What’s considered possession of drug paraphernalia?
The New York Penal Code 220.50 specifically deals with drug paraphernalia as a misdemeanor offense. Click here for the specific penal code(s) pertaining to drug related misdemeanor offenses. In a nutshell, possession of drug paraphernalia relates to the use or sale of any product that’s used to assist in drug usage. This can be anything from a marijuana pipe to excessive amounts of stimulants used to manufacture methamphetamine products. If it’s clearly being used to facilitate drug trafficking, the penalties will increase. This would be items such as scales and packaging used to distribute the product. It’s also illegal to sell equipment or paraphernalia to others regardless of the reason for its use.
The term “dirty paraphernalia” refers to whether there’s resin of some sort on the item in question. Examples of dirty paraphernalia can include syringes that are filled with drugs prior to use, scales with cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or any other type of drug resin. If the paraphernalia is dirty, you’ll most likely be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Drug free school zones and other protected areas may also significantly increase the penalties.
The penalty for simple possession of dirty drug paraphernalia can lead to charges of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Selling drug paraphernalia could get you up to two years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. The penalties for these offenses also increase in school zones and other protected areas.
Possible defenses for drug paraphernalia charges:
Many times, drug paraphernalia may not be dirty; however, the police may attempt to charge you with the offense anyway. The state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the item in question has been used for the purposes of illegal drug activity. Simply possessing a pipe or a syringe that’s never been used is typically not enough to prove such a case.
Another possible defense is that the item wasn’t yours. This often happens on a traffic stop where there’s more than one individual in the vehicle. Someone else may get nervous and attempt to “plant” the item near you or within your belongings. In this matter, witnesses and any evidence that the item wasn’t yours are a great help.
For paraphernalia that’s been seized to establish drug trafficking charges, the state must be able to prove that there was a clear intent to use the paraphernalia to distribute drugs. Often, if the police see a large quantity of drugs in a few different packages, they’ll assume that it’s your intent to sell the drugs. If you notified the police that the items were for personal use only, this could significantly help your case. This scenario often happens with those who purchase drugs in bulk to avoid numerous trips and putting themselves in more danger and at a higher risk for being caught.
How our Brooklyn drug paraphernalia attorneys can help:
Our firm has experience in the New York court system and has successfully helped many clients beat drug possession and paraphernalia charges. We offer a no-risk and no-cost consultation to determine how we’d be able to help. Without a skilled attorney by your side, you’ll be facing aggressive prosecution that could lead to highly unfavorable results. These charges could negatively affect you for many years. A skilled attorney can navigate the complexities of the legal system with ease to prove your case. Get in touch with us online or by phone to set up your consultation, today.]]>