Having possession or selling drugs that are not prescribed such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin, is illegal in most states. But what is not so apparent to many is that it is actually possible to be prosecuted for drug charges even if drugs were not found in your possession. If you are found to be possessing items that are related to illegal drugs, you may be facing with drug paraphernalia charges.
This blog will offer a brief overview on what can lead to drug paraphernalia charges, and what the consequences of being found guilty are likely to be.
What is drug paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is any item that is strongly linked to or can be used in connection with illegal drugs. This is mainly divided into two categories: Items that are used to distribute drugs, and items used to consume or use drugs. Some items, such as scales, spoons or even needles, can be hard to prove as drug paraphernalia, since they are often used as ordinary household items.
What constitutes a drug paraphernalia charge?
This depends on whether the charge is brought about from federal law or from the law of the state that you are in. However, under federal law, a person is not permitted to sell or mention selling drug paraphernalia, mail or otherwise transport drug paraphernalia including importing or exporting drug paraphernalia.
Some states also say that mere possession of drug paraphernalia is enough to face prosecution. Other states say that it is only illegal if you distribute or have intention to distribute.
Source: Findlaw, “Drug Paraphernalia Charges,” accessed Aug. 16, 2017