Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Controlled substances are prohibited in Florida by both state and federal law, but a person could also face criminal charges for possessing, not only the actual drug, but certain kinds of drug paraphernalia—the assorted items that are used to make, transport, or use illegal drugs.

Drug paraphernalia is defined under Florida Statute § 893.145 as “all equipment, products, 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, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of” Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes (the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act) or Florida Statute § 877.111.

Police officers often mistake innocent household objects—such as empty plastic bottles or dirty spoons—for drug paraphernalia even when such items have no drug residue on them. While drug paraphernalia charges are often filed in conjunction with drug possession offenses, a person could be arrested solely based on alleged drug paraphernalia possession.

Lawyer for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Pensacola, FL

If you were arrested for alleged drug paraphernalia possession and any other drug crime anywhere in Escambia County, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. 

The Law Office of James M. Burns defends clients facing all kinds of drug charges in communities all over the Florida Panhandle, such as Perdido Key, Pace, Navarre, Milton and Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Pensacola criminal defense attorney James M. Burns can fight to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. 

Call (850) 457-6002 right now to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


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Escambia County Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Information Center


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Drug Paraphernalia Definitions in Pensacola

In determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, Florida Statute § 893.146 establishes that a court or other authority or jury shall consider, in addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following: 

  • Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use;
  • The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a direct violation of this act;
  • The proximity of the object to controlled substances;
  • The existence of any residue of controlled substances on the object; 
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons who he or she knows, or should reasonably know, intend to use the object to facilitate a violation of this act.
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the innocence of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, as to a direct violation of this act shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use, as drug paraphernalia; 
  • Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use; 
  • Descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use;
  • Any advertising concerning its use;
  • The manner in which the object is displayed for sale; 
  • Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the object, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor of or dealer in tobacco products;
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object or objects to the total sales of the business enterprise;
  • The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community; and
  • Expert testimony concerning its use.

Florida Statute § 893.145 states that drug paraphernalia is deemed to be contraband subject to civil forfeiture, and the term includes, but is not limited to the following 11 items:

  • Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in the planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived; 
  • Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing controlled substances; 
  • Isomerization devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in increasing the potency of any species of plant which is a controlled substance;
  • Testing equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in identifying, or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of, controlled substances;
  • Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances;
  • Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, caffeine, dimethyl sulfone, mannitol, mannite, dextrose, and lactose, used, intended for use, or designed for use in diluting controlled substances; or substances such as damiana leaf, marshmallow leaf, and mullein leaf, used, intended for use, or designed for use as carrier mediums of controlled substances;
  • Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, cannabis;
  • Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in compounding controlled substances;
  • Capsules, balloons, envelopes, and other containers used, intended for use, or designed for use in packaging small quantities of controlled substances;
  • Containers and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in storing, concealing, or transporting controlled substances; and
  • Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in parenterally injecting controlled substances into the human body.

Additionally, all of the following objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing controlled substances, as described in Florida Statute § 893.03 or substances described in Florida Statute § 877.111(1) into the human body are also considered drug paraphernalia: 

Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;

  • Water pipes;
  • Carburetion tubes and devices;
  • Smoking and carburetion masks; 
  • Roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a cannabis cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
  • Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials;
  • Chamber pipes; 
  • Carburetor pipes;
  • Electric pipes;
  • Air-driven pipes; 
  • Chillums;
  • Bongs;
  • Ice pipes or chillers; 
  • A cartridge or canister, which means a small metal device used to contain nitrous oxide;
  • A charger, sometimes referred to as a “cracker,” which means a small metal or plastic device that contains an interior pin that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or container;
  • A charging bottle, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or canister; 
  • A whip-it, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide;
  • A tank;
  • A balloon;
  • A hose or tube;
  • A 2-liter-type soda bottle; and 
  • Duct tape.

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Escambia County Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Penalties

Florida Statute § 893.147 establishes the six following criminal offenses relating to drug paraphernalia:

  • Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Florida Statute § 893.147(1) — If an alleged offender uses or possesses with intent to use drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance in violation of Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, or to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance in violation of Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

 

  • Manufacture or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia, Florida Statute § 893.147(2) — If an alleged offender delivers, possesses with intent to deliver, or manufactures with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance or to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

 

  • Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor, Florida Statute § 893.147(3) — If any person 18 years of age or over violates , Florida Statute § 893.147(2) by delivering drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age, it is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If an alleged offender sells or otherwise delivers hypodermic syringes, needles, or other objects which may be used, are intended for use, or are designed for use in parenterally injecting substances into the human body to any person under 18 years of age (except for hypodermic syringes, needles, or other such objects lawfully dispensed by licensed practitioners, parents, or legal guardians or by pharmacists pursuant to valid prescriptions), it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

 

  • Transportation of Drug Paraphernalia, Florida Statute § 893.147(4) — If an alleged offender uses, possesses with the intent to use, or manufactures with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, knowing or under circumstances in which one reasonably should know that it will be used to transport a controlled substance or contraband, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

 

  • Advertisement of Drug Paraphernalia — If an alleged offender places an advertisement in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that the purpose of the advertisement, in whole or in part, is to promote the sale of objects designed or intended for use as drug paraphernalia, it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

 

  • Retail Sale of Drug Paraphernalia — If an alleged offender knowingly and willfully sells or offers for sale at retail any drug paraphernalia (other than a pipe that is primarily made of briar, meerschaum, clay, or corn cob), it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

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Escambia County Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Resources

How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia | Get Smart About Drugs — Visit this United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website to learn more about drug paraphernalia. The website has information about federal law relating to drug paraphernalia as well as types of paraphernalia and specific drugs. You can also find DEA publications and featured articles. 

The Law Office of James M. Burns | Pensacola Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defense Attorney

Were you arrested the Florida Panhandle for allegedly possessing drug paraphernalia? Make sure that you contact The Law Office of James M. Burns as soon as possible for help protecting your rights.

Attorney James M. Burns is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Pensacola who represents individuals in Escambia County in cities like Perdido Key and Pensacola, and Santa Rosa County in cities like Navarre, Milton, and Pace.

He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (850) 457-6002 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

This article was last updated on Friday, March 30, 2018.