In the state of Texas, possession of drug paraphernalia is a very serious crime. It is considered a separate criminal charge from other crimes with which a person may be charged.
Drug paraphernalia is anything that may be used for consuming, processing or packaging an illegal drug, which is defined in Chapter 481 of the Health and Safety Code. Items that can encompass illegal drug paraphernalia include things such as those that are legally purchased at smoke shops or even everyday household items like spoons, bags, bowls and more. However, more commonly, charges of possessing drug paraphernalia involve items like bongs, rolling paper, cans and bottles or pipes. In the case of an individual being charged with illegally possessing drug paraphernalia, it generally means they meant to plant, grow, manufacture, test, analyze, pack, store, contain, harvest, propagate, compound, produce, repack, process, cultivate or conceal a controlled substance.
Penalties and jail time
When a person is charged for possessing drug paraphernalia in Texas, there are different charges that can be delivered. For simple possession, the charge is a Class C misdemeanor, which has a fine of as much as $500. If the individual is charged with possession or distribution with the intention of selling the paraphernalia, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor that can result in as long as a year in jail. In addition, if it is a first-time charge, the individual can also expect to face fines of up to $4,000.A second offense holds stricter penalties and even more jail time. There is also a penalty in the form of a fine of as much as $4,000.
Finally, if someone is charged with selling drug paraphernalia to a person under the age of 18, it is considered a felony and the individual will get time in state jail. In addition, individuals who are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas more than once will be charged with a felony for each additional offense.
Being charged with this type of crime also involves a suspension of one’s driver’s license. Regardless of whether you were driving a vehicle at the time of the offense, your driver’s license will be suspended if you are convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia. If the case is not dismissed and the individual doesn’t get deferred adjudication probation, they will lose their license for 180 days if they are over the age of 21. If the individual is younger than 21, they can lose their license for a full year.