Paraphernalia means any item that can be used to pack, repack, store, contain, transport, inject or ingest some type of drug. Although possession of drug paraphernalia is less serious than possessing an actual drug, it is still a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances.
If you are accused of possessing drug paraphernalia in Phoenix, you need relentless representation. Let the dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group defend you and your way of life against these serious charges.
Many things could be considered drug paraphernalia, such as baggies, scales, pipes, rolling papers, or anything that could be used to ingest or store a drug. Although possessing paraphernalia is less serious than possessing drugs, these charges can still be brought as misdemeanor or felony offenses. A convicted person faces probation, fines, and jail or prison time.
Generally, probation is mandatory for the first two offenses of drug paraphernalia possession. A defendant will likely be offered diversion if they have no previous criminal record, which will allow the dismissal of the charges upon completion of the diversion program. If a defendant has prior offenses, they are no longer under that mandatory probation protection and could be ordered to serve jail time. If they have prior felonies, they could be sentenced to prison for a paraphernalia charge.
Beyond a person’s criminal record, several other factors will affect the severity of the penalties for paraphernalia possession. If the paraphernalia is used to inject, ingest, or store methamphetamine, there is no mandatory probation protection. If the prosecution believes the paraphernalia is being used to sell drugs, this could lead to more serious charges than items for personal use. An experienced Phoenix attorney can further explain how the quantity and type of drug paraphernalia may affect the potential penalties.
The police may discover drug paraphernalia in various ways. The most common scenario is a traffic stop, which may involve a motor vehicle search. In other cases, police may find drugs and paraphernalia through search warrants of homes or other buildings.
When an officer stops a person for a traffic violation, they may ask for consent to search the vehicle. It is important to know that a driver has the right to say no. They also have the right to be allowed to go from that traffic stop in a reasonable amount of time. Police cannot extend a traffic stop to conduct a search that is not based on probable cause or other information. This goes against the person’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
A person also has the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel. Anyone accused of possessing drug paraphernalia in Phoenix should invoke these rights and hire a local attorney at our firm to protect them against police tactics.
If you are accused of possessing drug-related items, you could face severe criminal penalties. However, there are often many defenses that a savvy attorney could use in these cases. At Grand Canyon Law, our team knows how to handle charges for drug paraphernalia in Phoenix. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call today for a consultation.