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Are There Any Punishments In Florida Or Crimes Against Drug Paraphernalia? Can Someone Be Charged For Anything Just For Having Actual Paraphernalia?
Yes they can. One of the most dangerous situations a person can find themselves in is when they are arrested for paraphernalia that other people have had access to and used. There have been numerous cases when someone said, “I never smoked anything but marijuana in that pipe” and yet when it was sent off to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, cocaine residue or something else was found in there as well. In such a case, a person can be charged based upon residue found on paraphernalia.
The problem is with paraphernalia laws, which is another example of why politicians running the government need to review the issue, would be that just about anything can be paraphernalia. If a rubber band is being used to hold two bags of marijuana together, is that paraphernalia? The law says that in that circumstance, in that fact pattern, it is. What about the baggies? In that fact pattern, those things are paraphernalia and they are just common household items. So, a large number of things can be paraphernalia and paraphernalia has its own separate penalty. It is important to remember that every item claimed to be drug paraphernalia isn’t drug paraphernalia just because a police officer says so or because it found near drugs. In one case, they tried to charge someone for a box of baggies in the kitchen drawer. That didn’t fly.
Can A Passenger in a Motor Vehicle Receive a Drug Related Charge Even If They Do not have Drugs on Them?
A passenger in a vehicle where drugs are found can receive a drug related charge. As to whether or not that person will receive a drug related charge is up to the officer in the field. The officer will not make a decision based upon the truth. People need to understand that the truth in a criminal case does not matter. What matters is what the officer believes is the truth. If the officer believes that it is true that the passenger possesses, whether or not they own it or not because that is completely irrelevant, possession is what matters.
If the officer believes that that passenger possesses the drugs either solely or jointly with other people in a vehicle who all possess the same bag for purposes of the law, or there can be four people in a vehicle where one or none of the people possesses the bag. It is going to depend on the facts in each case and what the officer believed is the truth. Therefore, a passenger can be charged. That does not mean they are going to be convicted; however, thousands of passengers are charged for possession. So one has to be very careful with who you are traveling with.
Whether one is a driver or a passenger in a case with a criminal drug charge resulting from a traffic stop, search and seizure law becomes very important, very fast. A lot of states are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana possession, and tourists are at great risk of being stopped and harassed in the continuing Florida war on drugs. However, this one aggressive law enforcement means that more people have legal defenses than ever before.
If you are not sure What Would Lead to a Drug Related Charge in Florida, call Attorney Stephen G. Cobb of the Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm in Florida for a FREE Initial Consultation at (850) 466-1522 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.