You probably have an idea of how tough the state of Texas is on marijuana. While many other states have taken steps to decriminalize or legalize marijuana in various medical or recreational uses, Texas has stuck by its strict punishment for those possessing even less than two ounces. What you might not know is that possessing marijuana-related paraphernalia comes with serious consequences, too.
Texas drug laws classify possession of paraphernalia as a separate offense that may be tacked on to other possession or sale charges. Keep reading for answers about what constitutes criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and what the repercussions are.
What is illegal marijuana paraphernalia?
Texas law deems drug paraphernalia as any item used for consuming, cultivating, concealing or packaging a controlled substance. Examples of items related to marijuana charges include:
- Rolling papers
- Punctured metal bowls
- Cans or bottles
Some paraphernalia charges may even include items purchased from smoke shops or household items such as plastic bags and spoons.
What are the penalties?
There are various consequences for paraphernalia possession depending on the charge:
- Simple possession: class C misdemeanor with a fine up to $500
- Distribution or sale: class A misdemeanor with up to one year in jail
- Selling to a minor: state jail felony
Repeat offenses may have higher fines and increased incarceration periods.
Will I lose my driver’s license?
Any drug conviction in Texas results in an immediate 180-day driver suspension. The license suspension is also accompanied by a required Drug Education Program class. These consequences occur even if you were not driving a car at the time you were arrested.
Having marijuana paraphernalia can make your initial drug charges worse. If you are facing any drug charges, contact a criminal defense lawyer for the best chance to challenge your charges. You might be able to reduce the penalties or dismiss the charges with a viable defense.