Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

State law says that certain pieces of evidence will be taken into consideration when there is an arrest for this drug crime. When a Virginian is placed under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia, understanding the evidence that will be used as the case moves forward will be one of the most important parts of formulating a strong defense. It is also imperative to have a grasp on what the penalties will be in the unfortunate event that there is a conviction.

The following factors will be taken into account when evidence is considered: if there were statements made by the arrested person that are admissible under the Constitution; how physically close the object was to marijuana or other controlled substances when the person who was arrested was aware of its proximity; if there were instructions - written or oral - with the object regarding how it is to be used; if there were descriptive materials with the object to detail how it is to be used; if there was advertising locally or nationally and the accused person was aware of how it is used; how it is on display to be sold; and if the accused is supplying other items legitimately such as tobacco products.

Evidence can also be shown if the ratio of sales of objects that fall into the category of drug paraphernalia falls into a certain level of the business's total sales, there is an existence of legitimate uses for the item in the community, expert testimony regarding its use or what it is used for and relevant evidence of the intent for which it was to be used by the person it was being delivered to and it was for illegal drug use.

A person who possesses drug paraphernalia and does so knowingly will face a Class I misdemeanor. If a person is 18 or older and sells drug paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger will face a Class 6 felony. Someone who is 18 or older who distributes drug paraphernalia to a minor will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

For those who are arrested on drug charges related to possessing drug paraphernalia, the punishments can be significant and could lead to extended problems including fines, jail time and other penalties. Regardless of the circumstances, those who are confronted with legal issues related to drug paraphernalia need to make certain they craft a strong defense with assistance from an attorney.

Source: law.lis.virginia.gov, "18.2-265.2. Evidence to be considered in cases under this article (drug paraphernalia)," accessed on Nov. 21, 2016

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