If one followed the pure letter of the law, then in most cases you might not face charges for possession of an unused marijuana pipe in your car. But whether or not the pipe is considered paraphernalia (and therefore subjects you to the hazard of criminal charges) depends on a number of factors.
If you’re simultaneously caught with marijuana possession, for instance, it’s likely you’ll be charged with possession of paraphernalia as well, because the intent of the device is obvious. In either case, you should consult with a South Florida criminal attorney.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a relatively minor offense and occurs quite commonly. Because it’s a complex affair to prove whether or not an object is intended for use (or has been used) as a drug apparatus, Florida’s criminal code specifies certain details that must be clarified before a charge of possession can be assessed against a suspect.
Those factors are:
- A statement by the owner or someone in control of the object that overtly states or strongly implies its intended use;
- The proximity of the apparatus to drug substances;
- The proximity of the apparatus to some other violation of the drug paraphernalia laws (for instance, if you are found with one pipe that has clearly been used and another that has not, you may be charged with two counts of paraphernalia possession);
- The way in which the object is displayed, positioned, or decorated;
- Any evidence, whether circumstantial or direct, that the owner or individual in control of the apparatus delivered it to a person that he or she knew intended to use it to violate drug laws;
- The scope of legitimate use of the object;
- Expert testimony that concerns the object and the manner in which it is used.
This is not a complete list, and you should speak with a criminal attorney who is experienced in handling marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia cases. Contact us to schedule a FREE consultation today.