Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Criminal Charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In Fort Lauderdale, the majority of drug offenses involve possession of drug paraphernalia. Unfortunately, any type of drug crime conviction in Fort Lauderdale can lead to severe and life-changing consequences, even if you or your loved one have never been convicted of a crime. Our Fort Lauderdale Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Lawyers at Musca Law know how these convictions can ruin your future. We have the experience and knowledge essential to defend you against drug possession charges thoroughly. Our Drug Paraphernalia attorneys will attack the "possession" requirements and all arguments made by the prosecution, including the legality of the law enforcement officers' search for and seizure of key evidence.
Our skilled legal professionals have significant experience and knowledge of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which arises in drug paraphernalia possession cases. Specifically, our attorneys will defend you or your loved one in the context of improper search and seizure of evidence. In light of the preceding, you need experienced legal representation to defend you or your loved one against the "possession of drug paraphernalia" charge. In Florida, possession of drug paraphernalia charges are first-degree misdemeanors and are punished with a potential jail term of up to one year, court costs, monetary fines, lengthy probation (including extensive requirements such as random drug testing and mandatory substance abuse treatment.
Florida Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Laws
Florida Statute Section 893.147 - Delivery, Manufacture, Advertisement, Transportation, and Retail Sale of Drug Paraphernalia defines all drug crimes and associated penalties. These statutes make it illegal to possess, use, and "intend to use" any form of drug paraphernalia, deliver drug paraphernalia to anyone under 18, transport drug paraphernalia, and deliver or fabricate drug paraphernalia.
A drug paraphernalia possession case can be prosecuted as a felony in the second degree, a felony in the third degree, or a misdemeanor in the first degree. Depending upon the facts and circumstances of the criminal offense and the exact charge, the defendant will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is in the severity of the sentence. Misdemeanors are punished with up to one year in jail, while felonies are punished with one year or longer in state prison. Felonies also carry stiffer fines and more extended probationary periods.
What is Considered "Drug Paraphernalia" in the State of Florida?
According to Florida Statute Section 893.147, drug paraphernalia is described and defined as all products, equipment, or materials that are used, designed for use, and or intended for use in cultivating, planting, growing, propagating, manufacturing, harvesting, compounding, converting, preparing, producing, processing, testing, packaging, repackaging, analyzing, storing, transporting, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, snorting, inhaling, or introduces a controlled substance or illegal narcotic into the human body.
The most common kinds of drug paraphernalia include:
- Hypodermic needles, syringes, and other types of drug paraphernalia that are used for the injection of controlled substances into the body;
- Objects or containers used for storing, transporting, or concealing controlled substances or illegal narcotics;
- Scales, balances, or any measurement tool designed for use or intended for use in weighing or measuring an illegal narcotic or controlled substances;
- Rolling papers, cutting devices, shredding devices, balloons, baggies, and testing devices;
- Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices that are used or designed to compound illegal drugs or controlled substances,
- Any stone, acrylic, metal, wooden, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without permanent screens, punctured metal bowls, screens, or hashish heads; and
- Carburetion and smoking masks, air-driven pipes, water pipes, bongs, "crackers," "roach clips," "whip it" devices, and vials.
Proving Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In the state of Florida, there are two forms of drug paraphernalia: "actual possession" and "constructive possession."
A person who is accused of "actual possession" of drug paraphernalia was caught by law enforcement with the illegal paraphernalia on them, within their reach, or under their control. Conversely, a person caught in "constructive possession" of drug paraphernalia might not have the illegal paraphernalia within their reach or on their person, but they have control over the paraphernalia or have hidden it.
In some drug paraphernalia cases, the accused lacked actual control of drug paraphernalia, but they knew where the illegal item is, or was in their control at one time.
In certain drug paraphernalia cases there is the possibility of joint possession. This occurred when the illegal paraphernalia is discovered inside a jointly-owned residence or vehicle. In some cases, the vehicle has been operated by another person or the paraphernalia is located at a place where there are multiple people are present. Under these situations, it is difficult for the prosecution to prove possession.
Florida's Penalties and Punishments for Drug Paraphernalia Possession
The punishment for simple possession of drug paraphernalia is contingent on the defendant's prior criminal record and the exact circumstances of the crime. As previously noted, possession of drug paraphernalia in Florida is typically charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the defend could receive a jail term of up to one year, plus one year of probation, and a fine of up to $1,000. Also, the probationer will like have to undergo random drug testing, attend substance abuse counseling and/or treatment. The defendant will have to pay for all associated expenses.
In Florida, manufacturing or delivering drug paraphernalia is a third-degree felony, which is punished with up to five years in jail, steep monetary fines, and probation.
Giving drug paraphernalia to a minor is a second-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for a felony in the second degree are a maximum fifteen-year prison term, significant monetary fines, and lengthy probation.
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633 SE 3rd Ave Suite 4F, Unit 405,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 302-5391
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