Texas has relatively strict laws about controlled substances. People can end up arrested for violations involving prohibited substances like heroin and marijuana or even prescription medications that they don’t have a prescription to use.
In most cases, possession charges are the least severe allegations the state can file against someone who has been accused of involvement with illegal drugs, but even possession can be a serious offense. There are actually several different types of possession that might lead to criminal charges, and those who understand the different types of possession will be in a better position to develop a criminal defense strategy responding to their pending charges.
Personal drug possession
For those caught in possession of a substance, a simple possession charge may result. At least when someone does not have prior offenses and only has a limited amount of a substance on their person, possession charges may be misdemeanor offenses.
Possession with intent
When prosecutors or police officers claim that someone had possession with intent, what they mean is that someone wanted to sell the drugs rather than use them for personal purposes. Possession with intent charges often lead to more serious penalties for the person accused and could result in a lengthy jail sentence.
Possession of paraphernalia
There are two types of paraphernalia that could complicate someone’s criminal charges. There are accessories associated with drug consumption, like pipes and syringes. There are also pieces of paraphernalia associated with drug trafficking, including scales and packaging.
Possession of paraphernalia is often a secondary charge brought in addition to drug possession that can increase the penalties someone faces.
Technically, marijuana cultivation is drug manufacturing, but Texas applies its possession statute when people end up accused of growing marijuana. Often, just leave offenses because the weight of a marijuana plant will be more than the very low threshold for misdemeanor possession offenses.
Those who have been accused of possession could face jail time and a criminal record, along with other consequences depending on their personal history and the circumstances that led to their arrest. Learning more about how Texas handles drug charges can benefit those who want to fight back after their arraignments with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.