Certain items that laboratories use to manufacture controlled substances are regulated by the Texas Department of Public Safety. A person, corporation, or institution generally needs to obtain a permit to acquire or transfer a regulated “chemical laboratory apparatus.” However, if an individual is accused of a laboratory apparatus offense it is important a drug lawyer in Lubbock is contacted.
Definition of a Laboratory Apparatus
The Texas Controlled Substances Act defines a “chemical laboratory apparatus” as “any item of equipment designed, made, or adapted to manufacture a controlled substance.” That definition can be troublesome since laboratory equipment is generally designed to manufacture chemical compounds of any kind, not specifically controlled substances. A tableting machine that can be used to make tablets containing codeine can also be used to make vitamin tablets.
The definition specifically lists fourteen items. Among those are:
- A condenser
- A distilling apparatus
- A three-neck or distilling flask
- An Erlenmeyer, two-neck, or single-neck flask
- Tableting and encapsulating machines
- A heating mantel
Unlawful Transfer or Receipt
It is a crime in Texas to sell, transfer, or receive a “chemical laboratory apparatus” under any of the following circumstances:
- The person making the transfer does not have a chemical laboratory apparatus transfer permit issued by the Department of Public Safety;
- The person making the transfer fails to create or retain a required record or report of the transaction;
- The person making the transfer makes a false statement in a required record or report of the transaction;
- The person transferring or receiving the apparatus violates any rule governing the transfer created by the Department of Public Safety.
It is a crime to sell or transfer a “chemical laboratory apparatus” with the knowledge or intent that it will be used to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance. The crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of not less than 2 years or more than 10 years.
Penalties for Laboratory Apparatus Offenses
For a first offense, the crime is a state jail felony, punishable by a state jail sentence of not less than 180 days or more than 2 years. If the accused has previously been convicted of the same crime, the crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of not less than two years or more than 10 years.
Contacting An Lubbock Drug Attorney
Any felony is a serious charge that can have a drastic impact on your life. If you are charged with a laboratory apparatus offense, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Hamilton, Hull & Byrd to make sure your rights are protected and you receive the best defense possible.