Texas law prosecutes any crime related to drugs to the fullest extent of the law. You do not have to possess, buy, sell, use, or distribute drugs in order to be charged with a drug crime. Simply possessing any substance that is related to an illegal drug can be enough to find someone guilty of a crime. Known as drug paraphernalia, these substances can carry just as harsh of a sentence as possession of actual drugs may.
How can I identify paraphernalia?
Someone can be brought up on criminal charges of drug paraphernalia if they sell, offer to sell, mail, transport, import, or export any paraphernalia. In addition, being in possession of these objects when stopped by law enforcement can result in further questioning or arrest.
Paraphernalia can be divided into items that are used to distribute drugs to others and those that are used to ingest an illegal substance. Some substances can be found around the house for other, common uses, and some are created with the sole intent of using illegal drugs.
Some common forms of paraphernalia include:
- Roach clips
- Syringes and needles
- Plastic bags
- Cigarette papers
Remember that since many of these objects have purposes unrelated to drug use, sale, or possession, context can be used to determine whether or not the item was used legitimately or in connection with drug usage. The prosecution can test for residue, for example, to show that it was at some point used for drug use. Conversely, some items, such as a hookah, can be shown to be strictly for legal tobacco use and therefore unpunishable under the law.