Timothy O. McCalep

What does it mean to be charged with drug paraphernalia?

People who are charged with drug crimes don't always need to have drugs on them. It is also possible for them to have drug paraphernalia, even if they don't have the actual drugs.

You might think that drug paraphernalia charges are silly, but they can lead to serious penalties that you need to take very seriously. Here are some common questions that come up with drug paraphernalia charges.

What is drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is anything that is used to make, sell, distribute or use drugs. The items that fall under this category vary from items made specifically for drugs to items that are commonly used for other purposes. Digital scales, small baggies, razor blades, roach clips, needles and rubber tubing are some of the items that are considered drug paraphernalia.

How do officers determine if items are used for drugs?

The circumstances surrounding the suspected drug paraphernalia has a direct impact on how the items are perceived. For example, if you have a digital scale next to baggies and a razor blade on the living room table, it might be considered drug paraphernalia because these items are frequently used to weigh and package drugs for sale. A digital scale on the kitchen counter next to pots and pans might not be considered drug paraphernalia because there aren't other items that would indicate you are doing anything other than cooking dinner.

You should look into the different options you have for handling these charges. Your plan needs to address the issues that are being brought up against you so you need to make sure you have time to think about each point.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Paraphernalia Charges," accessed Nov. 10, 2017

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