a guilty plea. Before pleading guilty to any crime, make sure you understand your rights and options to fight the criminal charges.
If you are accused of possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas, it is important to speak to a criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Texas criminal defense lawyer Jason S. English online or call (512) 454-7548.