The phrase “drug paraphernalia” can be unclear in its meaning and scope, especially if you or someone you know is being faced with a paraphernalia possession charge. While some people who own, for example, a bong may understand which item is causing trouble, many of the people who are arrested for or accused of drug paraphernalia possession discover this when they find themselves caught up with law enforcement due to having normal, everyday items with them at the wrong place and the wrong time.
What Classifies As Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is any equipment or product that is used to administer, create, inject, consume, or package a controlled substance. This includes anything from bongs and needles to water pipes, spoons, knives, clips, small baggies, and even kitchen scales used for baking. If an item can be used to facilitate the production and dissemination of drugs, it may be considered paraphernalia.
Virginia Drug Paraphernalia Possession
State laws differ in their legal requirements to classify something as paraphernalia. In Virginia, possession of any the mentioned items may spark an investigation into drug paraphernalia possession—even if no illegal substances are found. A person does not need to be taking drugs or have drugs on their person in order to be found and charged with drug paraphernalia possession.
Virginia Drug Paraphernalia Sale
Paraphernalia sale and possession are two separate offenses in Virginia. You do not have to be actively selling items in order to be charged with the sale of paraphernalia. Simply possessing the items with demonstrable proof of intent to sell them when you know that they will be used to grow, manufacture, or consume an illegal substance is sufficient for a drug paraphernalia sale charge.
Possession or Sale Of Drug Paraphernalia Defense
Many people who are charged with possession or sale of drug paraphernalia feel as though they have no recourse, but this is not true. Multiple viable defenses exist to reduce penalties or even have the case thrown out. A skilled defense attorney will examine options such as whether the officers engaged in unlawful search and seizure, if there was a legitimate use for the items, or if there is no way to demonstrate intent to use the items with a controlled substance. Additionally, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to prove that another person was in possession of the items instead.
Speak To A Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has been charged with drug paraphernalia possession, it is wise to reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can aggressively fight to reduce fines and sentencing or even get the court to dismiss the case. Many charges of possession or sale of paraphernalia are not valid; you should not be charged simply because you bought a kitchen scale and a spoon. Reach out to The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge to discuss your situation and decide on a course of action to get things back to normal.