Drug Possession Defense
Under Florida law the possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a drug possession offense. The laws define drug paraphernalia but in many cases, the conviction is based on the actual use to which the equipment was put and the ability of the prosecution to prove this.
According to Florida law it is illegal for a person to possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it. This includes to plant, propagate, cultivate, harvest, process, manufacture, compound, convert, prepare, analyze, test, pack, repack, conceal, store, or stock a controlled substance.Determination
In order to prove possession of drug paraphernalia it is first necessary to determine what can be labeled as an illegal item according to Ft. Lauderdale Drug Crime Attorney William Moore. For this purpose Florida courts rely on the statements of the person in control of the objects or the owner about their purpose. The court also considers the proximity of the object in time and place to a controlled substance. Any residue of the controlled substance on the object is also taken into consideration by the court in identifying drug paraphernalia.
The court can also use evidence such as written instructions, description of use, and advertising material about the objects to determine if they are drug paraphernalia. Another factor that the court will consider is the legitimate use that the objects can be put to in the community or circumstances, before deciding if they are drug paraphernalia. The court will also rely on expert testimony before coming to its conclusions.List of Objects Considered Drug Paraphernalia in Florida
Drug Possession Defense is complicated according to Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale & Broward County. Florida law a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia can be obtained over the possession of kits for the planting and growing of marijuana, processing or manufacturing controlled substances, isomerization devices, testing devices, adulterants, diluents, separation units, blenders, syringes, balloons, capsules, metal, wooden, plastic or ceramic pipes, carburetion tubes and masks, chillums, bongs, and charger.
In order to obtain a conviction for possession of possession of drug paraphernalia charges in Florida the prosecution has to prove that the objects were in the possession of the accused and were meant to be used for manufacturing, producing, ingesting, or selling drugs. For this the prosecution will often bring in expert witnesses, show that the objects were close to controlled substances, or had traces of the controlled substances on them. The prosecution can also produce written material such as instructions for using the objects as well as advertisements to help prove its case against the accused. Marijuana and crack cocaine pipes are of the most common items prosecuted in South Florida.Penalty
In Florida possession of drug paraphernalia can lead to a conviction for a first degree misdemeanor. This can be punished by imprisonment for up to a year or a fine of $1,000.
Florida Statute 893.145 “Drug paraphernalia” defined.
The term “drug paraphernalia” means all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter or s. 877.111 . Drug paraphernalia is deemed to be contraband which shall be subject to civil forfeiture. The term includes, but is not limited to:
- (1) Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in the planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived.
- (2) Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing controlled substances.
- (3) Isomerization devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in increasing the potency of any species of plant which is a controlled substance.
- (4) Testing equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in identifying, or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of, controlled substances.
- (5) Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances.
- (6) Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, caffeine, dimethyl sulfone, mannitol, mannite, dextrose, and lactose, used, intended for use, or designed for use in diluting controlled substances; or substances such as damiana leaf, marshmallow leaf, and mullein leaf, used, intended for use, or designed for use as carrier mediums of controlled substances.
- (7) Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, cannabis.
- (8) Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in compounding controlled substances.
- (9) Capsules, balloons, envelopes, and other containers used, intended for use, or designed for use in packaging small quantities of controlled substances.
- (10) Containers and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in storing, concealing, or transporting controlled substances.
- (11) Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in parenterally injecting controlled substances into the human body.
- (12) Objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing controlled substances, as described in s. 893.03 , or substances described in s. 877.111 (1) into the human body, such as:
- (a) Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls.
- (b) Water pipes.
- (c) Carburetion tubes and devices.
- (d) Smoking and carburetion masks.
- (e) Roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a cannabis cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand.
- (f) Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials.
- (g) Chamber pipes.
- (h) Carburetor pipes.
- (i) Electric pipes.
- (j) Air-driven pipes.
- (k) Chillums.
- (l) Bongs.
- (m) Ice pipes or chillers.
- (n) A cartridge or canister, which means a small metal device used to contain nitrous oxide.
- (o) A charger, sometimes referred to as a “cracker,” which means a small metal or plastic device that contains an interior pin that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or container.
- (p) A charging bottle, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or canister.
- (q) A whip-it, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide.
- (r) A tank.
- (s) A balloon.
- (t) A hose or tube.
- (u) A 2-liter-type soda bottle.
- (v) Duct tape.
893.146 Determination of paraphernalia.
893.147 Use, possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, advertisement, or retail sale of drug paraphernalia.