Drug paraphernalia charges arise from the possession or distribution of items used for growing, manufacturing drugs, or ingesting drugs. Sometimes, these are everyday items, such as scales, that have other legal uses.
Because drug paraphernalia possession carries serious penalties, anyone facing charges should consider retaining a controlled substance attorney. A Fort Worth drug paraphernalia lawyer could discuss strategies for handling your case and work to protect your rights.
Drug Paraphernalia Definitions
The Texas Controlled Substances Act provides a broad definition of drug paraphernalia. Under Texas Code §481.002(17), paraphernalia includes a large number of items, including many objects that have innocent uses. Some items that may be considered paraphernalia include:
- Chemicals associated with manufacturing or increasing the weight of certain drugs
- Capsules, balloons, envelopes and other containers used for packaging small quantities of drugs
- Items used to consume controlled substances, such as pipes, spoons, or hypodermic needles
- Lab and mixing equipment like scales and blenders
- Kits used for harvesting or growing illicit plants (like marihuana)
The definition is not limited to any specific items and includes nearly any object used for manufacturing, storing, or ingesting drugs. A seasoned Fort Worth drug paraphernalia attorney could explain how the law applies to particular items.
Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia
Many first-time drug paraphernalia offenses are considered Class C misdemeanors under TX Code §481.125. However, these charges become more severe if the individual has a previous conviction or if they intended to sell or distribute the items. Some second-time drug paraphernalia charges carry a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail, and in many cases, providing drug-related items to someone under the age of 18 is considered a felony.
Drug paraphernalia convictions in Fort Worth also result in a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, prosecutors sometimes use possession of paraphernalia items like scales or bags as evidence of intent to distribute controlled substances, which is a more serious crime. A Fort Worth drug paraphernalia attorney could explain the potential penalties and future consequences that may arise from a particular charge.
Potential Defenses to a Drug Paraphernalia Charge
A skilled Fort Worth drug accessories lawyer may be able to help develop a strategic defense to paraphernalia charges. The available defenses are different in every case and may rely on a technical analysis of the relevant laws. For example, a lawyer may be able to argue that the police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights by illegally searching their property. In those cases, the prosecutor may not be able to use evidence found during the search. In other cases, a person may have a valid and legal reason for possessing the alleged paraphernalia. For example, they might require hypodermic needles to use a doctor-prescribed medication.
How a Fort Worth Drug Paraphernalia Attorney Can Help
If you are facing charges for possessing drug-related items, a Fort Worth drug paraphernalia lawyer may be able to help. Skilled attorneys could assert your rights in criminal court and guide you through every step of the case process.
Any drug-related charge can have lasting consequences. Contact an attorney now to begin working towards a positive resolution of your charges.