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Is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia a Criminal Offense in Texas?

 Posted on September 27, 2022 in Drug Crimes

texas criminal defense lawyerIn most cases, criminal charges related to illegal drugs will involve accusations that a person was in possession of controlled substances. However, there are other items that may also be related to drugs, including manufacturing equipment, packaging materials, or devices used to consume drugs, and possession of these items may also lead to criminal charges. For those who are involved in criminal cases related to drugs, it is important to understand how the laws in Texas address the possession of drug paraphernalia.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

Under Texas law, drug paraphernalia may include any equipment, products, or materials of any kind that are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, processing, packing, injecting, ingesting, or inhaling controlled substances. In general, anything that can be used to cultivate, package, or consume illegal drugs can be considered drug paraphernalia. Common examples include bongs and pipes used for smoking marijuana or methamphetamine pipes. Other examples include syringes and needles used for injecting drugs like heroin. Devices used to package and distribute drugs may also be considered paraphernalia, such as scales and other measuring devices used to weigh drugs or baggies used to package and distribute substances. 

It is important to note that even items that are not specifically designed for use with illegal drugs can still be considered drug paraphernalia under Texas law. For example, a regular kitchen spoon can be considered drug paraphernalia if it is being used to cook methamphetamines. Likewise, an otherwise innocuous piece of paper can be considered drug paraphernalia if it is being used to roll marijuana joints. While these items would not usually be considered paraphernalia on their own, possession of drugs alongside certain items may result in charges related to paraphernalia being added to other drug charges.

Drug Possession and Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Texas 

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a criminal offense in Texas. Generally, possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. While this may seem like a relatively minor offense, it will likely only be one charge that a person will face, and they may be accused of and charged with drug possession if they are found in possession of certain types of paraphernalia. In some cases, an officer may observe paraphernalia such as pipes or rolling papers in a person’s possession, or they may see these items in the back seat of a vehicle during a traffic stop. This may provide the officer with probable cause to perform a search, and if any controlled substances are found, a person may be arrested and charged with drug possession.

More serious charges may also apply if a person is accused of selling or delivering drug paraphernalia to someone else with the knowledge that it will be used to consume, produce, or deliver controlled substances. This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a sentence of up to one year in prison. Delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor under the age of 18 is a state jail felony, punishable by between 180 days and two years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

It is also important to note that the presence of drug paraphernalia may lead to increased drug charges. For example, if a person is found in possession of scales, baggies, or other materials used to package drugs, they may face charges of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance rather than simple drug possession charges.

Contact Our Tarrant County Drug Possession Charges Lawyer

If you have been charged with drug possession or drug paraphernalia charges in Texas, it is important to seek out experienced legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney who is familiar with these types of cases will be able to investigate the facts surrounding your arrest and determine whether there are any defenses that may apply in your case. In some instances, an attorney may also be able to negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. To get skilled and experienced legal help, contact our Fort Worth drug charges defense attorney at 817-222-0624 and set up a free consultation today.


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