Richmond Drug Paraphernalia Penalties

Drug offenses are taken seriously in Richmond. Law enforcement and local courts have devoted time and resources to curtailing the use and distribution of drugs in Richmond. One element of drug use is the tools that people use to actually take drugs. What many people do not realize is that they can be charged for possession of paraphernalia, whether they have the drug in their possession or not.  If you have been charged with a paraphernalia possession offense, work with an experienced attorney that could work diligently to mitigate the Richmond drug paraphernalia penalties that you may face.

Treatment of Paraphernalia Possession Offenses

Contrary to what many would expect, those charged with possession of paraphernalia are treated pretty fairly. If a person is arrested for possessing paraphernalia and that is the only charge they have, Richmond often gives individuals the opportunity to not have this on their record and not put them in the situation where having this one charge will ruin their life. Richmond drug paraphernalia penalties are a little less severe than the penalties for other drug offenses.

Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

If the individual has no record, more than likely they are going to be placed in a situation as to where the charge can be dismissed, depending on some community service and some other things that they can do for the Commonwealth. That is if they have no record. Per the statute, paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. That is just the code. The person is not going to jail on first offense paraphernalia.

Also per the statute, if someone is found to be selling paraphernalia to a minor three years their junior – not three years old but three years their junior –it becomes a Class 6 felony, which can give them anywhere from zero to five years and a fine of $2,500, as well. Normally on first offense paraphernalia, they will be given an opportunity to have the case dismissed if they do a little community service or take some substance abuse classes.

Given the person’s record at the time of the offense, they are more likely than not to be looking at jail time, unless this is their fourth or fifth run-in with the Commonwealth and they do not seem to get it. Then, they could be in a lot of trouble, but on a first or a second offense, jail time is not going to be offered. The person is more than likely to have that charge dismissed altogether.

Factors That Can Impact a Paraphernalia Possession Charge

The only thing that can impact the charge is going to be the sale of paraphernalia. If someone sells paraphernalia to somebody who is three years their junior, the charge goes from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. Depending on the substance and the type of paraphernalia, that can change the way the Commonwealth views the case. For example, if someone is charged with possessing paraphernalia and it is their first offense with something like a grinder used to grind marijuana, then what the Commonwealth might ask the person to do to have the charge dismissed or as far as the penalty will not be as steep and problematic as others. If someone is charged with possessing a syringe, they may have to do more community service or go to more substance abuse classes.

In contrast, if someone is charged with paraphernalia for using 50 flower pots to grow and distribute marijuana, the person might face more severe Richmond drug paraphernalia penalties. Also, the sympathy which the Commonwealth garnishes for those on a first offense or low-level paraphernalia is not going to be there. They are going to be viewed as somebody who does not have a problem and who does not need help as much as somebody who is going to do what they want to do, and they are willing to take the risks to do it.

Richmond Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer