Cobb County Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
Possession of clips, scales, and other drug paraphernalia is usually a fallback offense in Cobb County. Prosecutors often bring these charges when the evidence does not support a more serious charge. Some of these weaknesses are outlined below. PODP (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) is also a bargaining chip during plea negotiations. Prosecutors often reduce possession or even trafficking charges to PODP. They would rather charge a defendant with a minor misdemeanor than see the defendant walk free.
Drug paraphernalia charges do not always lead to convictions. In fact, these charges rarely result in official convictions, if an experienced Cobb County drug paraphernalia lawyer like Andrew Schwartz oversees your case. Keeping a defendant’s record clean is usually the top priority in these situations. PODP charges are not serious, but to employers and other people, these convictions indicate the defendant was involved in something bigger. That’s a category most people want to avoid.
Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations plague many PODP prosecutions. These violations give a Cobb County drug paraphernalia lawyer an excellent chance to successfully resolve these matters.
The Fourth Amendment requires police officers to have probable cause before they search suspects. This probable cause must either be an affidavit or a search warrant exception, such as:
- Consent: Owners and apparent owners, like a vehicle driver who doesn’t legally own the car, may consent to law enforcement searches. Coerced consent (“if you don’t agree we’ll get a warrant”) does not hold up in court.
- Plain View: If the traffic stop or other law enforcement contact was legal, officers do not need warrants to seize contraband they see in plain view. Usually, officers must have reasonable suspicion, which is basically an evidence-based hunch, before they detain anyone.
- Stop and Frisk: The reasonable suspicion rule also applies in stop-and-frisk cases. Officers may pat suspects down for weapons and seize and contraband they see, or rather feel, in plain view.
Under the exclusionary rule, if officers violate the Fourth Amendment, the physical evidence is inadmissible in court.
Most people are aware that the Fifth Amendment includes the right to remain silent. This right includes not only verbal silence, but also physical silence. Obeying basic “step out of the car” commands is mandatory. Appearing in lineups, posing for pictures, and pretty much everything else is optional.
PODP is a relatively minor charge. But the same burden of proof (beyond any reasonable doubt) applies in both “major” and “minor” criminal cases.
Most drug paraphernalia items, like roach clips, cannot be used for any other purpose. Some, like sandwich baggies, have other uses. Prosecutors must prove not only possession, but also intended use.
Incidentally, possession is more than proximity. Possession also includes knowledge and control. Therefore, a defendant could literally be sitting on drug paraphernalia or other contraband and not legally possess it.
If a procedural or substantive defense might apply, prosecutors often agree to pretrial diversion. Usually, if defendants stay out of trouble for a few months and meet other program requirements, like community service, prosecutors dismiss the case.
Work With a Diligent Cobb County Lawyer
Criminal cases have procedural and substantive defenses. For a free consultation with an experienced drug manufacturing lawyer in Cobb County, contact Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. Virtual, home, and jail visits are available.