Many types of illegal drugs are consumed with the use of different types of devices or instruments. Whether a pipe for smoking marijuana or a hypodermic needle for injecting heroin, any device that is used to facilitate the consumption of a controlled substance may be considered drug paraphernalia in Houston, Texas. Possession of these items is against the law and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Texas Penalties for Paraphernalia Possession
In the eyes of the law, possession of a marijuana pipe or hypodermic syringe containing drug residue is considered to be evidence of illegal drug use. For this reason, police can issue citations for possession of a marijuana pipe even if the person being cited is not in possession of any actual marijuana.
While the penalties for possession of a drug are usually greater than the penalties for possession of an item used to consume that drug, the consequences are still significant. For example, a conviction for possession of these items could cause:
- A Class C misdemeanor conviction
- A $500 fine
- Months of probation, including mandatory drug testing
- Mandatory drug counseling
One of the problems encountered in these types of cases is that some items used for drug consumption are extremely similar to items used to consume legal substances. For example, a pipe or rolling papers used to smoke marijuana can also be used to smoke tobacco.
A defense attorney may use this fact in court to fight possession charges. The attorney might argue that possession of plastic bags, hypodermic syringes or smoking pipes is not sufficient to issue a conviction. If drug residue was discovered on or near one of these items, the attorney may be able to negotiate with the court for a plea bargain that could reduce the penalties.
For example, an attorney may be able to get the court to agree to let a defendant pay a fine and attend drug counseling for a deferred adjudication sentence. This may let the defendant eventually have the charged erased from his or her criminal record.
Hire a Houston Drug Attorney
People who have been arrested should hire a criminal defense attorney, regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent. Innocent people need an attorney to prove their innocence to the court and guilty people need an attorney to negotiate a fair penalty with the courts. Allow Justin T. Surginer to handle your case today by calling 713-589-8855.