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220.5 Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree

Fighting Drug Paraphernalia Charges: What You Need to Know

What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is considered to be any object that could be reasonably deduced to be used in conjunction with the manufacturing, distribution or use of illegal substances. This can include devices that are used for ingesting these substances, such as needles and pipes.

Many drug paraphernalia charges are made for instruments that aid in the selling of drugs. These include scales for weighing the amount to be sold or packaging materials to store the substances for distribution. Paraphernalia charges can often be made alongside drug possession charges.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia?

Being caught in possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor. This can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Even though it’s not as serious as a felony, paraphernalia charges can still greatly affect your life. The consequences can also be increased if you are charged with selling paraphernalia or if you’re charged with selling at or near a school.

Does Paraphernalia Possession Automatically Mean Charges?

Merely having items that are used as drug paraphernalia is not enough to warrant a charge. Many items that are considered paraphernalia have legal purposes. For instance, possession of small plastic bags cannot be considered grounds for a paraphernalia charge alone, even though they’ve been used by drug dealers for storing illicit substances. In order for a paraphernalia charge to be valid, there needs to be evidence that they were used or intended to be used for drug-related purposes. For instance, if someone is found in possession with heroin and needles, those needles could be considered paraphernalia.

Drug paraphernalia charges can be given if instruments are found with traces of illicit substances on them. For instance, a glass pipe that is found in a residence unused or with a legal substance like tobacco will not result in a paraphernalia charge. However, traces of illegal substances like marijuana (depending on the laws of your jurisdiction) and crack cocaine can constitute a paraphernalia charge.

Finding a Lawyer

If you have been charged with drug paraphernalia, you want to make sure your lawyer, whether they’re one you’ve hired or one that has been appointed to you, knows how to argue on your behalf. They should review your case thoroughly and see any discrepancies in your charges that could be argued to help have them reduced or dropped.

If there has been no viable proof that the paraphernalia you were found in possession of was meant for drug-related purposes, you will be able to better fight your case. Be sure to consider any advice your attorney gives you. It is also in your best interest to refrain from speaking unless instructed to do so by your attorney. Even if you’re innocent, you don’t want to risk saying anything that could incriminate you.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Your drug paraphernalia case can be fought successfully with the help of a good lawyer. You need to work with your defender as thoroughly as possible to have your charges dropped, reduced, or to achieve a “not guilty” verdict. By putting your focus on your case, you can aim for a better outcome with your case.

Don’t deal with 220.5 Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree alone. Speak to the Spodek Law Group today.

Drug Crimes and Offenses: Understanding New York’s Drug Paraphernalia Laws

Drug crimes and offenses take many forms. Due to the serious dangers the illegal use and sale of drugs present to the public, offenses that do not involve actual possession of controlled substances rank as state-level crimes. In the state of New York, any person who possesses or sells certain paraphernalia can be charged with a crime. Specifically, he/she may be charged under New York Penal Code S 220.50. This stature addresses “criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.”

Diluents, Dilutants or Adulterants

The possession or sale of agents commonly known to be used to thin, dilute, change, or contaminate illegal drugs can lead to an arrest. Various diluting and adultering substances fit this description. Mannitol is a sweetener found in products intended for those who suffer from diabetes. Mannitol is also used when cutting cocaine. The sugar called dextrose may be employed in the cutting of heroin. Possessing either of these and other substances, in certain situations, may lead to a charge of second-degree drug paraphernalia.

The key issue with the possession of otherwise legal substances would be the intent. Does it appear based on the situation that a person is or may use the agent to dilute or alter a controlled substance? If so, then the individual may be arrested and charged under this statute.

Possession of Items for Drug Packaging

In their raw form, many narcotics and stimulates require packaging. Powder or liquid forms of illegal drugs may need to be placed inside of gelatine capsules or glass vials. Certain drugs are commonly sold when placed in baggies. Possessing these packaging items may be more than enough to charge someone with a crime.

As with the previous category, intent plays a major role in whether or not someone can be credibly charged. The possession of small plastic bags combined with the intent to package and distribute illegal drugs would be sufficient for a credible arrest. Circumstances play a role in establishing credibility. A person carrying several empty capsules and tiny clear plastic glassine envelopes in a neighborhood known for significant drug activity probably would face arrest upon discovery of the paraphernalia.

Possession of Weighing and Measuring Instruments

Drugs are placed on scales and measuring devices for several different purposes. Drugs sold by the gram do need to appropriately weighed. Particular formulas for cutting rely on measuring both the illegal drug and the diluting agent. If the police were to discover scales and measuring devices inside a home and felt there was reasonable intent to use the weighing and measuring instruments for a drug-related activity, those in possession of the instruments face arrest.

The Misdemeanor Charge

In comparison to other drug crimes, criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree does not come with severe penalties. Specifically, this offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Jail time is possible. The courts have the option of sentencing a convicted person to up to one year in jail or to three years of probation. A fine of up to $1,000 or twice the individual’s gain can be levied as well.

The Issue of Illegality

Again, intent plays a role in whether or not someone can be charged with the crime. A person purchasing a sugar substitute at a grocery store cannot automatically be charged with a crime without any supporting evidence of intent.

No matter what the circumstances of an arrest may be, anyone facing charges should hire a criminal defense attorney who knows what steps to take.

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