State and federal law enforcement agencies are cracking down on the flow of controlled substances. It is illegal to possess a significant number of controlled substances without legal authority, and the punishments for doing so can be harsh.
However, it also is illegal to possess certain items used in connection with controlled substances, whether it is used to ingest, inhale, sell, manufacture or cultivate. You can be charged with a drug offense if you possess the paraphernalia, which can range from typical household items to novelties.
Drug paraphernalia charges can be serious and should be handled as such. If you face charges of possessing, manufacturing or delivering tools for narcotics-related use, a Fort Lauderdale drug paraphernalia lawyer can fight for your rights.
The experienced team at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people facing a variety of drug charges, including paraphernalia charges, throughout Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Plantation, Davie, Sunrise, Weston and Wilton Manors.
Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at (954) 716-8538 to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week for assistance with your case.
Drug paraphernalia is defined as anything used for the purpose of ingesting, injecting or inhaling any type of controlled substances, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.147. These items can include:
Paraphernalia also is defined as anything that can be used to plant, cultivate, manufacture, compound, convert, process, prepare, pack, store or conceal any type of controlled substance. These may include:
Possessing drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If you are convicted, penalties include up to one year in prison, a $1,000 fine and a permanent criminal record.
Broward County is home to several smoke shops and head shops that legally sell many of the items that can be listed as paraphernalia. The items themselves are not illegal, but they are prohibited if they are possessed with the intent of using or manufacturing illegal substances. For example, rolling papers could be sold and used for tobacco.
However, if prosecutors can prove stores sold items with the knowledge they would be used for illegal purposes, the seller can be charged with delivery of drug paraphernalia, a third degree felony. The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
If the paraphernalia was sold to a minor, charges are increased to a second degree felony. If convicted of a second degree felony, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
When charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, prosecutors must prove you had actual or constructive possession of the paraphernalia and that you used it or intended to use it to manufacture, consume, sell or cultivate illegal drugs.
Your drug defense attorney will examine every step of the arrest to determine the steps the Fort Lauderdale police officers, Broward County sheriff's deputies or other law enforcement officers took to find the paraphernalia.
If they violated your rights, such as conducting an illegal search, your drug defense lawyer can file a motion to suppress the paraphernalia as evidence. Without that critical evidence, prosecutors may have no choice other than to drop charges.
Drug paraphernalia convictions can carry serious consequences, and should not be dealt with lightly. If you face drug paraphernalia charges, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale drug paraphernalia lawyer to represent you.
At Meltzer & Bell, P.A. we represent people facing drug paraphernalia charges, whether for possession, delivery or manufacturing, in courts in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas in Broward County. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at (954) 716-8538 to schedule a free consultation.
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