Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Attorney in Topeka

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Topeka Kansas

You do not need to be caught red-handed with a controlled substance to face a drug charge in Kansas.

The charge of possession of drug paraphernalia can be filed against anyone caught with certain items in their possession — and it can lead to a felony charge, jail time and other serious penalties.

If you find yourself in this position, it is not to be taken lightly. The resulting criminal record from a conviction can impact your life long into the future.

If you are arrested on possession of drug paraphernalia charges, speak to the experienced drug crime lawyers at Irigonegaray, Turney, Revenaugh, LP in Topeka.

During a free initial discussion, we can take the first steps to prepare your defense.

What is drug paraphernalia in Kansas?

“Drug paraphernalia” is considered to be any item used in connection with a controlled substance in Kansas. The federal definition is as follows:

“…any equipment, product or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.”

The item in question could be used to assist a person in using the substance, preparing it or selling it. Some such items are everyday things that are used for other purposes (which can aid a defense) but when connected with drug usage, possession can lead to a misdemeanor or even felony charge.

A good example is a postage scale. This is a legal item to own and it is used for many lawful purposes. However, if you use it to weigh marijuana or another illicit substance, it can be considered drug paraphernalia and lead to a criminal charge.

When considering if an item is to be classified as drug paraphernalia, the Kansas courts will consider the following factors, amongst others:

  • Is there drug residue or other physical evidence linking the item to drugs?
  • Does the owner have previous convictions for drug crimes?
  • What did the owner claim to use the item for?
  • Where was the item was found?
  • Was it found near drugs?
  • Was it found near individuals with drugs?
  • Was it found on a person under the influence of drugs?
  • Are there instructions and packaging indicating the intended use of the item with drugs?
  • Are there other legitimate uses for the item?

Items can be considered paraphernalia even if they have not been used, based on their intended use.

Which items can lead to a drug paraphernalia charge?

Any item that can be connected with drug manufacture, usage or sale or intended for such purposes can be considered drug paraphernalia in Kansas.

For instance, if an item is marked as for use with marijuana, it may be considered drug paraphernalia even if it is still in its box or has been used only for smoking tobacco — if it is found with other evidence of drug manufacture, usage or sale.

Typically, in Kansas, the following items are connected with cases involving the possession of drug paraphernalia:

  • Bongs and water bongs
  • Chillums (marijuana/hash pipes)
  • Cocaine freebase kits
  • Miniature spoons
  • Pipes (acrylic, ceramic, glass, metal, plastic, stone or wood)
  • Roach clips

You may also hear the term “drug precursors” in connection with drug crimes in Kansas. These are substances used to make certain synthesized drugs. For instance, pseudoephedrine, lithium, and ammonia salts are precursors for producing methamphetamine.

Such chemicals have many legitimate and lawful uses but when they are possessed in connection to drug manufacturing, they can lead to serious drug charges.

What must be proven for a conviction for paraphernalia charges in Kansas?

To achieve a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia in Kansas, the prosecution must prove two main elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Possession of the item: it must be proven that the defendant owns the item or had control over it at the time of the alleged crime taking place.

The item is drug paraphernalia: it must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the item is used in connection with drugs or is intended to be used with drugs by the defendant.

Can possession of drug paraphernalia be charged as a felony?

Most possession of drug paraphernalia charges are prosecuted as misdemeanors in Kansas, notably if the item in question is used in connection with the personal use of drugs.

However, the crime can be upgraded to a level-five felony when the use or intended use of an item can be reasonably connected to the distribution of drugs. This could be an item connected with growing or manufacturing the substance, testing or analyzing it, or otherwise assisting with its distribution.

Paraphernalia used to grow fewer than five marijuana plants in Kansas will, however, result in a Class A misdemeanor rather than a felony charge.

What are the penalties for drug paraphernalia charges in Kansas?

A conviction for a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge can lead to a sentence of up to six months in county jail, a fine, or both, regardless of one’s criminal history.

Felonies convictions are likely to result in more serious penalties and will also take into account the defendant’s criminal history.

A felony paraphernalia charge is a level-five offense, according to Kansas statutes, regardless of the type or amount of drug to which the item is connected. Depending on the defendant’s criminal history, a sentence of anywhere between 10 months on probation and 42 months in prison may result.

As per the following table, there are nine different categories of drug paraphernalia crime, depending on the number and type of prior convictions. The following table summarizes the possible penalties:

Criminal History Punishment Range
0 or 1 Misdemeanor (Category I) 10-12 Months (Presumptive Probation)
2 or more Misdemeanor (Category H) 12-14 Months (Presumptive Probation)
1 Nonperson Felony (Category G) 14-16 Months (Presumptive Probation)
2 Nonperson Felonies (Category F) 16-18 Months (Presumptive Probation)
3 or more Nonperson Felonies (Category E) 18-22 Months (Presumptive Probation)
1 Person Felony (Category D) 23-26 Months (Presumptive Prison)
1 Nonperson and 1 Person Felony (Category C) 28-32 Months (Presumptive Prison)
2 Person Felonies (Category B) 32-36 Months (Presumptive Prison)
3 or more Person Felonies (Category A) 37-42 Months (Presumptive Prison)

With such serious consequences for drug charges in Kansas, it’s important to speak to the criminal defense lawyers at ITR Law in Topeka as soon as possible after being arrested. Book your free consultation today.

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