Drug paraphernalia cases are a little more complicated than other cases. Paraphernalia is an ambiguous term that could refer to a variety of items, including common household items, that are repurposed in order to consume drugs. It is this ambiguity that makes it important to work with a legal advocate that understands the nuances of drug paraphernalia cases. Building an Ft. Lauderdale drug paraphernalia defense is a difficult task to undertake alone, which is why a capable drug paraphernalia lawyer is indispensable. A skilled attorney could collect the necessary evidence and speak to potential witnesses in order to build your case. A seasoned lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for you.
Treatment of Drug Paraphernalia Cases
All paraphernalia cases are misdemeanors, but a lot of times they are attached to felony drug possession cases. Similarly to how people are treated for simple possession cases, the courts mostly address drug paraphernalia cases from a therapeutic and non-punitive perspective. Typically, if a person is not involved in the drug trade, their criminal history is lacking or non-existent, and it is believed that the paraphernalia was being used, for example, in rolling papers, or the pipes were used for ingestion or smoking of cannabis or marijuana, then their case is going to be looked at differently than somebody who is found in possession of spoons with heroin residue or needles with heroin residue on them. When building an Ft. Lauderdale drug paraphernalia defense, an attorney could use these elements to mitigate the severity of the penalties a person may face.
Potential Alternatives to Incarceration
A judge or a prosecutor might require that the person get a substance abuse evaluation to determine whether or not there is an underlying reason for a treatment as compared to a situation where the paraphernalia is believed to be related to the use of cannabis. An individual might not have to complete therapy or any type of treatment if it is their first offense. Instead, they might be eligible for a diversion program or by a complete drug awareness course and to community service, charges would be dropped. If there is a history of drug use and the individual is interested in getting the case dropped that would be eligible for a misdemeanor drug court program which is a six-month program. If an individual wanted to resolve the case without going through any diversion programs or drug treatment program, more likely than not they are looking at some support fees and something called withholding of adjudication.
Process of Building a Defense
When building an Ft. Lauderdale drug paraphernalia defense it is important to be aware of what the courts will be receptive to. Being unaware of the law is not a defense but being unaware that an item was being used as drug paraphernalia is a different issue. It is a function of what evidence that the prosecution has, are there any controlled substances in and around the area, and whether the residue found on the item that is alleged to be drug paraphernalia.
Attorneys would use the same tactics in building an Ft. Lauderdale drug paraphernalia defense as they would in other cases. A skilled attorney would use careful investigation, through the review of discovery, disclosure of any evidence on their side that might make the charges go away or might reduce the charge, and they would look at constitutional issues such as unlawful searches or seizures, unlawful detentions, if the case is hinging on, an admission or statement made by the defendant or a person that is a suspect who has been arrested and whether it can be shown that the Fifth Amendment rights were violated.
Defenses Against Drug Paraphernalia Charges
In a situation where courts have held that an individual should have been advised with their Miranda Warnings prior to law enforcement engaging them in questioning otherwise known as interrogation. If that statement or those statements can be thrown out or suppressed and there is no other evidence that an individual was possessing or using their particular item or items as a drug paraphernalia to aid in the ingestion or introduction of a controlled substance into their body then the charge would be dropped because the prosecutor would be left with insufficient evidence. Being unaware of the law itself typically is not a defense, being unaware that there is residue, for example, on an item purported to be a drug paraphernalia can be offense.
If an individual is not caught using a controlled substance, not caught in possession of a controlled substance but they contain an item that a law enforcement or the prosecution believes that the drug paraphernalia and the residue is of such a nature that it is a smaller, miniscule amount, something that it is not readily recognizable as residue of any controlled substance but might be some evidence of it and there is no other evidence that the individual has knowledge that that residue is there, then they would have no reason to believe that the residue is a controlled substance. That lack of awareness could lead to a prosecutor filing the charge, but it might allow the defense attorney to convince the prosecutor to drop the charge or lessen the charge. If the case is litigated in front of a jury, it might lead a jury to believe that there is insufficient evidence to return a verdict of guilt and a hope would be that the jury would return the verdict of not guilty under those particular facts. A capable attorney could deftly challenge the prosecution’s argument while building an Ft. Lauderdale drug paraphernalia defense that works for the charged individual. Those who have been arrested for drug paraphernalia, should seek the services of a skilled lawyer that could fight for them.