Charges In Texas Associated With Inhalants

A man in the Denton area was recently arrested after law enforcement saw him inhaling fumes from a compressed air can. Many witnesses also saw the man inhaling gas from the can. The man then refused to receive medical assistance at a hospital. The man was later charged with possessing, using, ingesting, and inhaling volatile chemicals. Compressed air is just one of the most common types of volatile chemicals. A second very common type of volatile chemical is nitrous oxide, which is stored in tanks by dentists and welders, among other professionals. Law in Texas prohibits the recreational use of certain substances that are referred to as “volatile chemicals” and which are not labelled as controlled substances.

Examples of Volatile Chemicals

Some of the most commonly abused volatile chemicals include nitrous oxide, spray paint, and other chemicals that produce effects similar to intoxication or which distort a person’s balance, cognition, or eyesight. Federal law requires volatile chemicals to carry a label with a warning conveying that the chemical has harmful vapors.

Charges Related to the Possession and Use of Volatile Chemicals

Texas prohibits using volatile chemicals in a way that is contrary to safety instructions that appear on the product’s label. More specifically, Texas prohibits using volatile chemicals in a way that affects a person’s central nervous system, creates hallucinations or intoxication, or disturbs a person’s eyesight, balance, or cognition. The state of Texas classifies using a volatile chemical in an unlawful way or possessing volatile chemicals with the intent to use them unlawfully as a Class B misdemeanor that results in 180 days in jail and/or a fine.

Crimes Related to Volatile Chemical Paraphernalia

In addition to volatile chemicals, a person can also face charges related to the use of products that are designed to help use volatile chemicals, which are also called paraphernalia. One example of volatile chemical paraphernalia are balloons that are used to hold nitrous oxide. Texas prohibits using or possessing with the intent to use volatile chemical paraphernalia. Possession offenses are prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor that can result in fines and/or a jail sentence of up to 180 days.

Requirements for Sellers of Volatile Chemical

Entities that sell volatile chemicals are required to satisfy certain regulations. Failure to meet these regulations is classified as a crime. One of these requirements is that entities who sell volatile chemicals must post signs warning consumers in English and Spanish of the dangers associated with intentionally inhaling or ingesting volatile chemicals. Entities can also face charges for selling a volatile chemical to an adult who lacks a valid permit authorizing the sale. Violations of these laws can also result in a party facing a misdemeanor that results in fines or imprisonment.

Obtain the Services of a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney

Volatile chemical charges are serious and the state of Texas prosecutes them rigorously. Obstacles associated with these charges can result in a person facing career or educational obstacles. To respond to your case, it is often a wise idea to contact a strong criminal defense attorney like the legal counsel at Wheeler Law Office.

(image courtesy of Bulkan Evcimen)