Understanding the Crime of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Florida
When people think of drug crimes in the State of Florida, they often first think of marijuana possession, as the drug is still illegal in the state when used for recreational purposes. However, there is another very common type of drug crime that law enforcement and the prosecution aggressively pursue. This is the crime of possession of drug paraphernalia and many people are surprised to find themselves facing this charge every year. If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important to understand this charge, and to speak to an Orlando criminal defense lawyer.
What is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Florida?
The Florida Statutes define possession of drug paraphernalia as possessing any product, equipment, or material that is used, intended or designed for use in cultivating, propagating, manufacturing, planting, harvesting, processing, converting, or otherwise introducing a controlled substance into the human body. The most common types of drug paraphernalia that form the grounds for being charged are as follows:
- Containers used to transport, store, or conceal controlled substances
- Hypodermic syringes and other tools used to inject controlled substances into the body
- Rolling papers, baggies, cutting devices, and balloons
- Blenders, spoons, bowls, and other mixing tools used for compounding controlled substances
- Pipes, screens, and punctured metal bowls
- Bongs, roach clips, pipes, and carburetion masks
Many people think that possessing any of the above materials is a minor criminal offense. In fact, the penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia are quite strict in the state.
Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
The penalties for a possession of drug paraphernalia vary depending on the nature of the crime and the defendant’s own criminal history. In most cases, possession of drug paraphernalia is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, punishable by up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and a $1,000 fine. While on probation, the accused will have to submit to random drug testing and complete a treatment program.
Individuals that are convicted of manufacturing or delivering drug paraphernalia can be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in jail, probation, and higher fines. If drug paraphernalia was given to a minor, the charge is upgraded to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, probation, and even higher fines.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Orlando will Defend Your Legal Rights
If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can help. You need the best possible defense from the very beginning, and our seasoned attorneys know how to provide it. We will always make sure your constitutional rights are upheld, and will give you the best chance of beating your charges. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys and to learn more about how we can help with your case.