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The law is full of definitions and phrases that are subject to interpretation. One of the most commonly used phrases of art in criminal law is “intended to be used”…in connection with some sort of drug possession or paraphernalia charge. Defense attorneys see this a lot, especially with youthful offenders. Being charged with possession could mean possession of an actual substance, or the paraphernalia used in connection with the substance. In either instance it is important to vigorously defend the charges, and we can help.

Florida law gives the authorities broad powers when making claims that certain items are classified as drug paraphernalia. For example:

  • How close in proximity the item was found to an actual controlled substance.
  • Whether residue of a substance is found on the item.
  • What has been said about the use of the item, by a person with the authority to use the item or someone who is exercising control over the item (like the owner).

The most frequently thought of case of this type is a possession of marijuana case, where other things are found with the marijuana (like a pipe, baggie, or baggie ties). If you have a substance inside a bag it is likely the bag will be considered paraphernalia and if you have a lot of bags with the other items needed to tie up those bags it can look like you are preparing drugs for distribution. This is how the prosecution is able to stack charges, one on top of the other, and is a good example of how simple possession cases can quickly spiral out of control. Another thing to be wary of is the fact you do not actually have to be in possession of the item to be charged with possession. It is possible for an arrest to be made for possession when the items and/or substances are within your reach. If you are facing drug possession charges, call our office to talk with a criminal defense attorney for help. These cases often include more than meets the eye, and we know where to look to figure out what type of defense strategy to develop.

If you have questions about drug cases, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.


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