Drug Paraphernalia Charges
If you’ve been charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, you are facing a surprisingly stern penalty: Florida statute 893.147 lists it as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year behind bars, plus as much as a $1,000 fine. For a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t have run-ins with law enforcement as a general rule, this can be quite a blow. That’s why you need an experienced, local attorney to help you fight this type of charge.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia has a fairly expansive definition under Florida law (893.146). It can include any materials whose intended function is to assist in the manufacture, cultivation, production or use of a controlled substance. So anything from plastic baggies used to hold such substances, to the pipes used to smoke them, can be considered drug paraphernalia.
There are two types of possession according to Florida law: actual possession and constructive possession.
- Actual possession refers to items that are within arm’s length of the person. So if materials are in your pocket, or on the seat next to you, it would be considered active possession. However, proximity to the paraphernalia must be connected with control over the paraphernalia.
- Constructive possession refers to paraphernalia that is hidden or otherwise within an area that a person controls. For example, if you have items in the trunk of your car, the law presumes that you are in control of the car and know of the items within it. Even though the items are out of reach, you could be charged with constructive possession of those items.
When you and someone else share possession of an item, and you both are capable of exercising control over it, you may be equally guilty of possession. So even if the other person purchased and owns the materials, if you have access to controlling them, you may be charged with possession of paraphernalia as well.
Delivering Paraphernalia to a Minor
If you give drug paraphernalia to someone who is under the age of 18, you are facing a second-degree felony. The consequences for furnishing drug paraphernalia to a minor in Florida is up to 15 years of imprisonment and a maximum of $10,000.00 in fines, depending on the circumstances.
Your Legal Defense
If you are charged with crimes related to drug paraphernalia, you are entitled to a vigorous defense. At Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., that is exactly what you will get. We always obtain the best outcome for our clients, whether that means getting the charges reduced, or, in the best case scenario, getting the charges dropped or dismissed altogether. In any event, you can count on a straightforward assessment of your circumstances and a robust defense on your behalf. There’s no time to lose: schedule your free, confidential consultation in Kissimmee, Orlando, or Altamonte Springs today.