Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: What to Know if You Are Charged in Florida
Under Florida State law, the Possession or Use of Drug Paraphernalia is a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties that may include jail or probation. Drug paraphernalia is any object or material intended for the production, use, or processing of a controlled substance.
Under Section 893.145 of the Florida Statutes, drug paraphernalia is defined as “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 . . .”
There exist many common examples of Drug Paraphernalia, which include:
- Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used for injecting controlled substances into the human body;
- Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances;
- Rolling papers, cutting devices, testing devices, balloons, and baggies;
- Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
- Water pipes, smoking and carburetion masks, other air driven pipes, “roach clips,” bongs, “whip it” devices for expelling nitrous oxide, “crackers,” and vials.
Under Florida State law, possession or use of drug paraphernalia is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, with penalties that may include up to one year in jail or 12 months probation, as well as a $1,000 fine. Should you be placed on probation you will, most likely, have to subject yourself to random drug screening.
There are many possible defenses to combat drug paraphernalia charges. Sometimes, the conduct of the arresting Law Enforcement officer(s) can violate your Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights to unwarranted search and seizure. Other possible defenses include, but are not limited to:
- Was the accused the only person in the car or dwelling?
- Was the accused in exclusive or constructive possession?
- Were the items found on the accused’s person, or were they located in a place where multiple persons had joint access?
- Was the accused driving the car, or did the accused have the authority to maintain control over or manage the premises?
- Can the State prove that the accused had knowledge of the presence of the paraphernalia?
Contact an Attorney
There are many nuances of a drug paraphernalia possession case to consider before moving forward. My experience as an Assistant State Attorney has exposed me to numerous types of these cases and their commonality lies in their differences. Given the numerous defenses available to contest these charges, an attorney is a vital asset for avoiding a conviction.
If you have question about your drug paraphernalia possession case please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com.