Most people are aware that drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and the like are illegal in Texas. But what you may not know is that you can also get in legal trouble for owning or selling items that are related to the use of these drugs. You can be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia even if you aren’t caught with the actual drugs.
Possession of paraphernalia is illegal in Texas
Possessing paraphernalia related to drugs is an offense that falls under the general heading of drug crimes in Texas. Simply possessing paraphernalia is not considered a crime by federal standards. However, you can face severe penalties under state law. For example, police can check to see if any of these items possess drug residue.
It is illegal to sell, or make the offer to sell, any kind of drug paraphernalia. It is also illegal to mail it to anyone or to transport it through interstate commerce. You are also prohibited from either importing or exporting drug paraphernalia. If you are caught doing any of these things, you can face charges under state and federal laws.
Common penalties for selling or distributing paraphernalia
While not quite on the order of drug trafficking, the penalties for paraphernalia can still be quite stiff. Under federal law, the maximum penalty for selling paraphernalia will usually be three years, plus a fine. The actual penalty that you draw will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. A first offense usually draws a lesser sentence.
Under Texas state law, you can receive a $500 fine plus a substantial amount of community service. If you are a repeat offender, the penalties will increase. A second or third offense can lead to a stiffer fine plus the possibility of spending time in jail.