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How can I fight charges of possessing drug paraphernalia?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Drug Crimes |

Drug crime allegations come in many forms in Kansas and throughout the nation, particularly along the Interstate-70 corridor. While most associate drug-related allegations with possession, sale, trafficking, transportation and distribution of illegal drugs like cocaine, fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine, other accusations can lead to drug charges and penalties. Specifically, that can involve possession of drug paraphernalia.

Many drugs require the use of an item like a glass pipe to be ingested. In other instances, drug paraphernalia is related to its manufacture. To make methamphetamine, there are a combination of substances and equipment necessary. People who are charged under this law can be confronted with a variety of penalties. Some can be severe. Therefore, knowing how to create an effective defense is imperative.

Assessing whether an object is drug paraphernalia

When an arrest is made because a person was in possession of items that are considered drug paraphernalia, there are various factors to consider as to the actual intended use of those items. During an investigation, law enforcement will speak to those who are either in control of the object or own it. Their statements will be fundamental to the case.

The person’s past behaviors are important. If they had a previous conviction or convictions for illegal drugs, this could be a vital part of the case. Other factors include where the item was found; how close it was to any controlled substances in the area; if there is residue on the object and if it is a controlled substance or used in the manufacture of a controlled substance; evidence as to how the item was going to be used; and if there are instructions for its use.

In certain cases, people find themselves under arrest for selling drug paraphernalia. As with the sale of any product, there might be advertising as to how it is to be used. If it is for clear illicit drug use, this will be used in the case. Law enforcement will assess how it is displayed for sale; if the owner or person in control of it legitimately supplies these items for legal use; if there are legal uses for it at all such as for over the counter tobacco; and if the advertising was placed in periodicals or magazines that clearly support the use of illegal substances.

Any drug charge can escalate and a defense is essential

Even if the person is only arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it is likely that law enforcement and other investigative bodies will scour the area and dive deeper into the case to see if there are other more serious crimes being committed. Possession of items like a pipe might not warrant severe penalties, but if other charges are lodged, it can be problematic for a person and negatively impact their future.

With any drug charge whether it is for drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs or illegal drugs, it is crucial to examine the evidence, scrutinize how the investigation was conducted, gauge if there was overzealousness on the part of law enforcement and if there are options available to avoid serious charges.