DC Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer 

A DC drug paraphernalia lawyer can help an individual understand what the charges entail and how they might mitigate or drop them. Under Washington, DC law, drug paraphernalia has an expansive definition. There are a lot of different kinds of items that can be considered drug paraphernalia and whether they are charged as drug paraphernalia under DC criminal laws often depends on the context or the circumstances in which they are found. Generally, drug paraphernalia is considered to be an object used, intended to be used, or designed to be used to store, consume, manufacture, inject, or otherwise produce, process, or prepare some kind of controlled substance. This is a very broad standard because there are some objects that can be perfectly legal in certain contexts but then become illegal in other contexts. DC law states that whether something is determined to be paraphernalia can be determined based on those circumstances or that context. For more information on drug paraphernalia, contact a professional DC drug lawyer.

Circumstances of Paraphernalia

The context of drug paraphernalia could be the proximity of an object to some controlled substance. For example, a weighing scale is a perfectly legal item for a person to have. But a weighing scale found near cocaine could then become drug paraphernalia if there is evidence that the scale was used to weigh the cocaine. Other factors that can be used to determine whether an object is drug paraphernalia include the presence of any residual traces of a controlled substance on the object.

As an example, a syringe can be a perfectly legal object to possess. A person can use a syringe to inject insulin or could be a medical professional who has syringes for legally permissible reasons. But if a person is found to be in possession of a syringe that has trace, residual amounts of heroin in it, that syringe could then be considered drug paraphernalia even if the residual heroin in the syringe is not enough to be measurable and therefore not enough to actually charge someone with the crime of possession of heroin. The residual heroin in the syringe can make that syringe into drug paraphernalia, thereby making it illegal.

Further Examples of Drug Paraphernalia in DC

There are a wide variety of objects that can be classified as drug paraphernalia depending on the context or circumstances in which they are found. These objects could include:

  • syringes
  • small plastic baggies
  • scales
  • pill bottles
  • kits used for combining chemicals
  • receptacles that have residual or trace amounts of controlled substances found inside of them

Even something as innocuous as a playing card can be considered drug paraphernalia if it is found with residual or trace amounts of a controlled substance on it. Other objects that can be considered drug paraphernalia include smoking pipes or any objects used to consume a controlled substance. Some kind of smoking pipes can be used for legal purposes such as tobacco or marijuana, which is legal in DC. This is why the prosecutors need to provide some kind of context or some kind of additional evidence for many kinds of objects if they want to prove that that object is substance paraphernalia. An attorney in DC can see if certain items are applicable in a specific situation.

Reducing Penalties

There is a common saying in criminal law that goes, “Ignorance of the law is not a defense.” What this means is that it is never considered to be a defense in any criminal case that the person being charged was unaware that what they were doing was illegal. This does have limited exceptions in certain kinds of criminal cases, but for the most part, there is not a defense that a person was unaware of a specific criminal law. No attorney can argue that a person was not aware of DC paraphernalia laws to argue for dismissal or acquittal on those charges. However, a DC drug paraphernalia lawyer can defend an individual in other ways and can try to mitigate charges if the situation allows for it. Contact an experienced attorney today who can offer more legal insight.