Drug paraphernalia is defined by Florida Statute 893.147 as any item used to plant, propogate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance. It also applies to anything used to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the body a controlled substance.
So in a nutshell, paraphernalia is anything that helps you:
- grow a drug
- smoke, snort or smoke a drug, or
- store a drug
Paraphernalia can be anything with residue. The most common types of paraphernalia are cans, pipes, needles, rolling papers, baggies, brillo, razors and lighters. Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor that can result in a sentence of up to one year in a county jail.
Florida Statute 893.146 lists the factors a jury can consider when determining if an object is “paraphernalia” under the statute. These are also the factors an officer consider when making an arrest. The factors that are to be considered include the following:
- Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use.
- The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a direct violation of this act.
- The proximity of the object to controlled substances.
- The existence of any residue of controlled substances on the object.
- Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons who he or she knows, or should reasonably know, intend to use the object to facilitate a violation of this act. The innocence of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, as to a direct violation of this act shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use, as drug paraphernalia.
- Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use.
- Descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use.
- Any advertising concerning its use.
- The manner in which the object is displayed for sale.
- Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the object, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor of or dealer in tobacco products.
- Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object or objects to the total sales of the business enterprise.
- The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community.
- Expert testimony concerning its use.
If you have been charged with possession of paraphernalia in the Orlando area, call us now at 407-218-6277 to discuss the possible defenses you may have. Our experienced and understanding staff of attorneys can explain all the options available in your particular situation.