State law in Florida prohibits the possession not only of controlled substances, but also the items that help make, carry, or use illegal drugs. Drug paraphernalia is defined under Florida Statute § 893.145 as meaning “all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of” the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.
Many objects that police officers classify as paraphernalia can be common household objects with perfectly legal primary uses. While many drug paraphernalia charges are filed in addition to underlying controlled substance offenses, a paraphernalia crime by itself can result in possible fines and jail time.
Lawyer for Drug Paraphernalia Arrests in Miami-Dade County, Florida
If you were arrested for any kind of an alleged drug paraphernalia offense in Florida, you should not delay in seeking legal representation. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients charged with drug offenses in Miami, North Miami, South Miami, Key Biscayne, Aventura, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Opa Locka, and many surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who fights to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Overview of Drug Paraphernalia Charges in North Miami
- Which kinds of objects can be classified as paraphernalia?
- What are the possible consequences of being convicted of these charges?
- Where can I find more information about drug paraphernalia?
People may be arrested for alleged drug paraphernalia even when the items suspected of being used for controlled substances are new or have no illegal drug residue on them. The definition of drug paraphernalia under Florida Statute § 893.145 is broad enough to include several types of everyday items as being items used for illegal drug activities.
State law defines drug paraphernalia as including, but not being limited to:
- Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in the planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived;
- Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing controlled substances;
- Isomerization devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in increasing the potency of any species of plant which is a controlled substance;
- Testing equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in identifying, or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of, controlled substances;
- Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances;
- Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose, and lactose, used, intended for use, or designed for use in cutting controlled substances;
- Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, cannabis;
- Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in compounding controlled substances;
- Capsules, balloons, envelopes, and other containers used, intended for use, or designed for use in packaging small quantities of controlled substances;
- Containers and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in storing, concealing, or transporting controlled substances; and
- Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in parenterally injecting controlled substances into the human body.
The term also includes several “objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing cannabis, cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, or nitrous oxide into the human body, such as”:
- Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
- Water pipes;
- Carburetion tubes and devices;
- Smoking and carburetion masks;
- Roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a cannabis cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
- Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials;
- Chamber pipes;
- Carburetor pipes;
- Electric pipes;
- Air-driven pipes;
- Ice pipes or chillers;
- A cartridge or canister, which means a small metal device used to contain nitrous oxide;
- A charger, sometimes referred to as a “cracker,” which means a small metal or plastic device that contains an interior pin that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or container;
- A charging bottle, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or canister;
- A whip-it, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide;
- A tank;
- A balloon;
- A hose or tube;
- A 2-liter-type soda bottle; and
- Duct tape.
Florida standard jury instructions in criminal cases relating to drug paraphernalia charges typically state, “In addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following factors shall be considered in determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia”:
- 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 whom [he] [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 or dealer of 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.
Florida Statute § 893.147 establishes six different criminal offenses relating to drug paraphernalia. The crimes listed under this statute include:
- Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia — Use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Manufacture or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia — Delivery, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacturing with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor — Delivery to a person under 18 years of age, possession with intent to deliver to a person under 18 years of age, or manufacturing with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age by any person 18 years of age or over is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Selling or otherwise delivering hypodermic syringes, needles, or other objects which may be used, are intended for use, or are designed for use in parenterally injecting substances into the human body to any person under 18 years of age—except for hypodermic syringes, needles, or other such objects lawfully dispensed by licensed practitioners, parents, or legal guardians or by pharmacists pursuant to valid prescriptions—is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Transportation of Drug Paraphernalia — Use, possession with the intent to use, or manufacturing with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, knowing or under circumstances in which one reasonably should know that it will be used to transport a controlled substance or contraband is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Advertisement of Drug Paraphernalia — Placing any advertisement in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that the purpose of the advertisement, in whole or in part, is to promote the sale of objects designed or intended for use as drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Retail Sale of Drug Paraphernalia — Knowingly and willfully selling or offering for sale at retail any drug paraphernalia—other than a pipe that is primarily made of briar, meerschaum, clay, or corn cob—is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for the first offense, and a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for second or subsequent offenses.
Florida Standard Jury Instructions | Chapter 25: Drug Abuse & Contraband in Facilities — Read the full text of standard jury instructions given to Florida juries for Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Delivery, Possession with Intent to Deliver, or Manufacture with intent to Deliver Drug Paraphernalia; Retail Sale of Drug Paraphernalia; and Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor offenses. The standard jury instructions are rarely used verbatim because they often have to be customized for the specifics of an individual case, but they still provide a helpful overview of what juries will be asked to consider.
How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia | Get Smart About Drugs — Learn more about drug paraphernalia on this United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website. In addition to outlining types of paraphernalia and specific drugs, you can also find information about federal law relating to drug paraphernalia. Federal charges relating to drug paraphernalia are relatively rare.
The Hoffman Firm | Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer in Miami, FL
Were you recently arrested in Florida for an alleged drug paraphernalia offense? You will want to contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible for help achieving the best possible outcome.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former prosecutor who represents clients all over Miami-Dade County and surrounding areas. Call (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form today to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our lawyer review your case.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More
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