Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower Michigan.

Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower michigan.

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Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia

If you’ve been charged with possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia, it’s important to consult with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. A conviction could seriously impact your life and your future, so don’t hesitate to contact a Lansing possession drug paraphernalia attorney.

Most people understand that you can be charged with a crime for possessing or distributing a controlled substance, but did you know that you may also be charged with a crime for possessing or distributing drug paraphernalia, even if you don’t actually have any drugs?

Michigan law is clear: possession of drug paraphernalia by itself could result in serious legal consequences.

Michigan Law

According to the Michigan Public Health Code, drug paraphernalia means “any equipment, product, material…specifically designed for use in planting; propagating; cultivating; growing; harvesting; manufacturing; compounding; converting; producing; processing; preparing; testing; analyzing; packaging; repackaging; storing; containing; concealing; injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.”

Possessing drug paraphernalia could result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 93 days in jail. It is also illegal to sell drug paraphernalia when you know that the item 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.” Violation of this statute could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 90 days in jail. When someone 18 years of age or older sells or offers to sell drug paraphernalia to a minor, they face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $7,500.

Other Consequences Of Possession Or Sale Of Drug Paraphernalia

The impact of a criminal drug conviction may not stop with fines and jail time. There are many other possible implications of having this kind of violation on your record.

  • Background checks – Today, many institutions and organizations run background checks on applicants. This means employers, schools and licensing organizations like the state bar. Having a drug paraphernalia charge on your record, especially if it’s in conjunction with other criminal convictions, could make it impossible for you to pass a background check. The inability to pass a background check could affect your chances of securing employment, being accepted into a university or obtaining a professional license.
  • Difficulty renting property – Many applications to lease a house or apartment require you to disclose criminal convictions. Having a drug paraphernalia violation on your record could make it hard for you to secure housing.
  • Job loss – If your employer has a zero tolerance policy for criminal convictions or drug-related charges, a drug paraphernalia conviction could mean you are out of a job.

How A Lansing Drug Defense Attorney Can Help

There are many ways for a drug-related criminal conviction to follow you into the future. Even if you are only ordered to pay a fine, as many first-time offenders are, that fine is a guilty plea, and it could impact you in many ways for many years. To help you avoid what could be years of stress and negative consequences due to a criminal conviction for possessing or selling drug paraphernalia, you should contact an experienced Lansing drug defense attorney to learn about your options for fighting the charges.

An experienced drug defense lawyer may explore several possible defenses on your behalf, including:

  • You didn’t know the item was being used as drug paraphernalia – Maybe you have an item that you do not use for drug-related purposes, and you were unaware that someone else did so. If you were not aware that an item of yours was being used for drug-related purposes, your lawyer may be able to use your lack of knowledge to build a defense.
  • The item isn’t yours – Perhaps you have been charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, but the item in question was not actually yours. If you did not possess the alleged drug paraphernalia, your lawyer may be able to help you fight your charges.
  • You use the item for a legal purpose – Many items can be used as drug paraphernalia or for legal purposes. You may have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia for something that you do not use for a drug-related purpose. In situations like this, your lawyer may be able to help you build a defense.
  • You are using a controlled substance legally – If you are a qualified medical marijuana patient or caregiver, drug paraphernalia used for the purposes of using or cultivating marijuana is legal. This also applies to adults over the age of 21 since marijuana is legal for recreational use as well.

Contact A Lansing Criminal Defense Attorney Today

These are just a few of many possible defenses to the possession of drug paraphernalia and other drug-related charges. To find out more about how a Lansing drug defense attorney can help you navigate your unique legal circumstances, contact a Lansing criminal defense lawyer from DeBruin Law, PLLC, at 517-731-0353.