Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Sell
It is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 32I to possess or manufacture drug paraphernalia with the intent to sell it.
To convict a defendant of this crime, the district attorney has to prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt.
Firstly, she has to prove that the object is in fact drug paraphernalia. "Drug paraphernalia" is any product, device or equipment that is used to introduce drugs into the body, to plant, grow or produce drugs in any way, or to package, store or hide drugs. A few common examples of drug paraphernalia are scales, pipes and bongs. For the full definition of "drug paraphernalia," you can look to General Laws Chapter 94C Section 1. There are many factors that are considered in determining whether or not an object is drug paraphernalia including: statements from the owner, instructions or other materials that come with the object, drug residue on the object, whether the object was close to any drugs, and how the object was displayed.
Secondly, the district attorney has to prove that the defendant knew that the object was drug paraphernalia and knew how the object could reasonably be used. Therefore, this is a specific intent crime, and it does not punish negligence.
Thirdly, she has to prove that the defendant possessed or manufactured the drug paraphernalia with the intent to sell it. Evidence that a defendant was behind the counter at a smoke shop can be enough to satisfy this element.
If you are convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to sell, you will be punished by at least one and up to two years in a jail or house of correction or by a fine of at least $500 and up to $5,000, or both the jail sentence and the fine. If convicted of possession with intent to sell to a person under the age of eighteen, the punishment ranges from three to five years in state prison or a fine of at least $1,000 and up to $5,000, or both.
You should immediately contact the Law Office of Kathleen M. McCarthy if you have been charged with this crime. You can reach her at (978)-975-8060 or contact her online. McCarthy is a leading Massachusetts defense attorney who is particularly skilled in handling drug crimes, and she often gets drug cases dismissed or resolved in a way that will not give you a criminal record.