893.146 Determination of Paraphernalia

Fort Lauderdale/Miami Defense Attorney Bradford Cohen is commonly asked the questions, “How do I know it is Drug Paraphernalia?” “How does the court decide?” Basically, when determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, a court or other authority or jury considers, in addition to all other logically relevant factors:

(1) Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the suspected drug paraphernalia made in regards to how the object was used or was going to be used ( 2) How close the suspected drug item was to a substance that is controlled by law.

(3) The existence of any residue of an illegal substance on the suspected drug item

(4) Any evidence that shows the owner’s or the person who was in possession of the suspected drug paraphernalia’s intent or purpose to the object to aid the use of an illegal substance.

(5) Directions that are provided with or sold with, orally or written, concerning the items use.

(6) Things that accompany the object which explain or depict its use.

(7) Any ads regarding the use of the suspected drug paraphernalia

(8) The manner in which the object is displayed for sale. Seems silly, but yes if it is displayed in a way that promotes its use in association with illegal drugs it could be an arrestable offense.

(9) Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the suspected drug paraphernalia, is a legitimate supplier of similar items to the community.

(10) Evidence of the number of sales of the suspected drug item compared to the total sales of the business. A good example is a local drug store. If they are just selling lighters cigs and rolling papers along with a ton of other items vs. a store that sells rolling papers, lighters blunt leaves, rose tubes and “incense”. Obviously, the latter will incur more legal scrutiny.

(11) If there are any legitimate uses for the suspected drug item in the community.

(12) Expert opinions concerning th items use.

Our criminal lawyers have dealt with drug cases and possession of drug equipment for over 18 years. With the changing landscape of today’s manufacturing drugs and the legality of certain types of drugs this area is growing exponentially. Many of our clients are worried that grow lamps and grow equipment that they are currently using for legal purposes, with the anticipation that the government will legalize marijuana, will be seized as drug paraphernalia. The above factors should help you in determining if you are at risk for that seizure and criminal charge. Obviously nothing case replace the advice of competent counsel. You are not an attorney, simply reading the statutes may give you an idea as to what goes into determining what is legal and what is illegal, but nothing replaces experience in the field.

As you can see there is a wide-ranging set of factors for the authorities to consider when determining if and item is Drug Paraphernalia. We will aggressively fight the charges pending against you. Here at Bradford Cohen Law we want to help you in your Drug Paraphernalia case. Call our office at 1888COHENLAW to discuss your case and let our law firm use our years of experience in Criminal Defense assist you in obtaining a fruitful resolution to your case whether you are in the Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Dade or West Palm Beach areas.