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.
If you are a loved one have been charged with drug paraphernalia in or around Cincinnati, it is important to give them the attention paraphernalia charges deserve. Work with an experienced lawyer and pursue the best possible outcome. Your case may even be eligible for a dismissal, a reduction, or an alternative to a conviction.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, an experienced Cincinnati drug lawyer Brad Groene can offer you an honest evaluation of the situation and what options are available. Call (513) 338-1890 or contact us online 24/7 to request a free consultation.
What You Should Know About Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Although often charged together, 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.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
When the term “drug paraphernalia” is mentioned, thoughts may turn toward instruments such as needles, syringes, pipes, and bongs. All of those items do fall under the definition, but drug paraphernalia encompasses many other materials and instruments used in connection with drugs.
Some of the activities that drug paraphernalia may be used for include:
Some specific types of drug paraphernalia that may be used for the activities mentioned above include:
- Water pipes
- Smoking masks
- Measuring scales
- Plastic baggies
- Marijuana growing and/or cultivation equipment
- Drug kits for manufacturing/preparation
- Mixing devices, spoons, blenders for use with controlled substances
- Drug testing equipment
- Diluting equipment for cutting controlled substance
- Containers for the storage of controlled substances
How Police Identify Drug Paraphernalia
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 theses 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 & Selling Drug Paraphernalia
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 $1000.
In addition to possible jail time and fines, a drug paraphernalia conviction will also likely include additional consequences such as:
- Minimum six-month driver’s license suspension
- Difficulty obtaining employment
- Inability to retain professional licenses
- Difficulty securing financial aid for schooling
How to Defend Against Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Facing charges related to drug paraphernalia is serious in Ohio. Officers routinely charge people with paraphernalia in traffic stops even if no drugs are present. This results in permanent and constrictive marks on people’s criminal records.
That’s why it’s important to have a strong defense that considers all your possible options, like fighting to get the charge dismissed. Some of the ways an attorney can minimize your potential consequences include:
- Was evidence and/or statements illegally obtained?
- Did the warrant lack probable cause
- Were there issues with the search or items misidentified as paraphernalia?
- Were Your rights violated in any way?
Contact Experienced Cincinnati Drug Lawyers
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we understand the stress and uncertainty you may be feeling if you have been charged with drug paraphernalia. But there are options to consider and ways to get the case dismissed or reduced so a mistake doesn’t complicate the rest of your life.
Call today at (513) 338-1890 to arrange a free consultation.