Most people who habitually use an illegal substance have rituals or habits that surround their drug use. They may have a particular smoking apparatus that they prefer to use or they might even carry their own syringes. Unfortunately, Georgia law doesn’t have much leniency for those addicted to illegal substances.
Those who get caught in possession of any prohibited or controlled drug could find themselves facing crimnal charges. For many people, the criminal issues don’t end with a simple drug possession charge.
If law enforcement discovers any kind of paraphernalia, they can charge you with a second misdemeanor offense. Any drug accessories you have on your person, in your house or in your vehicle at the time of your arrest, could complicate your legal situation.
Law enforcement can consider many items paraphernalia
Some people get creative in their attempt to avoid anything that looks like obvious drug paraphernalia. Unfortunately, there likely isn’t anything that a person could think up that law enforcement officers haven’t seen before.
Police typically have a well-rounded understanding of what implements and devices can assist someone in consuming an illegal substance. They also know that certain objects or items are closely associated with the sale of drugs.
Plastic baggies and scales are perfect examples. These items could be perfectly innocuous household possessions. However, once law enforcement finds drugs, those otherwise normal items become suspect.
What are the penalties for a paraphernalia charge?
Because paraphernalia is a separate criminal charge, it carries a separate criminal consequence. Anyone convicted of possession or sale of paraphernalia in Georgia could wind up facing up to a year in jail, as well as a fine of $1,000.
In some cases, law enforcement may be able to bring more than one paraphernalia charge against an individual, just like they may be able to make more than one drug possession charge out of a single arrest.
You can defend yourself against drug charges
Drug possession and paraphernalia charges can completely change the course of your life. You will have to deal with the criminal consequences, as well as the stress of defending yourself in court. Then there are the actual penalties, which often include probation, jail time or fines.
If you aren’t successful in your defense attempt, you will likely have to deal with a criminal record that can make it harder for you to get a job and potentially keep you from securing any kind of financial aid for higher education. For that reason alone, you may want to avoid a guilty plea.
Mounting a thorough and rigorous defense is often the best option to protect your future options. It may be time to sit down with a Georgia defense attorney who has experience working with drug charges.