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Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

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Aside from drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia is one of the more commonly charged crimes across the country. All states criminalize the sale, use, and possession of drug paraphernalia, though the wording of these laws can be very broad. As a result, a court can claim almost any item is drug paraphernalia under the right circumstances.

At Locke Law Firm, our legal team is led by an experienced Pearland drug crimes lawyer who understands the criminal legal process and can provide you and your family with the help you need as you navigate the complex legal system.

Call us at (832) 308-7623 to learn more about how the Locke Law Firm can help you.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

The term drug paraphernalia means any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. It includes items primarily intended for introducing marijuana, cocaine, PCP, methamphetamine, or amphetamines into the human body, such as:

  • Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes
  • Chamber, carburetor, electric or air-driven pipes
  • Water pipes
  • Smoking masks
  • Roach clips
  • Miniature spoons
  • Needles
  • Bongs
  • Ice pipes
  • Wired cigarette papers
  • Cocaine freebase kits

In many cases, paraphernalia charges can be filed if a law enforcement officer suspects that a person has been consuming or selling drugs but has no actual drugs in their possession. When determining whether an item constitutes drug paraphernalia, the following are considered:

  1. Instructions provided with the item concerning its use;
  2. Descriptive materials accompanying the item;
  3. Advertising concerning its use;
  4. The manner in which the item is displayed for sale;
  5. The existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item in the community; and
  6. Expert testimony concerning its use

Legal Penalties

The criminal penalties for the possession of drug paraphernalia can vary. In most cases, a first-time offender who is caught with drug paraphernalia is charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine and/or community service. A second or third offense for possession of drug paraphernalia can automatically be upgraded to a higher penalty category that includes the possibility of jail time.

Selling drug paraphernalia also leads to tougher charges. A first-time offense for selling illegal drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $4000 fine. A subsequent offense for selling illegal paraphernalia can lead to a felony charge, which is punishable by 90 days or up to 1 year in jail or prison and a fine of up to $4000.

The penalties can also be increased for someone who is caught selling paraphernalia to minors. A first-time offense for this charge is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days or up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

For more information about possession of drug paraphernalia, and to schedule your free consultation, contact our Pearland criminal defense attorney at Locke Law Firm.

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