Possession of drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor, and it can result in fines and/or up to one year in county jail. It often accompanies a possession of a controlled substance charge. Some items considered to be drug paraphernalia are pipes, water pipes, bongs, rolling papers, scales, plastic bags, drug residue, scales and syringes.
Being that it is relatively challenging to attest that paraphernalia is possessed with the intent of drug use, Florida law identifies certain components that are considered when establishing whether the object in question is drug paraphernalia (as per 893.146 Determination of Paraphernalia). These are as follows:
- Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use
- The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a direct violation of this act
- The proximity of the object to controlled substances
- The existence of any residue of controlled substances on the object
- Direct or circumstantial evidence of the owner’s intent, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons who he or she knows, or should reasonably know, intend to use the object to facilitate a violation of this act. The innocence of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, as to a direct violation of this act shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use, as drug paraphernalia.
- Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use
- Descriptive materials accompanying the object, which explain or depict its use
- Any advertising concerning its use
- The manner in which the object is displayed for sale
- Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the object, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor of or dealer in tobacco products
- Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object or objects to the total sales of the business enterprise
- The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community
- Expert testimony concerning its use
If you, a loved one or friend has been charged with a drug crime in Florida, contact the experienced drug crime defense attorneys of Kopelousos, Bradley & Garrison, P.A. at 904.269.1111 for a free consultation. It is essential that you have that attorney with you during any interrogation and throughout each step of the legal process. We’re ready to discuss the facts of your particular situation and begin building your defense.