Many police searches for illegal drugs result in criminal charges relating to the alleged possession of drug paraphernalia. Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.115(17) defines drug paraphernalia as “equipment, a product, or material that is used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, or concealing a controlled substance in violation of this chapter or in injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter.” While a drug paraphernalia possession crime is usually a misdemeanor offense, certain crimes can result in felony charges. Even misdemeanor convictions could carry lasting consequences.

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Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX

Were you arrested or ticketed for possession of drug paraphernalia in the greater Fort Worth area? You need to seek legal representation as soon as you possibly can.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a consultation.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Fort Worth

The Texas Health and Safety Code definition of drug paraphernalia includes all of the following:

  • A hypodermic syringe, needle, or other object used or intended for use in parenterally injecting a controlled substance into the human body
  • A kit used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting a species of plant that is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance may be derived
  • A container or other object used or intended for use in storing or concealing a controlled substance; and
  • A material, compound, mixture, preparation, or kit used or intended for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing a controlled substance
  • A capsule, balloon, envelope, or other container used or intended for use in packaging small quantities of a controlled substance
  • A conversion device used or intended for use in increasing the potency of a species of plant that is a controlled substance
  • A blender, bowl, container, spoon, or mixing device used or intended for use in compounding a controlled substance
  • Testing equipment used or intended for use in identifying or analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of a controlled substance
  • A separation gin or sifter used or intended for use in removing twigs and seeds from or in otherwise cleaning or refining marihuana
  • A dilutant or adulterant, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, inositol, nicotinamide, dextrose, lactose, or absorbent, blotter-type material, that is used or intended to be used to increase the amount or weight of or to transfer a controlled substance regardless of whether the dilutant or adulterant diminishes the efficacy of the controlled substance
  • A scale or balance used or intended for use in weighing or measuring a controlled substance
  • Drug paraphernalia also includes objects used or intended for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, such as:
  • An ice pipe or chiller
  • A metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipe with or without a screen, permanent screen, hashish head, or punctured metal bowl
  • A bong
  • A water pipe
  • A chillum
  • A carburetion tube or device
  • An air-driven pipe
  • A smoking or carburetion mask
  • An electric pipe
  • A carburetor pipe
  • A chamber pipe
 

Evidentiary rules relating to drug paraphernalia are established under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.183. A court or other authority can consider all of the following in addition to all other logically relevant factors when considering whether an item is drug paraphernalia:

  • Expert testimony concerning the item’s use
  • Statements by an owner or person in control of the object concerning its use
  • The physical design characteristics of the item
  • The existence of any residue of a controlled substance on the object
  • The existence and scope of uses for the object in the community
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner or other person in control of the object to deliver it to a person whom the person knows or should reasonably know intends to use the object to facilitate a violation of this chapter
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object to the total sales of the business enterprise
  • Whether the owner or person in control of the object is a supplier of similar or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products
  • The manner in which the object is displayed for sale
  • Descriptive material accompanying the object that explains or depicts its use
  • Oral or written instructions provided with the object concerning its use
 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Penalties in Texas

When an alleged offender knowingly or intentionally uses or possesses with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance or to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance, it is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.

If an alleged offender knowingly or intentionally delivers, possesses with intent to deliver, or manufactures with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia knowing that the person who receives or who is intended to receive the drug paraphernalia intends that the paraphernalia be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance or to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance, it is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

If an alleged offender 18 years of age or older knowingly or intentionally delivers, possesses with intent to deliver, or manufactures with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia knowing that the person who receives or who is intended to receive the drug paraphernalia intends that it be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance or to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance, and the other person is younger than 18 years of age and at least three years younger than the alleged offender, possession of drug paraphernalia is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defenses in Tarrant County

Many drug paraphernalia cases involve evidence illegally seized by police officers. When authorities discover drug paraphernalia through an illegal search and seizure, the evidence may be inadmissible in court and the criminal charges usually get thrown out.

In some cases, alleged offenders may be able to argue that the alleged paraphernalia was not actually connected to any drug activity. Such defenses may be more common because several common household items are interpreted as being drug paraphernalia even when they might not have been used for those purposes.

Every drug paraphernalia case, whether it is brought to trial or resolved with a plea before a trial, depends on the specific facts that the prosecutor needs to prove to win a conviction. Section 481.125 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act prohibits individuals from knowingly or intentionally using drug paraphernalia in conjunction with controlled substances, and a successful defense of Texas drug paraphernalia possession charges typically turns on whether that possession was knowing or intentional, and whether any controlled substances were in any way connected to the paraphernalia.

Any evidence introduced at trial must have been collected according to proper procedures. If the law enforcement authorities who seized any drug paraphernalia evidence did not have an appropriate warrant or did not have probable cause to conduct a search, a lawyer will challenge the introduction of that evidence into the trial court record.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Resources in Tarrant County

Drug Paraphernalia Fast Facts | Department of Justice — View a Department of Justice publication discussing what drug paraphernalia is. It also discusses what paraphernalia looks like and where it is sold. The publication also discusses the legality of paraphernalia.

How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia | Get Smart About Drugs — Visit this section of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website to find information about drug paraphernalia. You can view many kinds of paraphernalia for several common drugs. Federal penalties for drug paraphernalia offenses are also discussed here.

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you or your loved one arrested or ticketed for possession of drug paraphernalia in Tarrant County, Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, TX area. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as you possibly can.

Our firm will fight to protect your rights and help you achieve the most favorable outcome that carries the fewest possible penalties. We will answer all of your legal questions when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to take advantage of a consultation.