Q: What can I be charged with for having an empty weed bag with just weed residue in it? I am 16 years old and live in PA. The cop cuffed me immediately upon discovering the bag, and I was taken to the police station and was told I could be charged with possession of paraphernalia. The cop also took my phone and said he was going to send it to a lab to be searched. I signed a paper giving my permission to do so because he made it out to be that that would be the only way I would get my phone back. Is it legal for him to take my phone and when will it be returned? Also, there are pictures of weed on my phone and messages related to purchasing weed, is that grounds for more charges?
A: The police can charge you for possession of a controlled substance, a Misdemeanor, for the residue in the bag and for possession of paraphernalia, just for the bag. The officer taking your cell phone was probably just a way to get you to agree to a search. He probably wouldn’t expend lab fees on a case involving marijuana residue. A lawyer should review the case. You may or may not have a defense but an experienced lawyer may get you out of this with no record.