Florida law, along with federal law, prohibits or sets tight restrictions on a significant number of controlled substances. It is illegal to even possess these drugs without proper legal authority. However, it is also illegal to merely possess anything that is used in connection with these controlled substances - to ingest, sell, manufacture or cultivate them.
Charges of drug paraphernalia in Palm Beach County are a serious matter. A West Palm Beach drug paraphernalia lawyer can fight for your rights if you face charges of possessing, manufacturing or delivering any tool or equipment for narcotics-related purposes.
At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we represent people facing a full range of drug crimes in the courts of Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Broward County, including those facing paraphernalia charges. You will always have an experienced partner working for you, available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Call us at (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation. We are based in West Palm Beach and our clients come from throughout the area, including Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Juno Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Greenacres, Royal Palm Beach, Belle Glade and Lake Worth.
Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.147 defines paraphernalia as anything used for the purpose or ingesting or inhaling any type of controlled substances. This can include:
Paraphernalia is also defined as anything that can be used to plant, cultivate, manufacture, compound, convert, process, prepare, pack, store or conceal any type of controlled substance. These may include:
It is a misdemeanor of the first degree to possess drug paraphernalia. Penalties include up to year in jail, a $1,000 fine and a permanent criminal record.
Prosecutors must prove every element of the charge beyond reasonable doubt. They must prove that you had actual or constructive possession of the paraphernalia and that you used it or intended to use it to use, manufacture, cultivate or sell illegal drugs.
Your drug defense attorney will look carefully at every step that West Palm Beach police officers, Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies or other law enforcement officers took to find the paraphernalia. If they violated your rights, including conducting an illegal search, your lawyer can file a motion to suppress. Without that critical evidence, prosecutors may have no choice other than to drop charges.
If there was any reasonable doubt about your intent to use the tools or equipment in the way prosecutors say you did, the jury must acquit. Your lawyer will work hard to show that reasonable doubt.
Throughout the Palm Beach area, there are head shops and smoke shops that legally sell many of the items listed as paraphernalia. These items are not illegal in themselves. They are only prohibited if possessed with the intent of using controlled substances.
If, however, prosecutors can prove these stores sold the items with the knowledge that they would be used for those purposes, the seller can be charged with delivery of drug paraphernalia, a third degree felony. The same applies to manufacturing these items. The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
If the person being sold to was a minor, charges go up to a second degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Do not take paraphernalia charges, whether felony or misdemeanor, lightly. Contact an attorney with experience in South Florida courts to represent you. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we represent people facing paraphernalia charges, whether for possession, delivery or manufacture, in courts in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Call a West Palm Beach drug paraphernalia lawyer today at (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation.