It is a shock to some people when they find themselves facing drug-related charges and are not in possession of any drugs. However, this is exactly what could happen if law enforcement officers discover drug paraphernalia in the possession or control of an individual. In Georgia, there is a law that makes it a crime to be in possession of certain items that are used for the ingestion or other use of drugs. In addition, possession or control of items that can be used to make drugs also can lead to drug paraphernalia charges.
In most cases, a person who is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia also is found to be in possession of actual illegal drugs. Frequently, zealous prosecutors will use the additional charges surrounding the paraphernalia to force defendants into an unfair plea deal. The types of paraphernalia that frequently result in charges include:
- Items related to the growing or ingestion of marijuana – this may include scales, grinders, baggies, bongs, roach clips, rolling papers, and pipes;
- Items related to the production or ingestion of cocaine – paraphernalia such as mirrors, blades, dollar bills, straws, and crack pipes may lead to criminal charges;
- Items related to the production or ingestion of heroin – syringes, needles, spoons, hoses, or tubes may fall within this category; and
- Items related to the production or ingestion of other illegal drugs – this is a very broad category and may include capsules, pill presses, aerosols, glue, paint, certain chemicals, and equipment, as well as medications that may be used to manufacture certain drugs.
The penalties for conviction of these charges may include jail time, a fine, and being ordered to attend a drug education program.
There are many different defenses that can be asserted in response to drug paraphernalia charges, including the fact that the items were not in the possession or control of the individual being charged. In addition, a good defense attorney can build a case that the items were not being used for any purpose relating to drug use or production. Many of the things that fall within the category of drug paraphernalia have legitimate uses and are found in many different households. In fact, drug paraphernalia charges may be brought for something as basic as over-the-counter medications that might be used in the manufacture of methamphetamines. Having an attorney who will tenaciously chip away at the prosecution’s case can lead to a complete dismissal of the charges.
In addition, a defense attorney should carefully examine the procedures used by the law enforcement officers in conducting the search and seizure. These charges are brought in some cases where there is a motivation to find some legal justification for arresting a person. The motivation often leads to less care being taken with safeguarding constitutionally protected rights. If there were errors in the search, seizure, chain of custody, or other area, it may be possible to get the case dismissed.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Advocates on Behalf of its Clients
Drug paraphernalia charges are typically brought where there also were drugs found in the possession of the defendant or where the prosecution and law enforcement officers are trying to find a position from which to bargain. It is critical to fight against these charges in order to avoid a record that will follow you in the future, especially since this type of crime is based on evidence that is subject to broad interpretation. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. understands how to attack these charges. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations at our office, over the telephone, and are ready to come to you in jail.