Maybe you just got back from vacation in a state where pot is legal, and you forgot to get your water pipe out of the car when you unpacked. Then, in a stroke of bad luck, you see red flashing lights behind you and get pulled over by the cops. Even if you’ve never been in trouble with the law before, you know you’re in hot water.
Depending on your unique circumstances, possession of drug paraphernalia, even if it’s a first offense, can be a serious charge, especially if there was drug residue in the device or if it appeared as if you were using the paraphernalia to manufacture drugs. Read on to find out what to do if you find yourself caught up in this unfortunate situation.
Didn’t Know You Were in Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?
The term paraphernalia refers to any product, equipment, or material for using, manufacturing, or concealing drugs. This includes items like marijuana pipes, cocaine spoons, and syringes or needles. Items that are used to grow, cultivate, or harvest drugs also count as paraphernalia.
If you’re charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Texas, it’s important to know about the facts the state needs to prove against you before going to court. Mainly, the prosecution has to show that you had knowledge of the presence of the paraphernalia and that it was in your control or possession.
For example, if your lawyer can prove that you didn’t know your friend stashed his bong in your back seat, you might get off lightly, especially if it’s your first offense. However, if you’re convicted, you may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and have a drug conviction on your permanent record. Heavy fines and jail time are bad enough, but you also might have trouble finding a job or apartment.
It could be worse, though. You could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or felony if, for instance, it appeared as if you intended to sell or distribute drugs. Even if it is your first offense, incarceration is a real possibility if this happens.
Your First Offense
If it’s your first offense possessing drug paraphernalia, then your lawyer may be able to convince the judge to give you deferred adjudication probation instead of jail time. If not, they may give you deferred disposition instead.
This means that if you successfully complete probation without getting charged with any new offenses, then your case can be dismissed after a certain amount of time has passed. Usually the time frame is six months. After that, your case could be totally erased from your record forever.
Get in Touch with a Possession Lawyer
It’s important to clear your name after being accused of any kind of drug offense, including possession of paraphernalia. You don’t want a conviction haunting you for the rest of your life.
If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it’s your first alleged offense, and want more information about how our team can help, call Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC today at 817-334-7900 or submit our contact form.