Virginians arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia or selling these items must understand what these are and the consequences. Drug offenses are diverse, and there are many allegations that can arise from them. If, for example, a person is selling and distributing drugs, it is different from a person who is caught in possession of illegal drugs for his or her own use. Still, there are penalties related with all drug crimes and a defense is vital regardless of its details.
If a person possesses drug paraphernalia with the intention of selling it, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor. This is true if the paraphernalia was sold while the person selling it knew or should have known that it was designed for planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting or doing numerous other activities related to its creation and use.
If a person who is 18-years-old or older and violates the above law by selling drug paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than that person, it will be a Class 6 felony. A conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor will result in jail for up to 12 months, a fine of up to $2,500 or both. A conviction for a Class 6 felony will result in a prison sentence of a minimum of one year and up to five years. The jury or court has the right to limit the jail sentence to up to 12 months, assess a fine of up to $2,500 or both.
Those who have been arrested on charges of sale or possession of drug paraphernalia might not realize the potential seriousness of the penalties. Understanding how to formulate a strong defense is key. The arrest could have been a mistake.
Law enforcement could have violated protocol by not having the proper search warrants. Or, there could be another basis for a defense. Discussing the matter with a legal professional experienced in drug charges can help with a case.
Source: Virginia.gov, “18.2-265.3. Penalties for sale, etc., of drug paraphernalia.,” accessed on July 10, 2017