You probably know that possession of drug paraphernalia in the State of Texas is against the law, and you probably also know that the crime is a misdemeanor. If you are facing such charges, you might think that simply taking the hit and paying the fine is the best path forward, but this is not the best approach. A paraphernalia conviction can leave you facing jail time, fines, and social consequences that make fighting the charge well worth the effort.
Drug paraphernalia amounts to any tool that is used to grow, manufacture, test, store, weigh, smoke, or shoot a controlled substance. If the item in question is going to be used to manufacture, process, or use an illegal drug, it can be classified as drug paraphernalia. Such items can include everything from bongs to scales, spoons, rolling papers, needles, and more. All of these items, however, have legitimate uses, and it the prosecution's task to prove that you had other – illegal – intentions in mind.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
If you are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas, you are likely facing a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500 (with no possibility of jail time). There are instances, however, in which these charges can be elevated to higher-level misdemeanors:
- If you are charged with delivering the paraphernalia for someone else’s use
- If you are charged with manufacturing the paraphernalia for someone else’s use
Regardless of the charges brought against you, however, your driver's license will automatically be suspended for 180 days upon conviction (or for a year if you are under the age of 21). If your charges rise to the level of a Class A misdemeanor, you are looking at a minimum of a year in jail. Further, if it is not your first offense, you could face a minimum sentence of 90 days and a fine of up to $4,000. In addition to these consequences, possession of paraphernalia charges can limit your employment, education, and social opportunities into your future, and these effects should never be discounted.
Developing Your Strongest Defense
Working closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney will help ensure that you develop your strongest defense in protection of your rights. Common defense strategies include:
- Authorized use of the legally controlled drug and its delivery system (medical marijuana for example)
- Your ignorance of the object’s illegal use
- Seizure of the paraphernalia during an unlawful search
Do Not Delay Consulting with an Experienced Attorney
Charges related to paraphernalia possession carry serious consequences that should never be ignored. Criminal defense attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable criminal defense attorney who is committed to applying his considerable experience and legal know-how to helping you obtain a favorable resolution to your case. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.