Lawyer for your Drug Paraphernalia Charge
The Texas drug paraphernalia law is not, as might be assumed, a part of the Texas Penal Code but Section 481.125 of the Health and Safety Code. This is where Texas codifies most drug offenses. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor punishable per Subsection 481.125(d) by a fine of up to $500.
Texas is not a place to be caught with drug contraband. Many drug charges, even simple possession, are felonies. This harsh controlled substances policy penalizes possession of nothing more sinister than rolling papers or a pipe. This paraphernalia charge alone can cause serious consequences, so finding the best ticket attorney to argue for a dismissal or acquittal is a wise decision.
Misdemeanors and minor offenses like possession of drug paraphernalia are not insignificant. Their effects may be cause problems for many years, sometimes over your lifetime. Paraphernalia charges can leave permanent criminal records that the government and businesses can access instantly through background checks. Pleading guilty, the line of least resistance, exposes you to a brand as a “druggie.” Fighting the charge, the hard, high road, with “assistance of counsel for defense” is your only real chance to win your case and preserve a future life unencumbered by a conviction.
Pleading Guilty to Paraphernalia Ticket
Many possession of drug paraphernalia charges accompany concurrent charges of illegal drug (controlled substance) possession. Pleading guilty may seem like the easiest way out of the whole sorry situation, but in the long run that way is probably decision. Convictions resulting from guilty pleas cannot be expunged later. The records remain for life, obstructing your future plans and haunting your permanent record. This may mean you cannot get money for school or your dream job.
By far the better way is to hire a skilled, experienced ticket attorney for advice as to how best to proceed and for advocacy with prosecutors and judges. Win or lose, defendants assisted and represented by counsel in court cases always have advantages over those who are not.
A ticket lawyer that prosecutors know and respect as resourceful, hardworking, and successful in courtroom combat can make all the difference in plea negotiations or dismissal discussions.
Deferred Adjudication for Paraphernalia Charge
If you are a “first offender” or if the facts of the case otherwise support it, your ticket lawyer may be able to get a plea offer of deferred adjudication. In a deferred adjudication, the defendant makes a conditional plea of guilty and accepts a term of short “probation.” Deferred adjudication is not a final conviction and may, in some circumstances expunged, or sealed by a nondisclosure order.
Suppression of Paraphernalia Evidence
If the paraphernalia evidence is a product of an arrest or search for any reason not amounting to probable cause, the prosecutor’s use of the evidence may be subject to challenge as inadmissible under the Fourth Amendment. If the attorney persuades the court to suppress the evidence, the prosecutor’s case sinks without a trace, as further prosecution can end only in an acquittal for insufficient evidence.
Drug Paraphernalia Jury Trial
If all of our pretrial efforts fail, we always need to be ready for trial. The paraphernalia possession offense is one of specific intent to “to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance.” In the absence of mind-reading ability, it is difficult to imagine any direct evidence of a specific intent to plant, propagate, cultivate, or do with a controlled substance any of the other prohibitions of the statute. Unless the evidence against the defendant included a controlled substance, an articulate defense attorney might effectively that the paraphernalia possession charge must fail as inherently speculative.
Of course, if an essential witness fails to appear on time for the trial, any competent attorney for the defendant would move for dismissal for want of prosecution or unnecessary delay. The main point is that guilty pleas seldom benefit defendants and ordinarily only hurt them.
Text of Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.125
“A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally uses or possesses with intent to use drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance in violation of this chapter or to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance.” Section 481.125 tracks the Section 481.002(17) definition of “Drug Paraphernalia.”