Even if you do not possess any controlled substances, you could be arrested and charged with a crime for having items law enforcement considers drug-related. While paraphernalia charges are misdemeanors, they could leave a permanent stain on your criminal record that follows you for life.
Fortunately, an adept Dallas drug paraphernalia lawyer may be able to build a persuasive defense on your behalf. With help from a skilled attorney, you may be able to resolve your charges and move on.
What is Considered Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is defined by Texas Health and Safety Code §481.002(17) as equipment, a product, or material that is used or is intended to use to perform acts in that are violation of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Examples of illicit drug paraphernalia can include:
- Kits for cultivating plants from which drugs might be derived
- Scales used to weigh controlled substances
- Equipment to test the strength of a drug
- Capsules, balloons, other packaging materials
- Hypodermic needles or syringes
- Bongs or pipes
A talented Dallas drug paraphernalia attorney may be able to help a defendant by arguing that certain items were not intended for the purpose of drug use.
Paraphernalia Charges in Dallas
Under Texas Health and Safety Code §481.125, it is unlawful to knowingly or intentionally use or possess with the intent to use drug paraphernalia. Individuals who violate this statute may face Class C misdemeanor charges.
Under the same statute, a person may face enhanced penalties for delivering, or manufacturing with the intent to deliver, drug paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than the accused. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor by law enforcement or the Dallas courts. However, for repeat offenders, a conviction may result in incarceration for 90 days to one year.
Determining What Qualifies as Drug Paraphernalia
Per Texas Health and Safety Code §481.183, Dallas courts look to certain aspects of confiscated property to determine whether it qualifies as drug paraphernalia. The court might be persuaded that it is indeed illicit if contains the residue of a controlled substance. Further, property that includes instructions for how to use it to ingest drugs might be considered paraphernalia.
If the owner or defendant who was in control of the object is alleged to be in the practice of selling or supplying similar items, then the judiciary may deem the items to be drug-related tools or accessories. A persuasive drug paraphernalia attorney in Dallas may be able to present a convincing counterargument on behalf of the accused.
Speak with a Dallas Drug Paraphernalia Attorney Today
Many people accused of possessing drug paraphernalia believe the offense is not serious. However, even misdemeanor charges can lead to incarceration, and a criminal record can follow you for life. Future employers or landlords can view a criminal history during a background check, and a conviction can damage your reputation.
For help resolving your charges, call the law offices of a diligent Dallas drug paraphernalia lawyer today. An attorney could raise a credible defense and protect your rights at every step of the case.