Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Often when someone is pulled over and found to have a controlled substance in their possession, it is common that they will receive two tickets. One for possession of the drug and a second for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. This is a result of many drug users deciding to carry their drug and delivery method of choice together.
The Missouri Narcotic Drug Act broadly defines what constitutes "drug paraphernalia". It further provides a list of factors for the courts to use in determining whether or not an object should be considered drug paraphernalia in a criminal proceeding.
"Drug paraphernalia" is a term, which relates to a large number of identified items but also can include any equipment, product or accessory that is meant for making, using, or hiding drugs. It is most commonly used in relation to recreational drugs, such as bongs, one-hitters, hookahs, etc.
Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is defined by Missouri law as when a person knowingly uses, or possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body, a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance in violation of Missouri's Controlled Substances Act or Missouri's Narcotic Drug Act.
Possession of drug paraphernalia can result in a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, depending on whether you have any priors or for what you intend to use the paraphernalia. If the paraphernalia is being used in conjunction with amphetamine or methamphetamine or any of their analogues, then it is considered a felony offense.
If you are facing an unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia charge in Missouri, then you could face the following penalties:
- A class D misdemeanor criminal record.
- A fine of up to $500.
- Probation for not less than 6 months and up to 2 years, either Supervised or Unsupervised.
- Costs for probation.
- Court Costs.
- Random Drug Testing and the Costs.
- Community Service.
- Drug Offender Evaluation and Treatment Costs
- Drug Offender Classes and Costs.
In many jurisdictions in Missouri, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to explain your options and help you develop a defense strategy so you can avoid a conviction. Often times a first offense of paraphernalia possession can be amended, or "knocked down", to a lower offense. Some jurisdictions may require a brief period of probation and some community service.
Seasoned Missouri Drug Defense Attorney Anthony Bretz knows Missouri's drug laws, penalties, and how best to prepare for your strategy. You do not need to let an honest mistake tarnish your record. Contact Anthony Bretz and let him fight to protect your rights.