27 Jul 23

220.5 Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree

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Last Updated on: 14th August 2023, 11:46 pm

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.

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.