Possession of drug paraphernalia can be charged as a criminal offense in Delaware County, despite talk about the decriminalization of marijuana. Although many people elect to accept the consequences and not try to fight the charges, this can be a mistake. Paying a fine or taking similar actions are viewed as an admission of guilt, which creates a criminal record. A Delaware County drug paraphernalia lawyer could review your options for defense and help minimize negative consequences. A tenacious drug attorney could also help protect your rights and advocate on your behalf throughout the process.
State laws penalize several different activities connected with drug paraphernalia in 35 Pennsylvania Statutes §780-113(a)(32), (33) & (34). These include:
The term drug paraphernalia is defined in 35 Pa. Stat. §780-102 as any material used or intended to be used in the process of growing, manufacturing, compounding, processing, preparing, testing, packaging, storing, containing, concealing a controlled dangerous substance.
Under this definition, any small plastic bag could be considered drug paraphernalia. The definition also includes any equipment which is or intended for use inhaling, injecting, ingesting or otherwise introducing a controlled substance into the body. The statute gives several examples, but the list is not exclusive. A seasoned Delaware County drug paraphernalia lawyer may be able to show that there was no intent to use any suspicious articles found in someone’s possession.
While all the drug paraphernalia offenses are treated as misdemeanor offenses, the crime is more severe if certain aggravating factors are involved. Those convicted of a base violation may be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A Delaware County drug paraphernalia lawyer could seek alternative penalties.
When individuals are convicted of delivering drug paraphernalia to minors who are at least three years younger than themselves, the offense is considered a second-degree misdemeanor under 35 Pa. Stat. §780-113(i). The maximum term of imprisonment doubles to two years and the fine also increases to $5,000.
An empty water bottle, plastic bag or scale are generally not considered drug paraphernalia on their own. However, when these items are found in close proximity to or bearing trace elements of controlled substances, they are more likely to be treated as drug paraphernalia.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is frequently charged in addition to other substances involving controlled substances. An experienced Delaware County drug paraphernalia lawyer could use various strategies to reduce the number of severity of charges or to suppress evidence.
In most cases involving accusations of criminal conduct, it is wise to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Those who do not understand their rights, including their right to avoid self-incrimination, may unintentionally forfeit those rights.
Representation from an experienced defense lawyer can prevent problems in this area.
Additionally, contacting a Delaware County drug paraphernalia lawyer from the very beginning allows them to start collecting and preserving evidence right away while it is most readily available. If police obtained evidence illegally, an attorney could fight to have that evidence suppressed. Call today to learn more about how a skilled attorney could help your case.