Defendant Charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
This case deals with a juvenile who was charged with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. An adjudicatory hearing was held and the court determined that the evidence was enough for the allegation of possessing drug paraphernalia, but dismissed the charge of possession of marijuana. The juvenile is appealing the ruling that did not dismiss the possession of drug paraphernalia stating that the trial court made an error.
A Staten Island Criminal Lawyer said while at school the juvenile’s backpack was searched by a school police officer. The officer found a plastic case that had a green leafy substance inside. The container also had a glass ear dropper that had been turned into a pipe. The makeshift pipe had residue on it.
The juvenile was then arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use.
During the trial the school police officer testified that he believed the green leafy substance as well as the residue inside the pipe was marijuana because it looked and smelled like it. The items were sent to the lab for testing, but the results were not introduced as evidence during the trial.
During cross examination the school police officer stated that he was familiar with the look and smell of marijuana, but also admitted that synthetic marijuana looks and smells the same.
The defendant also testified on his own behalf and stated that the substance was in fact synthetic marijuana and not the real thing. He states that he purchased the substance at the dollar store and it was called “Mr. Nice Guy.” A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendant further stated that the substance looks and smells just like the real thing and that he used the ear dropper to smoke the substance before he was arrested.
The defendant moved to have both charges against him dismissed. The court made the determination that there was reasonable doubt as to whether or not the substance in the container was real or synthetic marijuana. For this reason, the court dismissed the charge of possession of marijuana.
The court found that the defendant was guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia and denied the dismissal of this charge. This is the ruling that is being appealed by the defendant.
Court Discussion and Decision
The court has carefully reviewed the decision that was made by the trial court to not dismiss the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
When considering the laws of the State, it is found to be unlawful for a person to possess, use, or intend to use drug paraphernalia. It is also illegal for a person to inhale, ingest, or introduce a controlled substance into the body in any way.
In order for the court to sustain this charge the State needed to prove that the defendant possessed the paraphernalia and had used it or intended to use it for an illegal substance.
Since the charge of possession of a controlled substance, in this case marijuana, was denied, the charge for possession of drug paraphernalia should have been dismissed as well. The court rules in favor of the defendant and the charge for possession of drug paraphernalia against the defendant is dismissed.
If you need to speak with an experienced New York attorney, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Our team of professional lawyers will be happy to discuss your case with you during a free consultation, whether you have been charged with drug possession, sex crimes or theft. We have offices located around the city for your convenience.