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Is possessing or selling drug paraphernalia a criminal offense?

| Oct 21, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

You may face criminal charges in Texas for the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia. 

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, marijuana paraphernalia is the drug-related item most often uncovered by authorities. 

What types of marijuana equipment do state criminal laws cover?

In some cases, paraphernalia may include items used for smoking marijuana such as pipes and rolling papers. Objects used to weigh and package drugs may also constitute paraphernalia. These objects may include common household items like scales and plastic bags. 

In general, any item you use to cultivate, harvest, carry, store, package, sell or use marijuana may fall into the category of paraphernalia. 

What charges may result from paraphernalia offenses?

You may face charges if you sell drug-related equipment. You may also face prosecution if you possess such items with the intent to sell or deliver. The severity of charges and penalties may vary depending on whether an individual has a prior record. 

If this is your first offense, authorities may charge you with a Class A misdemeanor. This misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a jail sentence not longer than one year. However, if you have a prior conviction for this offense, law enforcement may pursue felony charges. A felony conviction may result in a mandatory minimum 90-day jail sentence. The maximum sentence is one year in jail. 

Penalties are more severe if you sell paraphernalia to a minor. In this instance, you may face a fine up to $10,000 and a jail sentence ranging from a minimum of 180 days to a maximum of two years. 

If law enforcement charges you only with possession, you face a Class C misdemeanor. This may result in a fine up to $500.