Federal law prohibits the use and sale of drug paraphernalia, so even when a person is not arrested for drug possession, he or she could end up in prison if found to be in possession of certain items. Arrests for possession, sale, or transportation of drug paraphernalia are often the result of illegal searches or seizures, so if the defendant can demonstrate that the search was illegal or that he was not the owner of the seized items, the charges they can be reduced or even dismissed. If you were recently arrested or charged with possession or sale of drug paraphernalia, it is essential to speak to a criminal lawyer experienced in these types of crimes who can help you formulate your defense.
Definition of drug paraphernalia
The term “drug paraphernalia” refers to equipment that is primarily used in the production, concealment, or use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, PCP, hashish, and methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to the following items:
- Tweezers to hold the ends of marijuana cigarettes when they are spent and they are very small to hold by hand;
- Miniature spoons with a capacity of one-tenth of a cubic centimeter or less;
- Certain types of pipes, including those made of metal, wood, acrylic materials, stone, glass, plastic, or ceramic.
Some of these items clearly qualify as drug paraphernalia; however, it is not always so easy to distinguish those that are legal from those that are not. This is often the result of deceptive marketing designed to make a product look as if it were being used for legitimate purposes. For example, some marijuana tubes and pipes are intended to be used only with tobacco products, such cases are absolved of responsibility. For this reason, people should consider the following factors before making the decision to buy these types of items:
- The way the items are displayed for sale;
- The instructions that come with the packaging;
- The nature of the type of business that is selling the items.
Unfortunately, even those who are careful about making these purchases may end up acquiring what qualifies as drug paraphernalia. This is especially common for online shoppers, although some types of paraphernalia are for sale at tobacco stores and gas stations.
Sale and Transportation of Drug Paraphernalia
It is a violation of federal law to sell any type of drug paraphernalia, as well as to import, export, or use mail to transport it. In some cases, those in possession of these items may also be charged with additional crimes, such as the sale or possession of drugs. Those convicted of this crime face a prison sentence of up to 3 years.
Call today to discuss your case with a Miami federal crime attorney.
If you were arrested for possessing, using, or selling drug paraphernalia, you could be at risk of serious prison time. Contact a member of the Miami federal crime legal team, Jeffrey S. Weiner, PA, Criminal Defense Attorneys, by calling (305) 670-9919 for a free evaluation of your case.