Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Lansing
You probably know that possessing, distributing, delivering, or selling any illegal or controlled substance is against the law in Lansing, but did you know that you can be charged with a crime for possession of a pipe, rolling papers, or a bong?
The charge of possession of drug paraphernalia is a serious offense and it can greatly impact the life of anyone who is convicted. Yet the laws regarding possession of drug paraphernalia are not always easy to understand. For example, if you can legally buy rolling papers, then why can you be arrested for possessing them?
Grabel & Associates has been defending people against drug paraphernalia possession charges for more than 10 years, and our drug crime attorneys based in Lansing know how the law works. We will help you understand the complexities of this area of law and use our expertise to help you find any charges of drug paraphernalia possession brought against you.
What Is Considered Drug Paraphernalia?
The legal definition of drug paraphernalia expands far outside your average bong or rolling papers. Michigan law (Public Health Code 333.7451) defines drug paraphernalia as any equipment, product, material, or any combination of these three that is used specifically for planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or in any other way introducing a controlled substance into the human body.
What this extensive list boils down to is that you cannot own any equipment that is used expressly to create a drug, and you cannot own any device that helps you ingest a controlled substance.
Other seemingly non-threatening items can also be considered drug paraphernalia if the circumstances lead police officers and prosecutors to believe that the item is being used to produce or ingest any illegal substances. A scale, for example, can usually be found in almost every kitchen in Lansing, but if officers have reason to suspect that you are using the scale to measure weights of a controlled substance, then it may be considered paraphernalia.
You can, of course, be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia if you are caught holding a pipe and more than an ounce of marijuana, but in some cases, you can be charged without even having any drug paraphernalia on your person. If you have control of an area where drug paraphernalia is found - an office, car, or home - then you may be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Drug paraphernalia laws are not always as black and white as they seem. That is why anyone accused of possession of drug paraphernalia in Lansing should seek legal counsel from an experience attorney at Grabel & Associates. We will work with your case to make sure that your rights are never violated and you receive the best possible outcome.
When Is It Drug Paraphernalia?
When you are walking by a smoke shop, you might see bongs, pipes, or other drug-related devices in the window. How can that be? Aren't those objects considered drug paraphernalia? What is the difference between a pipe and a bong in a head shop and drug paraphernalia?
The difference lies in the intent of the user. Bongs and other items such as rolling papers can be used with illegal substances, but they can also be used with legal substances such as tobacco. If you can prove that you are using rolling papers or a pipe for uses not related to illegal drugs, then you should be able to prove your innocence.
For more information about this and other potential defenses against possession of drug paraphernalia charges, contact an associate at Grabel & Associates. We can answer some of your most pressing questions.
Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
The penalties for possessing any drug paraphernalia can be harsh, and they can change a person's life entirely. He or she may have trouble finding employment or receiving admission to certain higher education institutions if the applicant has possession of drug paraphernalia on his or her criminal record.
These possession charges are considered misdemeanors, and for a first offense, a person may spend as many as 90 days in jail, and he or she may be fined up to $5,000. Subsequent convictions may result in higher fines and possibly more jail time.
Selling or offering drug paraphernalia to a minor (someone younger than 18 years of age) can lead to even higher fines and jail time, even for a first offense. It will still be considered a misdemeanor, but those convicted end up spending a full year in jail, and they may have to pay as much as $7,500 in fines.
If you find yourself facing any one of these penalties, remember that you do not have to face them alone. With a skilled attorney, such as one from Grabel & Associates, you can build a solid defense against these charges and avoid any convictions.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Possession of drug paraphernalia in Lansing is a serious offense and comes with heavy penalties. You may find yourself facing a poor reputation, or you may have to spend some time behind bars if convicted, so it is vital that you contact a skilled, hands-on lawyer, such as an associate from Grabel & Associates.
Before charges are even filed, call us toll-free at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us through our website. Your freedom and the protection of your rights are important to us, so contact Grabel & Associates immediately.