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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
As a border state, Texas has been a key player in the War on Drugs. Because I-40 serves as a major drug smuggling route, law enforcement keeps an eye out for controlled substances even hundreds of miles north of the border in Amarillo. Local authorities take all drug crimes seriously, including relatively minor offenses such as possession of paraphernalia.
If you or someone you know was accused of possessing drug paraphernalia, an experienced Amarillo drug paraphernalia lawyer may be able to help. Regardless of whether the charges stem from a glass bong bought in a smoke shop or a container meant to conceal pills, the consequences upon conviction could be severe. To improve your chances for a positive outcome to your case, consider speaking with an experienced defense attorney immediately.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia?
Under Texas law, drug paraphernalia includes any sort of item or equipment that is used for, or intended to be used for, manufacturing, cultivating, processing, testing and analyzing, storing, or holding a controlled substance, or anything meant to introduce controlled substances into the human body.
Examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Bongs, pipes, or rolling papers for smoking marijuana
- Needles, syringes, or spoons used for injecting heroin
- Scales, plastic baggies, or other items used in the distribution and sale of cocaine
- Vials, pill presses, and capsules used to create and distribute ecstasy
- Anything used to hide or conceal controlled substances
- Anything used to grow or create controlled substances (such as laboratory equipment for designer drugs)
Even large quantities of cash might be considered drug paraphernalia, if law enforcement can establish that the cash was used in the distribution and sale of the drugs.
Potential Punishments Upon Conviction
Compared to other drug offenses, such as the manufacturing, distribution, and trafficking, a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia might yield a significantly lighter punishment. However, any sentence that could include time in jail and a fine should not be taken lightly.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. A conviction for the delivery of drug paraphernalia is a class A misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. Delivery to a minor could result in two years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, there are often additional ramifications to a drug paraphernalia conviction, such mandatory participation in a drug treatment program or counseling. Having a criminal record could also make it difficult for individuals to secure certain jobs in the future.
Fortunately, an Amarillo drug paraphernalia attorney could help defendants fight for a positive outcome to their case and lessen the potential consequences.
Reach Out to an Amarillo Drug Paraphernalia Attorney Today
The definition of drug paraphernalia is broad, and the circumstances surrounding each case can vary greatly. However, a criminal conviction is always problematic. If you or someone you know is facing drug paraphernalia charges, reach out to an Amarillo drug paraphernalia lawyer today. A skilled attorney could assert your rights and protect your best interests at every step of the case. Call today to learn more.