In the simplest of terms, drug paraphernalia encompasses a variety of items commonly associated with the consumption, production or concealment of illegal drugs. Their mere possession, even without prescriptions, might raise eyebrows in the eyes of the law, leading one to wonder why owning such items is problematic.
Drug paraphernalia can range from everyday items like pipes, bongs and rolling papers to more specialized equipment such as cocaine spoons or devices intended for drug manufacturing. What complicates matters is that many of these items have dual uses. This means that common items can sometimes lead to criminal charges in very specific circumstances.
The legal ramifications of possessing paraphernalia
Possession of these items can lead to legal troubles because of the context. If authorities have reason to believe that the primary intent behind possessing such equipment is related to illegal drug activities, it becomes a concern.
A simple example is a digital scale, beneficial in a kitchen setting but potentially used to weigh illegal substances. Typically, the tie to drugs occurs when police officers look at the area around the item. A digital scale near small baggies on a coffee table in the living room might be associated with drug use. However, a digital scale on the kitchen counter near the stove would typically be associated with meal preparation.
Anyone who’s charged with possession of drug paraphernalia should ensure they understand their rights. One of these is that they present a defense against the charges. Working with someone who understands the laws pertaining to these cases is beneficial so the defendant can explore the possible defense strategies and build the one most suitable for their needs.