The state of Texas still considers drug-related crimes to be quite serious and these crimes carry severe penalties if convicted. Under Texas law, it is illegal to possess or control items that can be used for drug use or manufacture. This means that the penalties even extend to those who come across only paraphernalia and not the drugs themselves.
With this in mind, it is important to know the definitions and penalties that the state of Texas can impose if convicted. Understanding the laws and consequences should give you a more developed understanding of what to expect, which in turn, should allow you to address the situation more effectively, giving you a better chance to defend yourself if the need arises.
Texas Health and Safety Code §481.125 states that a person can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia if they knowingly and intentionally possess an item that is used to do the following:
• Plant, cultivate, cultivate, harvest, manufacture;
• Compose, convert, produce, package, store, contain;
• Inject, ingest, inhale, introduce into the body; gold
• Concealing a controlled substance or drug.
As for penalties, a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia will result in a Class C misdemeanor, which comes with a presumed fine of up to $ 500. Although, in many situations, the charges will likely be more severe if drugs are found. or controlled substances with paraphernalia.
There is also a separate charge for “delivery of drug paraphernalia” that can be found in Texas Health and Safety Code §481.125 (b), which states that a person found to be delivering, possessing, or manufacturing intentionally and with knowledge with intent to deliver drugs the paraphernalia will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This comes with a presumed sentence of up to one year in jail and / or a fine of up to $ 4000.
If the person has been convicted of a crime of prior delivery of drug paraphernalia, they can receive a mandatory jail sentence of 90 days to one year in jail. If the liberator is a minor under the age of 18, there is a possibility that the individual will be convicted of a felony in state jail, punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and / or a fine or up to $ 10,000 (§ 481.125c).
With regard to some of the most common types of drug paraphernalia found in the state of Texas, some of the most common are:
• Glass tubes
• Plastic bags
The state of Texas differentiates between “classifications” or drug paraphernalia, and the separation depends on “user specific” products (pipes, bongs) and “dealer specific” products (scales, plastic bags). This can affect the possible penalties you will face.
As for the process, if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, the officers will charge you with the crime and may arrest you depending on the circumstances. At this point, you have the right to speak with a criminal defense attorney, which may be the best for you. During your initial hearing, you will be informed of the charges and asked how you would like to proceed. Deciding whether to plead guilty, not to contest, or not guilty should be considered based on the situation you are in.