Is it a crime if I was found to have drug paraphernalia in my possession, but not actual drugs?
The Michigan drug crime attorneys at Grabel & Associates know that even if an individual is found with drug paraphernalia in his or her possession, that individual may be charged with a misdemeanor offense pursuant to MCL 333.7451 and MCL 333.7455(1). So, to answer the question of whether having drug paraphernalia in your possession even though you have no actual drugs or illegal substances in your possession is a crime, yes it is. If you have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important that you speak with a skilled and aggressive drug crimes lawyer right away.
What is important to note is that if an individual is accused of possessing drug paraphernalia, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant possessed an instrument or device (such as a pipe or syringe) that was intended to facilitate drug use. As skilled lawyers who have dealt with this area of the law extensively, we know that syringes may be used for medical purposes, that marijuana pipes may be in the possession of an individual who is a patient or licensed caregiver under Michigan's Medical Marijuana law, and that possession of drug paraphernalia does not necessarily mean that paraphernalia was intended to be used for illegal drug activity. This is very important.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
Rolling papers, syringes, marijuana pipes, razor blades or mirrors often found in 'cocaine kits,' scales, marijuana grinders - there are many objects that may be considered drug paraphernalia, even a hose, spoon, or syringe often included in heroin works kits. Simply stated, anything that may be used in the cultivating, planting, manufacturing, growing, processing, storing, packaging, ingesting, consuming or production of illegal or controlled substances may be considered drug paraphernalia under MCL 333.7451.
The Impact of a Conviction for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Even though possession of paraphernalia without the presence of illegal drugs or substances seems like a minor offense, it can have a negative impact on various aspects of your life. For instance, having a conviction on your criminal record can negatively affect career advancement, the ability to secure employment, even whether you will qualify for a student loan or obtain (or keep) a business license. Ultimately, it can create a stigma that follows you throughout life, even affecting your reputation or how others in the community perceive you.
Penalties if Convicted for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia you will face punishment which includes fines of up to $5,000, potential jail time of up to 90 days, or both. However, you may face harsher sentencing depending on whether you have been convicted on any drug-related offense previously.
The good news is that if you are convicted of a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession offense, the conviction may be expunged from your record within five years as long as it is determined you are eligible.
Contact a Seasoned Michigan Drug Crimes Attorney Now
You may believe that if you were in possession of drug paraphernalia even though you possessed no illegal drugs, you have no option but to plead guilty. It is critical that you consult with a skilled lawyer who can fight on your behalf, whether your case proceeds to court or otherwise. Evidence may have been obtained by police in a way that was illegal; you may be completely innocent. The fact is hiring a seasoned criminal defense lawyer can make a substantial difference in the outcome; our goal is to protect your legal rights and freedom so that you can look forward to a bright, productive future.
We are available 24/7. Call the team at Grabel & Associates now at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online. Put your freedom and future in capable, experienced hands.