Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia: Texas Health and Safety Code §481.125

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you used, delivered, or manufactured drug paraphernalia.

The drug paraphernalia charge is a common type of Class C citation prosecuted in municipal courts. However, the paraphernalia charge can be more severe depending on the particular circumstances.

Have you been charged with Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia? Book a consultation to discuss legal representation with attorneys Paul Saputo and Nicholas Toufexis today.

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The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.125. The law was not amended in 2023. The law was most recently updated in 2021 by creating a defense to prosecution for this offense.

The Health and Safety Code classifies the Texas Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia law under Title 6 “Food, Drugs, Alcohol, and Hazardous Substances,” Chapter 481 “Texas Controlled Substances Act.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia below.

What is the current Texas law about Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia in Health and Safety Code Section §481.125 as follows:[1]

(a) 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 in violation of this chapter.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally delivers, possesses with intent to deliver, or manufactures with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia knowing that the person who receives or who is intended to receive the drug paraphernalia intends that it be used 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 in violation of this chapter.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person commits an offense under Subsection (b), is 18 years of age or older, and the person who receives or who is intended to receive the drug paraphernalia is younger than 18 years of age and at least three years younger than the actor.

What changed in 2021?

In 2021, the Texas legislature created a defense to prosecution of offenses under subsection (a) for people who were providing emergency medical assistance or who were victims of a possible overdose for which medical assistance was requested.[2] Certain restrictions apply to the this defense.[3]

How can I be charged with Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of subsection (a) or (b) or (c) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia in Texas?

Misdemeanor level Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia charges have a two-year limitations period.[4] Felony level offenses have a three-year limitations period.[5]

What is the penalty for a Texas Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia offense?

If the offense falls under subsection (a), then a conviction for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,[6] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500.

If the offense falls under subsection (b), then a conviction for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,[7] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to a year in jail unless it is shown in trial that you have been previously convicted of this offense under subsection (b), or (c) then your jail time would be no more than a year, but no less than 90 days.

If the offense falls under subsection (c) then a conviction for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia is punished as a state jail felony,[8] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.

Can you get probation for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[9]

Note, however, that judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.[10]

What level of crime is Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia in Texas?

The Health and Safety Code classification of the punishment for Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia ranges from a Class C misdemeanor to a state jail felony, depending on the circumstances.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.


^1. Texas Health and Safety Code §481.125. This law is current as of 2024.^2. Texas Health And Safety Code §481.125(g), as enacted by HB 1694, 87th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 10^3. See Texas Health And Safety Code §481.125(h)&(i)^4. Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^5. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^6. Texas Health And Safety Code §481.125(d)^7. Texas Health And Safety Code §481.125(e)^8. Texas Health And Safety Code §481.125(f)^9. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^10. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure


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