Florida Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Did you know you could be arrested and charged with a drug offense without being in possession of any controlled substances? Under Florida law, you can be charged with an offense for actually or constructively possessing drug paraphernalia. This includes all manner of objects, with or without drug residue, that the police or prosecutors claim are connected to making, transporting, selling, or using an illegal drug. If you are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, contact a Kissimmee criminal defense attorney at our office. We will review your case and determine what to do next, whether that is fight for the charges to be dropped or defend your case in court.
Florida’s Definition of Drug Paraphernalia
What Florida considers to be drug paraphernalia is extensive. Under Florida Statute §893.145, drug paraphernalia includes “all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.”
Ultimately, if the police find you with any item that could have anything to do with drugs, then you may be in trouble. The police are not ones to give you the benefit of the doubt. You may have to cooperate with an arrest and then call a lawyer to fight back against false accusations and wrongful charges.
Specific Examples of Drug Paraphernalia
Some specific examples of what the law considers drug paraphernalia includes:
- Equipment designed for, used, or intended to be used for growing or harvesting a plant that is used to make a controlled substance
- Equipment designed for, used, or intended to be used for manufacturing, processing, or preparing a controlled substance
- Testing equipment used or intended to be used for identifying or analyzing the purity or strength of a drug
- Scales and balances intended to weigh or measure drugs
- Baggies, balloons, and other containers intended to divide, store, and sell drugs in
- Dilutents and adulterants, such as dextrose or lactose, intended to dilute a controlled substance
- Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects intended to inject a controlled substance into a body
- Rolling papers, bowls, bongs, and other pipes
- Miniature cocaine spoons and cocaine vials
- Equipment to contain, store, or expel nitrous oxide
- A 2-liter soda bottle
- Duct tape
Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list of what police officers can consider drug paraphernalia and arrest you for.
Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Under Florida Statute §893.147, it is illegal for you to use any drug paraphernalia or possess with the intent to use it. If you are caught in actual or constructive possession of one or more pieces of drug paraphernalia, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1,000.
If you are caught manufacturing or delivering drug paraphernalia, under circumstances in which you know or reasonably should know that it will be used to cultivate, manufacture, prepare, store, pack, or ingest a controlled substance, then you may be charged with a third-degree felony. You can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and fined up to $5,000.
Delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor is a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000. If the paraphernalia included hypodermic syringes or needles, not intended for legitimate medical use, then you face a first-degree felony, which can be penalized with up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Contact a Kissimmee Defense Lawyer for Help
If you have been charged with manufacturing, possession, use, transportation, or delivery of drug paraphernalia, contact Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. Our Kissimmee criminal defense lawyers are eager to help you today.