Some drug crimes do not involve the possession of a controlled substance, but rather any object that can be used to consume drugs. If you are found with equipment heavily associated with drug use, you could potentially face criminal charges.
Possession of paraphernalia is a relatively minor drug offense, but it could result in a fine and enhance other criminal charges, so it may be wise to seek legal advice if you have been accused of this crime. A Bloomington drug paraphernalia lawyer could work diligently to fight your charges and protect your rights during the legal process.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is petty misdemeanor offense under Minnesota law, and this term applies to a broad range of objects, depending on their context. Objects like plastic baggies and scales that would be used package and distribute illicit substances could be considered paraphernalia, as could anything that could be used to ingest drugs, including the following:
Classifying all of these objects as paraphernalia is context dependent. For example, it is perfectly legal to have a plastic bag or a small scale, but if these objects were found near a controlled substance or were in the possession of someone suspected of a drug crime, law enforcement may consider them paraphernalia. A Bloomington lawyer could help someone accused of owning paraphernalia contest their charges, regardless of the exact nature of the found object.
Drug paraphernalia itself is a minor charge. If a person is found in possession of a glass pipe and is not charged with any other drug offense, the object will be confiscated by law enforcement and they may have to pay a fine. However, in many cases where paraphernalia plays a role, the police do not just find the pipe in a person’s possession, but drugs as well. When this occurs, the paraphernalia charge could enhance a person’s other drug charges.
Law enforcement often finds paraphernalia during traffic stops or when they are granted search warrants into people’s homes or vehicles. If paraphernalia charges lead to litigation, an attorney in Bloomington could argue that law enforcement made a mistake when the object was obtained by proving that the object was not being used to administer drugs but served another purpose for the defendant. This could minimize the potential penalties an accused person may face for this crime.
Since the possession of drug paraphernalia is a minor crime, a person who has been charged with this offense may believe that they do not need legal representation. However, all drug charges should be taken incredibly seriously, as multiple infractions could add up on your record and be an enhancing factor in other criminal charges. If you have been accused of this crime, you have the right to contest it, and a Bloomington drug paraphernalia lawyer could help. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.