Drugs, called "controlled dangerous substances"/ CDS under the law, are illegal. But is a pipe?
Depending on the surrounding environment, any inanimate object could conceivably constitute paraphernalia.
Seasoned criminal defense lawyers in Baltimore MD know that the definition of drug paraphernalia is not finite. It can be anything. Creative prosecutors have successfully argued that essentially anything can be a delivery facilitator for the consumption of narcotics. A court will look to the circumstances surrounding alleged used and enjoyment of contraband. the A court or a jury is instructed to consider a variety of factors, in fact, thirteen factors. Some of these include:
- the presence of residue;
- are there legitimate uses;
- expert testimony;
- prior convictions;
- proximity to contraband, and
- whether the owner is a person in the business of selling tobacco.
Possession of paraphernalia is sometimes seen as a throwaway, or fallback charge. One theory is just to charge every possible crime. The other theory is that even there is no conviction for the target offense such as possession or distribution, then at least there would be some penalty for the perceived lesser offense. The reality is, this can be a serious charge. You should care. While a first conviction leads to a fine, a second conviction carries a possible two year jail sentence.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 1/13/20.
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