Arrested For Possession of Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia? Call Us For A Free Consultation (407) 408-0494
Factors Considered in Determining What is Drug Paraphernalia:
What exactly is drug paraphernalia? Factors the State will use to prove that an item is drug paraphernalia:
- Statements by an owner saying that it was used for drug use
- The proximity of the item to the person being accused
- The item’s proximity to actual illegal drugs.
- The existence of any drug residue on the object (burnt marijuana residue left in a used pipe).
- The innocence of anyone in control of the object shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use, as drug paraphernalia.
- The existence of legitimate uses for the object in the community
- Expert testimony concerning the object’s use (police “in my professional training and experience” testimony).
Once the item or object can be shown to be “drug paraphernalia” the next challenge for the State Attorney is to prove actual or constructive possession. (See Actual v. Constructive Possession). Typically, drug paraphernalia is usually found in an occupied place that several people might have access to, like inside of a car, or a coffee table shared by you and other people who live with you, etc. Actual possession means they find a pipe on you, on your person. Constructive possession means that based on your proximity to the item, you could be deemed to have constructive possession of it (can exercise control over it or easily grab it). Put simply, the closer you are to the bong, the more likely it is that you will be charged with possession of it. BUT, several cases have established that mere proximity to illicit drugs, contraband, or paraphernalia is not enough. The law requires that the State prove some other nexus or connection between the paraphernalia and the person being charged (for example, fingerprints, DNA, witness testimony, confessions, etc). Without this additional connection, the Modarres Law Firm could promptly file for a (c)(4) Motion to Dismiss, or a Motion to Suppress evidence if there’s an issue of unlawful stop/seizure or an unreasonable warrantless search in your case. Therefore, it is important that you contact us as early as possible.
Another consideration worth noting is that the State must also prove the person being charged had knowledge of the illicit nature of the paraphernalia. This can prove to be especially difficult for the State in cases where the item is a common item that has many different uses, like a hollowed apple, kitchen scale, or empty soda bottle.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges are often brought by the police and State Attorney either in conjunction with a simple possession charge, or as a substitute for a more serious drug charge because there is not enough evidence for any other charge. That is why it’s important for you to call us as soon as possible, so that we can file the appropriate motions to test the sufficiency of the State’s case against you. Don’t wait and see what happens until it’s too late. Call us at (407) 408-0494 and you will be connected directly to an attorney who will discuss your options with you.
Copyright © 2013 The Modarres Law Firm – Orlando Florida Defense Lawyers – Central Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys – All rights reserved. Orlando Criminal Lawyer Disclaimer: The civil rights, criminal, criminal defense or other legal defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Our criminal defense law firm serves the following communities, among others: Orlando, Pine Hills, Apopka, East Orlando, West Orlando, Conway, Bay Hill, Doctor Phillips, Belle Isle, Pine Castle, Oviedo, Ocoee, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Maitland, Eatonville, Winter Garden, Southeast Orlando, Southwest Orlando, Casselberry, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Apopka, Sanford, Seminole County, Orange County, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Midway, UCF, University Park, Thornton Park, Baldwin Park, Colonial Drive, Orange Avenue, Robinson Street, S Orange Avenue, Downtown Orlando, Alafaya Trail, University Blvd, Curry Ford, Lake Underhill, Goldenrod Road, Dean Road, Chickasaw Trail, Pershing, Semoran Blvd, Lake Margaret, Conway.
About The Modarres Law Firm
My Google+ Profile