What to do if I am an 18 year old who was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia?

I was never actually arrested, and the officer determined the marijuana we had left “an unusable amount” and was not mentioned on the ticket. The incident occurred on campus but the room it occurred in was not mine and the paraphernalia we were charged with was not mine either (it was the room owner’s, which he admitted to police when they seized it). I am curious what the legal implications are/could be in this situation and how I should go about handling it. This is my first offense.

Asked on November 18, 2014 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, you need to make sure that you file an "appearance" for the ticket, if you received one.  The ticket, just like a traffic ticket, should have a date noted on it that you are required to appear by.  This can range from 10-30 days.  Look on your ticket for the due date.  If you don't send a letter to the court noted on the ticket saying "I'm hearby making my appearance," then the court will issue a warrant for a different charge call "failure to appear."

Your second step is to find an attorney to help you with the ticket for possession of drug paraphernalia.  You're 18 and in college.  This may not be the biggest deal, but it could be a few months or years down the road.  Some scholarship programs could exclude you from consideration because of the ticket.  Some employers may disqualify you from consideration from employment.  If it's a ticket-- it's probably just a class C which many people blow off-- the problem occurs months and years down the road when the persons, records, and witnesses available to resolve the situation are no longer available.  While records and memories are fresh, this is the time to get this off your record.

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