In Texas, drug paraphernalia is any item that can be used to consume, package, or process an illegal drug. Although drug paraphernalia can include common items found around the house or obtained legally at places like “Smoke Shops,” just because these items are legal to purchase doesn’t mean you cannot be charged with a crime for possessing them.
If you are caught and charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas, it is a serious crime with real consequences, and you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What are the penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia?
In Texas, if you are charged with simple possession of drug paraphernalia it is a Class C Misdemeanor that carries a fine up to $500. For second and third offenses, you will be charged with a felony and can expect increased fines and possible jail time.
If you are suspected to be selling drug paraphernalia, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail. Furthermore, distributing drug paraphernalia to a minor is a felony that results in state jail time.
Being charged with simple possession can also result in the suspension of your license, even if you were not driving at the time the offense occurred. If you are under the age of 21, you risk losing your license for a full year.
Types of drug paraphernalia
Drug paraphernalia includes a wide list of items, some of which are common to every household.
Listed below are some of the items that are considered drug paraphernalia in Texas:
- Small baggies
- Pipes or “bowls”
- Rolling papers
- Aerosol cans
If an officer suspects you are knowingly or intentionally using these items to use, plant, or propagate the use of illegal substance, or that you are selling these items to someone who intends to do the same, they can charge you with a crime.
What should to do if charged with simple possession
It’s important to understand that although simple possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor charge, paying the fine is equivalent to a guilty plea.
That means the misdemeanor will remain on your record and will be accessible to employers, landlords and anyone who wants to view your criminal history.
For students, the charge can also affect financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
For this reason, if you are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas, it’s important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Get help from an experience Texas drug defense lawyer
If you or a loved one is being charged with drug paraphernalia in Texas, consult with an attorney before making any major decisions of paying fines. Andrew Williams is a criminal defense attorney in Kingwood, TX with over two decades of experience. He can help protect your rights and resolve your case in the best way possible.
Contact the Law Offices of Andrew Williams today at 281-358-9111 for a free appointment, or contact us online.