What exactly is considered drug paraphernalia?
You may have heard the word paraphernalia before, or maybe even seen it written on a ticket of a loved one or friend. Maybe you have even found yourself on the other side of a drug paraphernalia charge. One thing is for sure, these charges are serious and can have stern consequences. Lets define what drug paraphernalia really is.
The law defines drug paraphernalia as; “all equipment, products, substances and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance in violation of sections.” (RSMO 195.233)
As you can see, the law is encompassing on what it holds as “paraphernalia.” Police do not think twice about what may or may not be paraphernalia. If they suspect any type of drug activity, they will search for drugs and relative paraphernalia and charge you with whatever they can. Even if the drugs or paraphernalia aren’t yours, if they are in your car, you are likely to be charged.
What penalties are associated with drug paraphernalia charges?
Drug paraphernalia charges are either a class A misdemeanor or a class D felony depending on what substance they were/are being used for. It is considered a class A misdemeanor for all controlled substances except amphetamine and methamphetamine, in which case it is classified as a class D felony.
Class A misdemeanors carry a potential sentence of up to one year in prison while class D felonies carry a potential sentence of up to four years in prison. Not only that, but a misdemeanor or felony charge on your criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life effecting your ability to get an education or find employment.
Get experienced representation today!
If you or a loved one are facing charges related to drug possession or paraphernalia charges, you need an experienced drug defense lawyer to represent you and your future in court. John Schleiffarth has experience in fighting possession and paraphernalia charges in the St. Louis area and all across Missouri.
Police officers are known to tell people during arrests that the charges are not a big deal, or even that its just a ticket. They are just making the situation easier for themselves by acting like they are doing you a favor and buttering you up. Do not be fooled, these charges are serious. Get representation today and protect your future.