What is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is a common offense in central Ohio. By definition, possession of drug paraphernalia is not limited to items like pipes or other devices used to smoke drugs. In Ohio, drug paraphernalia is defined as anything that’s used in the process of production and consumption of illegal drugs. These include but not limited to scales or balance used to weigh drugs, tools used to break down/process drugs, drug delivery devices like syringes and needles, and baggies used to contain drugs.
In Ohio, possession of drug paraphernalia is classified as a misdemeanor and the penalties can range from a fine to up to 30 days in jail. The harshness of the penalties depends on the type of drugs associated with the paraphernalia, the nature of the possession and your prior criminal history. In addition to the fines and jail time, a conviction on a paraphernalia charge carries a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for six month to 5 years. Finally, the paraphernalia conviction will stay on your record and could make the college application process more difficult, disqualify you from student financial aid loans and cause issues with your career.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
Having professional criminal defense attorney can help you fight a drug paraphernalia charge in different ways. First, the criminal defense attorney will figure out if and any mistakes were made by the police during the stop which lead to your charge. This can be done by requesting discovery from the prosecutor who must turn over all and any evidence against you, such as police reports, criminal complaints, and physical evidence. Police officers are human too and they make mistakes during the course of their jobs. These mistakes can be defective search warrants, omitted or incorrect Miranda warnings, illegal search and seizures, and intentional miscarriage of law. If any mistakes on the part of the police were discovered, the criminal defense attorney will then negotiate with the prosecutors for the best possible plea deal for your particular case. If no favorable plea deal can be struck with the prosecutor, the criminal defense attorney will take the case to a motion hearing in which he/she will file motions to the judge for a ruling an evidentiary issues. Finally, if the judge denies the motion, then your attorney will take your case to trial.
A criminal defense attorney will also negotiate with the prosecutor or judge if you have a substance abuse problem. If you have a relatively clean criminal record, there’s a good chance that a prosecutor or a judge will agree to a deal for you to enter into a substance abuse treatment program in exchange for dropping the charges or in lieu of jail time.
Being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia is not the end of the world. A trained professional criminal defense attorney can help fight the charge and make sure your Constitutionally guaranteed rights are protected.
If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Ohio, it’s important to know what you’re up against. Complete the form on this page to have local attorneys call you directly. The form is quick and easy to complete and attorneys will call you at no cost or obligation.