If you face charges for alleged possession of drug paraphernalia, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the different ways that this case could affect your life. Court-imposed penalties could result in financial repercussions, and your record could come back to haunt you in the future (while applying for certain jobs, for example).
Aside from court-imposed penalties, there are a host of other challenges that you could face due to drug paraphernalia allegations. For example, your reputation could sustain serious damage, adversely impacting your personal and professional relationships.
An overview of drug paraphernalia possession penalties
The Maryland General Assembly states that if you sell, deliver, or possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to sell it, you could face a $500 fine for the first offense. If charged with this offense for a second time, you could face a fine of up to $2,000. Moreover, subsequent offenses can also result in a prison sentence of two years.
In addition, delivering drug paraphernalia to someone under 18 can lead to significant penalties, such as a $15,000 fine and an eight-year prison sentence.
How courts decide if objects constitute drug paraphernalia
Maryland courts review a number of different factors when deciding if objects constitute illegal drug paraphernalia. For example, courts look at statements from the owner or person found using an object, which a law enforcement official could gather while talking with you. Courts also consider drug residue, an object’s proximity to drugs, previous convictions and expert testimony.
If you currently face drug paraphernalia charges, make sure you immediately go over your options and rights.