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Drug Paraphernalia

Most people are aware that it is illegal to possess a controlled substance in the state of Florida. Many other people are shocked to learn that they can face criminal charges for possession of alleged drug paraphernalia—the objects or items that are used to make, carry, or use illegal drugs.

Unfortunately, the definition of drug paraphernalia under state law is broad enough such that many everyday items can be interpreted by law enforcements as having been used for illegal drug activities—even when the items are new and unused or otherwise have absolutely no drug residue on them. Drug paraphernalia charges are frequently filed in conjunction with underlying controlled substance offenses, but alleged offenders can be arrested for paraphernalia crimes without any additional criminal offenses.

Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer in Broward County, FL

Were you recently arrested for any kind of alleged drug paraphernalia offense? The Hoffman Firm can fight to achieve the most favorable outcome to your case and possibly get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who represents clients accused of drug offenses all over Broward County, including Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, Plantation, and many other nearby communities. Call (954) 524-4474 today to set up a free initial consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and discuss your legal options.


Fort Lauderdale Drug Paraphernalia Crimes Information Center


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Florida Drug Paraphernalia Definitions

Florida Statute § 893.145 defines drug paraphernalia as meaning “all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of” the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.

In determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, Florida Statute § 893.146 establishes that a court, jury, or other authority shall consider, in addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following:

  • Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use.
  • The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a direct violation of this act.
  • The proximity of the object to controlled substances.
  • The existence of any residue of controlled substances on the object.
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons whom [he] [she] knows, or should reasonably know, intend to use the object to facilitate a violation of this act. The innocence of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, as to a direct violation of this act shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use, as drug paraphernalia.
  • Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use.
  • Descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use.
  • Any advertising concerning its use.
  • The manner in which the object is displayed for sale.
  • Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the object, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products.
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object or objects to the total sales of the business enterprise.
  • The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community.
  • Expert testimony concerning its use.

Generally, the term drug paraphernalia includes, but is being limited to:

  • Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in compounding controlled substances;
  • Capsules, balloons, envelopes, and other containers used, intended for use, or designed for use in packaging small quantities of controlled substances;
  • Containers and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in storing, concealing, or transporting controlled substances;
  • Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose, and lactose, used, intended for use, or designed for use in cutting controlled substances;
  • Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in parenterally injecting controlled substances into the human body;
  • Isomerization devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in increasing the potency of any species of plant which is a controlled substance;
  • Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing controlled substances;
  • Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in the planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived;
  • Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances;
  • Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, cannabis; and
  • Testing equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in identifying, or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of, controlled substances.

Drug paraphernalia also includes several “objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing cannabis, cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, or nitrous oxide into the human body, such as”:

  • A 2-liter-type soda bottle;
  • A balloon;
  • A cartridge or canister, which means a small metal device used to contain nitrous oxide;
  • A charger, sometimes referred to as a “cracker,” which means a small metal or plastic device that contains an interior pin that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or container;
  • A charging bottle, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or canister;
  • A hose or tube;
  • A tank;
  • A whip-it, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide;
  • Air-driven pipes;
  • Bongs;
  • Carburetion tubes and devices;
  • Carburetor pipes;
  • Chamber pipes;
  • Chillums;
  • Duct tape;
  • Electric pipes;
  • Ice pipes or chillers;
  • Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
  • Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials;
  • Roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a cannabis cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
  • Smoking and carburetion masks; and
  • Water pipes.

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Drug Paraphernalia Penalties in Broward County

Six different criminal offenses relating to drug paraphernalia are established under Florida Statute § 893.147, including:

  • Advertisement of Drug Paraphernalia — It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 to place an advertisement in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that the purpose of the advertisement, in whole or in part, is to promote the sale of objects designed or intended for use as drug paraphernalia. 
  • Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor — It is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000 for any person 18 years of age or over to deliver to a person under 18 years of age, possess with intent to deliver to a person under 18 years of age, or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age. It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 to sell or otherwise deliver hypodermic syringes, needles, or other objects which may be used, are intended for use, or are designed for use in parenterally injecting substances into the human body to any person under 18 years of age—except for hypodermic syringes, needles, or other such objects lawfully dispensed by licensed practitioners, parents, or legal guardians or by pharmacists pursuant to valid prescriptions.
  • Manufacture or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia — It is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000 to deliver, possess with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia. 
  • Retail Sale of Drug Paraphernalia — It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 for the first offense to knowingly and willfully sell or offer for sale at retail any drug paraphernalia—other than a pipe that is primarily made of briar, meerschaum, clay, or corn cob. A second or subsequent offense is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Transportation of Drug Paraphernalia — It is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000 to use, possess with the intent to use, or manufacture with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, knowing or under circumstances in which one reasonably should know that it will be used to transport a controlled substance or contraband. 
  • Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia — It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 to use or possess with intent to use drug paraphernalia.

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Florida Resources for Drug Paraphernalia Arrests

Substance Abuse | Department of Children and Families —Florida’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program has been designated by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as the single state authority on substance abuse and mental health. On this website you can find ways to get help for drug addiction and hear the personal stories of people who went through treatment. You can also learn about treatment services, substance abuse prevention programs, find crisis services.

Florida Standard Jury Instructions | Chapter 25: Drug Abuse & Contraband in Facilities — Visit this website to view the full text of standard jury instructions given to Florida juries for drug paraphernalia cases. Specific criminal charges available here include Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Delivery, Possession with Intent to Deliver, or Manufacture with intent to Deliver Drug Paraphernalia; Retail Sale of Drug Paraphernalia; and Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor offenses. While standard jury instructions are rarely used verbatim in criminal cases, they still offer a good idea of the basic underlying issues that juries will be asked to consider.


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The Hoffman Firm | Lawyer for Drug Paraphernalia Arrests in Broward County, Florida

If you were arrested for any kind of a criminal offense relating to alleged drug paraphernalia, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact The Hoffman Firm for help protecting your rights and fighting to make sure that you face the fewest possible penalties.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office who defends clients in Hollywood, Cooper City, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, and surrounding areas of Broward County. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 or fill out an online contact form today to set up a free consultation.


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Free Consultation

All fields are required. The use of this form for communication with our personnel does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Evan A. Hoffman

Evan A. Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.

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