Possession of paraphernalia, such as a glass bong or scale, may not seem like a big deal. For some, an object like a glass pipe may even be a prized possession — a centerpiece on someone’s coffee table. But while these items may seem innocent, they can nonetheless lead to a serious drug conviction.
In this article, a drug defense lawyer in Tampa discusses the Florida laws that pertain to drug paraphernalia. If you’ve been charged with possession of one of these items, you are likely facing severe penalties and multiple charges. Contact a drug defense attorney in Tampa from The Rickman Law firm and take the first steps towards securing your freedom.
Under Florida law, it’s illegal to possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to “plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance” or to “inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance.” That’s a pretty broad statement. Examples of drug paraphernalia include pipes, water pipes, roach clips, miniature spoons, cigarette papers, and cocaine freebase kits, just to name a few.
You can see where the problem lies: many of these items are readily available at numerous stores across the Tampa Bay area. What makes owning them illegal? That will be up to the courts to decide, and a judge will take into account the paraphernalia’s proximity to an illicit substance, any drug residue on the substance, and whether or not the item was intended to be used for illicit purposes.
Possessing drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. It’s likely that a drug-possession charge accompanies this one, which can carry much heftier penalties. With a drug defense lawyer in Tampa on your side, the odds are that your charges will be reduced to a year of probation or dropped altogether. However, if this is your second violation, you’ll be facing a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. As the circumstances of your case escalate so do the potential penalties. In order to beat your charges and secure your freedom, you’ll need an experienced attorney on your side.
An attorney from The Rickman Law Firm can employ numerous defenses on your behalf. Depending on the specifics of your case, one of our attorneys may argue that you had no knowledge of the paraphernalia, were holding on to the item temporarily, or had your rights violated by law enforcement. No matter the defense taken, an attorney from our Tampa law office will do everything in their power to have your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. Begin the process of building your defense by calling a drug defense attorney in Tampa from The Rickman Law Firm.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.