Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia are those instruments used in the consumption of drugs. This includes pipes, needles, scales, and other items that may be used in the illegal drug trade or in consuming controlled substances.

Use of Drug Paraphernalia:

According to RCW §69.50.412, a person is guilty of use of drug paraphernalia if he uses drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance other than marijuana.

Penalties for Use of Drug Paraphernalia:

Use of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ninety days in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both.

Possession, Possession with Intent to Deliver or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia:

According to RCW §69.50.412, a person is guilty of possession, possession with intent to deliver or delivery of drug paraphernalia if he 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, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance other than marijuana.

Penalties for Possession, Possession with Intent to Deliver or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia:

Possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ninety days in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both.

However, if a person eighteen years of age or over delivers drug paraphernalia to a person under eighteen years of age who is at least three years his junior, he is guilty of a gross misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.

Defending a Charge Involving Drug Paraphernalia:

To defend a use of drug paraphernalia charge, it must be demonstrated that you used the paraphernalia in the consumption of a drug. There must be trace amounts of the drug found. Without such evidence, you may not be charged. However, possession of drug paraphernalia only requires that the paraphernalia is found on you or on your property with your knowledge. You might argue that you did not know of the paraphernalia. Further, the circumstances surrounding possession of drug paraphernalia can become much more complicated if the particular type of paraphernalia found in your possession demonstrates an intent to deliver. However, this evidence is usually circumstantial and may be challenged. These cases can also hinge on being able to find a problem in the arrest or search procedure, which could lead to a suppression of the evidence brought against you. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.

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