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Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Cincinnati, Ohio
Drug paraphernalia charges can be very serious. In some situations, the penalties for having the equipment to use illegal drugs are harsher than for possessing the drugs themselves.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, an experienced Cincinnati drug lawyer can offer you an honest evaluation of the situation and what options are available. Your case may be eligible for a dismissal, a reduction, or an alternative to a conviction.
Call (513) 338-1890 or contact us online 24/7 to request a free consultation.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia in Ohio?
In Ohio, drug paraphernalia is a distinct crime. Specifically, you can be charged with possession, use, or distribution of drug paraphernalia without the presence of illegal drugs.
When “drug paraphernalia” is mentioned, thoughts may turn toward instruments such as needles, syringes, pipes, and bongs. All those items fall under the definition, but drug paraphernalia encompasses many other materials and instruments used in connection with drugs.
Types of Drug Paraphernalia in Hamilton County
Possession of drug paraphernalia is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code 2925.14 as possessing equipment, products, or any kind of material designed with the purpose or intention of using illegal controlled substances.
Drug paraphernalia encompasses any kind of materials that are involved in any of the following:
Examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Plastic baggies
- Marijuana cultivation or growing equipment
- Water pipes
- Syringes or needles for injecting controlled substances
- Drug testing equipment
- Measuring scales
- Separation devices or sifters used to clean or refine marijuana
- Smoking masks
- Kits involved with the manufacture or preparation of a controlled substance
- Instruments or objects involved with the production of methamphetamine
- Diluting equipment for cutting controlled substances
- Containers for storing controlled substances
- A blender, spoon, or mixing device for use on controlled substances
How Police Identify Drug Paraphernalia in Ohio
In addition to the examples outlined above, law enforcement may consider various factors to determine if a particular material may be defined as drug paraphernalia. Some of these factors include:
- The presence of drug residue on the item
- The proximity of the item to any controlled substance
- Any possible legitimate uses for the equipment
- The presence of any instructions or descriptions of the equipment’s intended use
- Any statement by the owner regarding its intended use
- Any advertising that points toward its intended use
Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Ohio
Ohio stipulates penalties for both possession and dealing of drug paraphernalia.
- Possession (other than marijuana paraphernalia) – A conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia in Ohio is a fourth-degree misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum fine of $250.
- Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia – According to the Ohio Revised Code 2925.141, possession of drug paraphernalia linked to marijuana use, such as water pipes, bongs, etc., is a minor misdemeanor. The penalty carries no jail time and a $150 maximum fine.
- Dealing (other than to a minor) – A conviction for dealing/selling drug paraphernalia in Ohio is a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 90 days and a maximum fine of $750. The same penalty applies to individuals convicted of illegally advertising drug paraphernalia.
- Dealing or Selling to a Minor – Selling drug paraphernalia to a minor is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 180 days and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Other Consequences for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
In addition to possible jail and fines, a drug paraphernalia conviction will also likely include:
- Minimum six-month driver’s license suspension
- Difficulty obtaining employment
- Inability to retain professional licenses
- Difficulty securing financial aid for schooling
Possible Defenses for Drug Paraphernalia
Regardless of the facts and circumstances, some drug paraphernalia defenses can be raised. Perhaps there is an explanation for why you were in possession of drug paraphernalia – the drug paraphernalia was not yours, or someone placed them in your belongings without your consent or knowledge.
Sometimes there is a different reason why you had drug paraphernalia. Maybe you have a medical condition that requires a syringe, or you are a medical marijuana patient. Regardless of what happened, there are ways to mitigate these factors and potentially receive a lesser sentence.
Choosing Your Defense Strategy
The following factors should be considered if you’re arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia:
- Whether there were any search warrants issued without probable cause
- Whether an illegal search was conducted
- Whether your Fourth Amendment rights were violated
- Whether illegal forms of surveillance were involved
- Whether your Miranda Rights were read in their entirety
- Whether any evidence was illegally obtained
- Whether lab results and analysis were handled properly
- Whether you have prior drug arrests.
If you are facing your first conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia in Ohio, the court may be more lenient with your sentence. A clean criminal record will undoubtedly work to your advantage if you are convicted. On the other hand, you may face more severe penalties if your record shows a history of drug arrests.
Contact a Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer in Cincinnati for Help
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we understand the stress and uncertainty you may feel if you have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. But you do have options to get the case dismissed or penalties reduced, so a mistake doesn’t complicate the rest of your life.
Our Cincinnati drug lawyers have years of experience fighting paraphernalia charges, and we are prepared to do everything we can to represent your best interests. Call today at (513) 338-1890 or complete our secured contact form to arrange a free consultation.