Baggy Was Not Paraphernalia – Charge Dismissed
Mifflin County Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Case
Client was driving home from work when he was stopped by the police for a minor traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the police asked Client if they could search his vehicle. Client, believing that he had nothing to hide, consented to the search. The police found a small baggy in the center console of the car. The police believed that the baggy had once contained drugs, so they charged Client with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia under 35 P.S. 780-113(a)(32).
Hiring the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
Client’s original attorney reached a plea agreement with the Mifflin County District Attorney that would require Client to plead guilty to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge and be sentenced to one year of probation and to pay fines and costs. Client was adamant that the baggy was not paraphernalia, but his attorney still recommend a guilty plea to the paraphernalia charge. Client then retained an attorney at JD Law to take over representation. After reviewing the police investigative reports, the lab reports from the State Police showed that the baggy tested negative for the presence of a controlled substance, meaning the baggy had not been used to store illegal drugs.
A pretrial motion to dismiss the Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge was filed. Normal items like baggies, scales, and rolling papers can be lawfully possessed. Such items only become illegal IF they are associated with drug use. In this case, no drugs were found in the car, the baggy tested negative for the presence of drugs, and Client never admitted to having possessed drugs. This was simply a case in which a person had a baggy in his car. At the hearing on the defense motion to dismiss, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the paraphernalia charge.
Sadly, this case is an example that not all defense lawyers are the same. As with many things in life, “you get what you pay for,” and experienced, reputable attorneys cost money. The attorneys that charge low fees often do not spend time reviewing the files and trying to obtain the best resolution. Instead, those attorneys accept the first plea agreement that is issued by the prosecutor.