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Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal to to use, distribute or possess drug paraphernalia. A drug paraphernalia charge in West Chester, Media or any city in Pennsylvania can lead to serious consequences, including jail or prison sentences, license suspension and hefty fines. A person does not need to be charged with an actual drug offense to be charged and convicted of a drug paraphernalia offense.
Drug paraphernalia in Pennsylvania can include a variety of items, including baggies, balances, balloons, blenders, bongs, bowls, capsules, diluents, drug kits, envelopes, grinders, isomerization devices, needles, pipes, razor blades, roach clips, rolling papers, scales, sifters, spice grinders, spoons, syringes, other cutting instruments and other containers. There is no restricted list of what paraphernalia is. Rather, a judge or jury has the ability to consider many factors in deciding if a person is guilty of a drug paraphernalia offense.
If you have been charged with possessing drug paraphernalia in Chester County or Delaware County, Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm will examine the details of your case to try and find potential defenses or mitigating circumstances that may reduce or eliminate your charge. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a free consultation about your case today.
There are two types of possessions in Pennsylvania that can result in possession of paraphernalia charges. First, an individual can be charged if he or she has actual possession of the paraphernalia, such as hidden on the body or in a pocket. Second, an individual can be charged if he or she has constructive possession of the paraphernalia. In order for an individual to constructively possess drug paraphernalia, the prosecutor would usually have to prove the following:
Typical scenarios include being in a front or backseat of a vehicle or being in an apartment with many common areas.
The Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. §§ 780-101 – 780-144) defines all drug crimes and penalties in Pennsylvania.
Under the Act, drug paraphernalia is defined as all equipment, products, and materials of any kind that are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, and inhaling any controlled substance listed in the Act.
The act defines certain prohibited paraphernalia acts, including the use of, or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia for the purpose of cultivating, growing, planting, harvesting, producing, processing, manufacturing, preparing, testing, compounding, converting, analyzing, concealing, ingesting, injecting, inhaling, packing, storing or containing any controlled substance listed in the Act.
Additionally, it is a violation of the act to deliver, or possess with the intent to deliver, any drug paraphernalia that one should reasonably know will be used for the purposes of processing, manufacturing, preparing, testing, compounding, converting, analyzing, concealing, ingesting, injecting, inhaling, packing, storing, cultivating, growing, planting, harvesting, and producing any controlled substances listed in the Act.
Examples of controlled substances in the Act can include, but are not limited to:
Possession of drug paraphernalia is unlawful unless the alleged offender has a defense to the charges. A defense to drug paraphernalia charges can include if the alleged offender had authorization to possess the item, or is possessing the item for lawful reasons.
If an individual is charged with use or possession of paraphernalia, possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, delivering paraphernalia, or unlawful advertisement of drug paraphernalia, he or she faces an ungraded misdemeanor offense, which can result in imprisonment up to one year and/or a fine up to $2,500.
If an individual delivers drug paraphernalia to a minor under the age of 18 who is at least 3 years younger than the alleged offender, he or she faces a misdemeanor of the second degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment not more than two years.
Drug paraphernalia charges are usually charged in conjunction with drug possession charges. A drug paraphernalia penalty is completely separate than a possession penalty. For example, an individual charged with drug possession (marijuana) and drug paraphernalia (bowl, baggy, etc.) faces separate penalties for each charge.
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a free consultation about your alleged paraphernalia offense in Chester County Delaware County, and any of the surrounding counties. Michael J. Skinner is an experienced West Chester drug charges attorney who will listen to the facts of your particular situation, and make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your situation, including fighting a drug paraphernalia charge. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your alleged drug possession of paraphernalia offense.