Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Texas | POCS
An arrest involving the possession of drugs in Texas can lead to a variety of criminal charges depending on the items seized by police.
Houston Criminal Lawyer Dan Lazarine – (713) 224-4000 – Free Consultation.
For instance, an individual could be accused of possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a dangerous drug, or some other type of substance. Some drug offenses can be enhanced by an allegation that the contraband was possessed “with intent to deliver.”
Similarly, possessing “drug paraphernalia” can lead to criminal charges in addition to criminal charges for the actual substances.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia in Texas?
Many people think paraphernalia refers to items like bongs and crack pipes. However, the language in the statute actually prohibits a variety of other items as well.
Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 481 defines drug paraphernalia as: “any item that can be used as a drug processing, packaging, or consumption mechanism.”
The statutes also covers a situation where a person knowingly or intentionally possesses an item with intent to use it to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, text, analyze, pack, repack, store, or conceal a controlled substance.
This suggests that many different items could lead to a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia if the District Attorney handling the case believes he can prove the item was used in one of those ways. For example, under the law, one might be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia for possessing bags, scales and cans as well as pipes or bongs.
Penalty Range for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Texas
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine only.
However, if the DA alleges that the paraphernalia was being distributed, or that the paraphernalia was possessed with intent to distribute, then that offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine, or both.
Also built-in to the law are enhancement provisions for repeat offenders and to cover scenarios where drug paraphernalia is distributed to a minor.
Video credit – Dan Lazarine – Evading Arrest in Texas.
Other Consequences of Drug-Related Offenses
When facing criminal charges related to possession of drugs, the consequences of a conviction extend beyond jail time or probation. For example, convictions for drug offenses are generally followed by a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, students receiving federal aid may be at risk for the suspension of those benefits if convicted of a drug offense.
Contact Us (713) 224-4000
If you have been accused of possession drug paraphernalia, or any other drug offense, contact Daniel Lazarine immediately at 713-224-4000.