PITTSBURGH DRUG PARAPHERNALIA ATTORNEY

 

HOW IS POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA DEFINED IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Section 780-113(a)(32) penalizes the crime of possessing drug paraphernalia, which can be a variety of things.  Frequent examples of items deemed to be paraphernalia are sandwich baggies, rubber bands, razors, digital scales, bongs, vape pens, smoking pipes, and other innocuous items that, by the terms of the law, may be used to “prepare . . . pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance.”

 

HOW SERIOUS IS POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA?

A conviction for possession of a drug paraphernalia is an ungraded misdemeanor punishable up to a maximum of one year imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.

 

CAN POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE CHARGE BE RESOLVED PRE-TRIAL?

Yes, sometimes it can be.  Within the The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, there is a pre-trial diversion program called Probation Without Verdict” (PWOV) that’s available to drug-dependent offenders who commit non-violent offenses.

The benefit of PWOV is that those who fulfill the terms and conditions of a probationary sentence, upon completion, the court dismisses the charges that the person pled to and their record of conviction is to be “promptly expunged” under Section 780-119. 

These are person, however, who are ineligible for PWOV:

  1. Any person who has previously been convicted of an offense under this act or similar act of the United States or any other state.
  1. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in this Commonwealth or an equivalent crime under the laws of any other state.
  1. Any person who has been placed on Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition where the person was charged with a violation of this act or the commission of a misdemeanor or felony in this Commonwealth.
  1. Any person who is charged with or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to multiple offenses which are based on separate conduct or arise from separate criminal episodes such that those offenses could be tried separately in accordance with 18 Pa.C.S. § 110 (relating to when prosecution barred by former prosecution for different offense).
  1. Any person who is a dangerous juvenile offender under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 (relating to definitions) or who was adjudicated delinquent for conduct which would constitute a violation of clause (30) or (37) of subsection (a) of section 13 of this act.1
  1. Any person who is charged with violating clause (14), (30) or (37) of subsection (a) of section 13 of this act.

 

WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?

A prosecution for possession of a drug paraphernalia must be commenced within two years after it is committed.

 

If you or a loved one is charged with possession of paraphernalia, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, Ryan H. James, who has tried and argued these cases with successful results.  Attorney James can be personally reached at 412-977-1827, or by e-mail at ryan@rhjameslaw.com