With the use of drugs becoming increasingly widespread and the legalization of marijuana a hot topic in our country, it is no surprise that arrest for drug related offenses are common. The possession of drug-related paraphernalia may seem minor compared to other drug offenses, but it still carries serious penalties that can affect your future for years to come.
In Iowa, most drug paraphernalia charges involve marijuana paraphernalia used to possess or smoke the substance. If the officer also finds marijuana, the crime of possession of marijuana can be charged. It is important to remember that drug paraphernalia crimes can involve the use of any type of controlled substance.
An attorney at your side can help you navigate the daunting task of a criminal defense. The system can be confusing, and you need to fully understand your options when making decisions about your future. An experienced lawyer can give you confidence in the process ahead and minimize your stress during this difficult time.
Drug Paraphernalia Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa
The attorneys of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have nearly 50 years of combined experience representing clients charged with drug crimes and the possession of drug paraphernalia. The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can aggressively fight your case with the goal of helping you obtain the best possible result.
Call us at (515) 279-9700 today to schedule your free consultation about the details of your case. We can review your unique circumstances and help you decide the best way to move forward. Time is important in preparing a defense for possession of drug paraphernalia, so don’t hesitate to take the first step in securing your future.
Call (515) 279-9700.
The Elements of Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Iowa
As outlined in Iowa Statute 124.414, drug paraphernalia is defined as any equipment, product, or other materials to be used in combination with a controlled substance. These situations include:
- Manufacturing a drug
- Enhancing the effect of drug use
- Testing the strength or purity of a controlled substance
- Ingest or consume a controlled substance
Items that are used to lawfully administer a medication, such as syringes for diabetic patients, are exempt from this rule.
Common Examples of Drug Paraphernalia
Some items that are considered drug paraphernalia include:
- Lab equipment such as beakers, flasks, and burners
- Ziploc bags
- Roach clips
- Small spoons
The important factor is whether the items were used in relation to drugs. For instance, Ziploc bags are probably used by a majority of households, but if an officer suspects that they are being used for distributing or manufacturing drugs, they can be used as evidence of drug paraphernalia. In addition, the presence of drugs can make any items that maybe have been used in their production suspect to a paraphernalia charge.
Definition of Drug Paraphernalia
Under Iowa Code sections 124.414(1)(a) and 124.414(1)(b), the term "drug paraphernalia" is defined to include equipment or materials that one intends to use, or knows is intended to be used, primarily for any of the following purposes:
- To manufacture a controlled substance;
- To inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance;
- To test the strength, effectiveness, or purity of a controlled substance;
- To enhance the effect of a controlled substance.
However, drug paraphernalia does not include any equipment or material used in combination with the lawful use of a controlled substance, or the otherwise lawful use of that equipment or material.
The Consequences of a Drug Paraphernalia Charge in Iowa
The possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a simple misdemeanor, which carries the potential for up to 35 days in jail and a fine that can range from $65 to $625. In addition, the convicted offender will have a mark added to their criminal record, which can interfere with future employment and education opportunities. When combined with other drug charges, the offender can face serious consequences.
Finding a Drug Paraphernalia Attorney in Iowa
A simple misunderstanding or minor drug charge can impact your future for years to come. Don't risk your future on an inexperienced attorney. With nearly 50 years of combined legal experience, McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can defend your situation with confidence.
Let us reduce your stress during this challenging time and guide you through each phase of your criminal defense when fighting charges for the possession of drug paraphernalia in the greater Des Moines area in Iowa.
If you've been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Polk County or Dallas County, Iowa, call us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule your free consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, July 7, 2017.