Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia
Contact An Experienced State College Criminal Defense Lawyer Regarding Your Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Pennsylvania law prohibits the use of, or possession with intent to use, drug paraphernalia for the purpose of planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packing, repacking, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. 35 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 780-113(a)(32)
While the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act goes to great lengths to define drug paraphernalia and provides an exhaustive list of prohibited uses, in the typical situation the use or intended use of the items is fairly obvious. Usually, a charge for possession of drug paraphernalia stems from the possession of items used for transporting, snorting, smoking or injecting drugs.
Even The Bags Count
What many people are often surprised to find, however, is that the bags used to contain a controlled substance — i.e., the baggie that contained an eighth-ounce of marijuana — is considered drug paraphernalia and can be charged and sentenced separately. See Com. v. Pitner, 928 A.2d 1104, 1108 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2007) (An individual may be charged with both possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia for the bag that contained the drugs). Accordingly, it is extremely common for individuals to be charged with both Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana or Simple Possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
What Are The Penalties?
Possession of drug paraphernalia is an ungraded misdemeanor. Upon conviction, a person may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to one year, fined up to $2,500, or both. However, it is extremely important to note that a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia does not carry a driver’s license suspension.
Accordingly, in a situation where the facts of a particular case are not favorable and a defendant has been charged with both drug possession and possession of paraphernalia, it is often advisable to seek a plea to the paraphernalia charge because of the lack of a driver’s license suspension and other collateral consequences about which the law offices of Rehmeyer & Allatt can advise you.
The statute that criminalizes the possession of drug paraphernalia also contains a provision that provides an enhanced penalty where a defendant delivers drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age who is three or more years the defendant’s junior. This particular crime constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree for which a defendant may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both.
35 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 780-113(i)
For additional information on possession of drug paraphernalia under Pennsylvania law, please see our reference guide here.
If you or a loved one has been charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia, we urge you to contact the law office of Rehmeyer & Allatt for a free consultation. Call us at 814-343-0453 or email us today.