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Top Paraphernalia Possession Defense Attorney Jason Cromey, Esq. on:
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: F.S. 893.147
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Possession of Drug Paraphernalia- Section 893.147, Florida Statutes, defines “drug paraphernalia” as an object that someone uses or intends to use to plant, propagate cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance.
The common type of paraphernalia is a pipe used to smoke or a scale used to weigh drugs. But, as you can see, the definition of paraphernalia includes much, much more. The charge of Possession of Paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor that will have you staring at a year in the county jail and a criminal conviction on your record.
Under Florida law there are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means the person is aware of the presence of the substance and that it is either:
- in the hand of, or on the person;
- in a container in the hand of or on the person; or
- the substance is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.
Plainly put, it’s on you or it’s next to you, and you know it. The second type of possession is constructive possession. Constructive possession means that the person is aware of the presence of the paraphernalia, the paraphernalia is in a place over which the person has control, and the person has the ability to control the paraphernalia. An example of this would be having a pipe in your backpack, next to your driver’s license, in the trunk of your car.
There are many defenses to possession of paraphernalia under Florida law. For example, if there are multiple people inside a car with a pipe in the armrest of a car, and nobody tells the cops who it belongs to, the State will be unable to prove who in the car it belonged to. An experienced criminal defense attorney is familiar with the defenses to this charge.
Even if you’re caught red handed with a pipe in your pocket, there are many other ways to try and keep your record clean. For example, the stop or search may have been illegal and the evidence can get thrown out.
If you have little to no record you may be eligible for a diversion program that would result in the charges against you being thrown out. Long story short, if you are charged with possession of paraphernalia you should contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney.