Philadelphia Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defense Lawyer
Drugs and controlled substances are heavily policed, and many defendants are charged with drug offenses every year. Many of these charges concern the tools and devices surrounding controlled substances rather than the drugs themselves.
Drug paraphernalia refers to tools, devices, or objects used to cultivate, produce, distribute, and use controlled substances. Common examples of such paraphernalia include pipes and tubes (e.g., bongs), rolling papers, and needles. While charges for possession of drug paraphernalia are often misdemeanor offenses, they might be connected to much harsher charges and penalties. Law enforcement tends to assess these charges when they arrest someone for other alleged drug offenses. For example, a person arrested for possession with intent to distribute (PWID) might also be charged for having rolling papers or needles. We can help you fight your charges by questioning the evidence seized by the police, among other possible legal strategies.
Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and schedule a free case review with our possession of drug paraphernalia defense lawyers.
Common Examples of Drug Paraphernalia in Philadelphia
Drug paraphernalia is somewhat hard to describe because it is a broad term. Drug paraphernalia may include a wide variety of objects and tools commonly used in connection with controlled substances. While many pieces of drug paraphernalia are unlawful in their own right, many others are everyday household objects.
Exactly what kind of drug paraphernalia is implicated in your case depends on what kind of controlled substances are allegedly involved. Since drugs may be produced, distributed, and consumed in various ways, there is a myriad of possible paraphernalia. Some common examples of drug paraphernalia include the following:
- Glass tubes and pipes
- Rolling papers
- Needles and syringes
- Packaging materials for distribution (e.g., baggies, vials, balloons)
Even though many examples of drug paraphernalia are not inherently illegal, they become illegal when connected to the unlawful possession, manufacture, or sale of drugs. For example, needles and syringes are common medical tools, and it makes sense for these items to be lawfully held by a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional. However, if the police find needles while also searching for heroin, which is injected using needles, they might make an arrest for possession of paraphernalia.
According to The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, charges for possession of drug paraphernalia are often misdemeanor offenses punishable by a fine of no more than $2,500 and up to 1 year in jail.
When Philadelphia Law Enforcement Might Assess Charges for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
The issue of criminal charges for drug paraphernalia can be confusing because many items are considered drug paraphernalia only under specific circumstances. Often, when there are no drugs, the items in question are not considered drug paraphernalia. As such, people facing charges for possession of drug paraphernalia are often also facing other charges for drug offenses.
One of the most commonly charged drug offenses is simple possession. A person might face such charges simply for knowingly and unlawfully possessing or controlling controlled substances. In many cases, defendants are also allegedly found with paraphernalia. For example, a person arrested for having marijuana might also be charged for having rolling papers.
Charges for the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia are also very common in cases of alleged distribution or manufacture of controlled substances. Certain paraphernalia might be required to accomplish these offenses, and defendants are often faced with a multitude of criminal charges.
Can I Fight Charges for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Philadelphia?
Fighting criminal charges is often an uphill battle, but it is a battle you can win with a good lawyer on your side. The best way to fight your charges depends on the various circumstances surrounding your case. Our possession of drug paraphernalia defense attorneys will consider how you were arrested, the evidence against you, and the nature of the alleged paraphernalia to develop an effective defense strategy.
One way to challenge charges related to drug paraphernalia is to fight the underlying drug charges. For example, if you are charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (PWID), you might also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. If we can get the PWID charges dropped or reduced, the paraphernalia charges might be dropped too.
Did you have a legitimate use for the paraphernalia that did not involve drugs? If so, you might have a strong defense against your criminal charges. For example, if the police found evidence that they believed was an illicit controlled substance alongside syringes, they might want to assess charges for illegal paraphernalia. However, you might have those syringes because you work in the medical field or are a caregiver for a sick loved one.
Drug charges are often based heavily on evidence discovered through searches and seizures. If the search or seizure was illegal, the evidence can be suppressed. This is a common issue in cases involving alleged drug offenses. If the police illegally seize drugs from a defendant, the drugs may be suppressed, and the prosecutor’s case becomes very weak without this important evidence.
When to Speak to A Lawyer About Charges for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Philadelphia
A good rule of thumb when dealing with criminal charges is that it is never too early to speak to a lawyer. Many defendants do not contact a lawyer until after they are arrested. Generally, the police will attempt to question you, but they are required to inform you of your Miranda rights, including the right to have a lawyer present. Invoke this right immediately. You might have to wait in police custody longer than you would like, but proceeding without a lawyer would be unwise.
If you have had a few interactions with the police and believe they plan to arrest you soon or immediately, you should contact an attorney now. Contacting a lawyer before you are arrested may help you prepare to be taken into custody, and your attorney can advise you on how to interact with the police.
Contact Our Philadelphia Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defense Lawyers About Your Case
Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and arrange a free case evaluation with our possession of drug paraphernalia defense attorneys.