Drug Paraphernalia Attorney

Drug Paraphernalia Defense

Possession of drug paraphernalia lawyer Bryce Fetter examines each drug paraphernalia case to determine if it can be dismissed and ultimately removed from your record.  If this is your first arrest, misdemeanor pretrial diversion may be an option for you. If you resolve your drug paraphernalia case without a conviction you may be eligible to seal or expunge your arrest record. Hiring an experienced and aggressive possession of drug paraphernalia lawyer is essential. Our goal is to do whatever is necessary to avoid a permanent criminal conviction. Once hired, we will:

  1. Collect and review all government evidence;
  2. Identify all possible defenses;
  3. Negotiate with your prosecutor for a dismissal or reduced charges;
  4. Qualify you for a pretrial diversion program, and
  5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a criminal conviction.

What is Drug Paraphernalia Under Florida Law?

Drug paraphernalia is anything that is used or intended to be used to help inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce an illegal drug into the body. Drug paraphernalia can also include those things that are used or intended to be used for other various drug-related purposes such as creating, containing, or concealing illegal drugs. Read Florida Statute 893.145 for Florida’s full drug paraphernalia definition. Some of the more common examples of drug paraphernalia prosecutions in Orange County include:

  • Pipes used for smoking illegal drugs such as marijuana and crack cocaine
  • Roach clips (used to hold a marijuana joint)
  • Bongs
  • Scales used to weigh illegal drugs
  • Hypodermic syringes and needles
  • Balloons, envelopes, and other objects used to contain or conceal illegal drugs

Defenses to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Unlawful Search

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia cases usually flow from a search conducted by local law enforcement. The 4th Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. This is a complex area of the law. An experienced Orlando attorney can review the facts and circumstances of your case and inform you as to whether an illegal search took place in connection with your arrest. An illegal search may result in the suppression of the drug paraphernalia evidence in your case. Eliminating that evidence will, of course, put you in a position to seek the possible dismissal of the charge.

Call Bryce Fetter Today

If you have been accused of possession of drug paraphernalia, contact our Orange County drug paraphernalia lawyer to discuss your case. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients. Call 407-740-7275 to speak directly with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney in Winter Park, Florida.

Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer, Florida Drug Crime Defense

Possession of drug paraphernalia lawyer Bryce Fetter examines each drug paraphernalia case to determine if it can be dismissed and ultimately removed from your record. If this is your first arrest, misdemeanor pretrial diversion may be an option for you. If you resolve your drug paraphernalia case without a conviction you may be eligible to seal or expunge your arrest record.  Our goal is to do whatever is necessary to avoid a permanent criminal conviction. Once hired, we will:

  1. Collect and review all government evidence;
  2. Identify all possible defenses;
  3. Negotiate with your prosecutor for a dismissal or reduced charges;
  4. Qualify you for a pretrial diversion program, and
  5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a drug paraphernalia conviction.

 

How is Drug Paraphernalia Under Florida Law?

Drug paraphernalia is anything that is used or intended to be used to help inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce an illegal drug into the body. Drug paraphernalia can also include those things that are used or intended to be used for other various drug-related purposes such as creating, containing, or concealing illegal drugs. Read Florida Statute 893.145 for Florida’s full drug paraphernalia definition. Some of the more common examples of drug paraphernalia prosecutions in Orange County include:

  • Pipes used for smoking illegal drugs such as marijuana and crack cocaine
  • Roach clips (used to hold a marijuana joint)
  • Bongs
  • Scales used to weigh illegal drugs
  • Hypodermic syringes and needles
  • Balloons, envelopes, and other objects used to contain or conceal illegal drugs

The Elements of a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Case

Under Florida Statute 893.147(1), to convict a person of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, the prosecutor must prove that:

  1. The individual possessed (actual or constructive possession) the paraphernalia; and
  2. The person used or intended to use the paraphernalia for an unlawful purpose.

Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession

Under Florida law, individuals charged with possession of drug paraphernalia do not need to own the paraphernalia in order to possess it. In Florida, a person can possess drug paraphernalia in two ways: actual possession or constructive possession.

An individual has actual possession when he or she has the paraphernalia on their person. Someone with a crack pipe in his or her pocket would be in actual possession of the pipe.

Constructive possession refers to the situation where an individual is aware of the paraphernalia and has the ability to exercise dominion and control over it (i.e., has access to it). Someone can have constructive possession of drug paraphernalia in several different circumstances. For example, if a passenger knows that there is a crack pipe in the vehicle’s unlocked glove box, the passenger has constructive possession of the crack pipe and can be prosecuted for possession of drug paraphernalia, even though they did not own the pipe and weren’t actually holding it when the police pulled the car over. Simply knowing the pipe was present and having the ability to access it subjects the passenger to being charged with a criminal offense just as much as it would the driver.

Note that in both actual possession and constructive possession examples, the person did not need to own the pipe in order to be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. The pipe could have belonged to a friend or a complete stranger. It only matters that the person charged either had the paraphernalia on their person or that the individual was aware of the presence of the drug paraphernalia and had the ability to gain access to it. Thus, where a rolling papers or a grinder is locked in a glove box and the passenger lacks the key, or knowledge of the contraband’s presence, the passenger would not be guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia under Florida law.

Intent

Law enforcement personnel do not always have to catch a person in the act of using or attempting to use drug paraphernalia for its prohibited purpose. The prosecutor can attempt to prove that the person used or intended to use the object for an illicit purpose in many other ways. Some of the more common methods include:

  1. The existence of drug residue on the object
  2. Testimony of those familiar with the object as to its use (i.e., testimony of a law enforcement officer trained in narcotics enforcement that the object is commonly used for illegal drug related purposes)
  3. The object’s discovery nearby illegal drugs

Defenses to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Unlawful Search

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia cases usually flow from a search conducted by local law enforcement. The 4th Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. This is a complex area of the law. An experienced Orlando attorney can review the facts and circumstances of your case and inform you as to whether an illegal search took place in connection with your arrest. An illegal search may result in the suppression of the drug paraphernalia evidence in your case. Eliminating that evidence will, of course, put you in a position to seek the possible dismissal of the charge.

Recent Drug Paraphernalia Case Law

Conyers v. State, 164 So.3d 73 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015) A crack pipe may be contraband even if it has never been used.

Call 407-740-7275 for a Free Consultation

If you have been arrested for on drug paraphernalia charges, contact our Orange County drug paraphernalia lawyer to discuss your case.  Attorney Bryce Fetter personally meets with all prospective clients and we offer free consultation to learn about your, learn about your case and determine what we can do to help.

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