Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Texas

Q: Can one get prosecuted for trafficking when entering any state, in possession of 10gr of pseudoephedrine hydrocloride?

1st time offense. No prescription. Medication bought over a period of time. Individual entering state for holidays.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You can be arrested and prosecuted for anything. However, you can only be convicted if you enter a plea of guilty or no contest, or if the prosecutor can prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. Ten grams is 10,000 milligrams. A typical pill of pseudoephedrine contains 25mg, so we are talking 400 pills, which is above the presumption limit of 300 pills. Your real question should be not if you CAN BE prosecuted, but rather WILL you actually be prosecuted? Unfortunately, nobody here can answer that question. The answer depends on local law enforcement and perhaps also what ELSE you had in your possession in addition to the pills.

Texas Health and Saftey Code Sec. 481.124 says, in part, that:

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An intent to unlawfully manufacture the controlled substance methamphetamine is presumed if the actor possesses or transports 300 tablets or capsules of a product containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine PLUS:

Anhydrous ammonia

OR

At least three of the following categories of substances commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine:

(i) lithium or sodium metal or red phosphorus, iodine, or iodine crystals;

(ii) lye, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, or muriatic acid;

(iii) an organic solvent, including ethyl ether, alcohol, or acetone;

(iv) a petroleum distillate, including naphtha, paint thinner, or charcoal lighter fluid; or

(v) aquarium, rock, or table salt;

OR

At least three of the following items: an item of unregistered lab equipment, or glassware, a plastic or metal container, tubing, a hose, or other item specially designed, assembled, or adapted for use in the manufacture, processing, analyzing, storing, or concealing of methamphetamine.

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Anyone who knows anything about the illicit manufacture of meth knows that almost any kitchen container or tool can be "adapted" for this use, so that last category above is basically a catch-all. Also, this list above only creates a legal presumption... the intent can still be proved with other evidence or testimony without the presumption. Conversely, it may be possible to rebut the presumption with evidence or testimony that attempts to explain an alternate reason for the possession of the other "suspicious" items. Hire a good criminal defense attorney and tell her everything, but whatever you do, don't talk to the police.

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