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Is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Enhanceable?

Kentucky has recently changed the law with respect to possession of drug paraphernalia (PDP). PDP has always been a misdemeanor for a first offense. Until April, 2010 a second offense for PDP could be charged as a felony. One major problem was that there were many cases where a person who was originally arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and simply pled guilty and received a fine only. If that person was again arrested, the marijuana would be considered a misdemeanor again and the paraphernalia could be charged as a felony. To receive a $100 fine for a first offense and then 1-5 years in prison for a second offense seemed unduly harsh and unjustified. The change to the law is one of the first which appears to bring common sense back into the war on drugs. Often the charge of PDP would automatically be added to any charge of possession of controlled substance or marijuana. Items such as rolling papers, pipes, scales, and even plastic bags and gloves have been charged as paraphernalia. Even though PDP remains a misdemeanor for subsequent arrests, a defendant is wise to hire an attorney. Regardless of the number of offenses, PDP is an A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months of incarceration and/or $500 fine. If you have been arrested in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati and need to consult an attorney, contact Michael W. Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or 859-581-MIKE (6453).

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