Drug charges could focus on many different violations of Washington law. Possession of small amounts of drugs may result in misdemeanor charges while larger amounts with intent to distribute could lead to more severe charges and penalties. Most residents understand the illegalities and penalties associated with selling or possessing drugs. However, someone caught with drug paraphernalia may also end up in legal trouble.
The illegality of drug paraphernalia
Drug paraphernalia refers to a wide range of items that help facilitate the use of drugs. Pipes, for example, allow someone to smoke drugs such as crack cocaine or heroin. Syringes could fall under the category of drug paraphernalia as well.
Items designed to inhale or ingest drugs are not the only things that fall under the paraphernalia heading. The statute includes anything that supports harvesting, growing, manufacturing and more.
Legal woes and possession of drugs or paraphernalia
Washington is one of the more progressive states regarding drug laws. Legislative decisions to classify certain felonies as misdemeanors may deliver lesser penalties, but misdemeanor convictions still lead to criminal records.
Under Washington state law, marijuana remains excluded from the drug paraphernalia statute. With other drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class I civil infraction, a non-criminal offense. Still, the discovery of drug paraphernalia and subsequent citation might lead to other charges requiring a criminal defense.
The citation could be the start of a defendant’s troubles if an altercation breaks out with the police. Charges for resisting arrest may result, and a subsequent search could lead to other charges.
Lack of probable cause or illegal searches might undermine the prosecution of any charges. Other defense tactics could potentially help a defendant’s cause.