Some drugs require special items to use them. The people who use these drugs will often have paraphernalia around them. Police officers can initiate an arrest based on those items.
Drug paraphernalia charges can also stem from the items that are used to make drugs or prepare them for sale. Some people might not realize that some items with legitimate purposes can also be considered drug paraphernalia.
What makes an item drug paraphernalia?
The way that items are being used has an impact on whether it’s considered drug paraphernalia. A digital scale is an example of this. If the scale is in the kitchen and is used to weigh ingredients for meals, drug paraphernalia isn’t likely. It may be considered paraphernalia if it’s on the living room table and around other items that might be used for drugs.
Some items are banned according to federal law. These include freebase cocaine kits, certain miniature spoons, roach clips and certain bongs. Some pipes are also forbidden. Items that aren’t banned but might be considered drug paraphernalia include miniature baggies, razors, and syringes. Officers will often consider what’s around the suspected paraphernalia before they determine whether such a charge is appropriate or not.
Anyone who’s facing drug paraphernalia charges should ensure they understand their rights and options. These should be considered carefully because of the long-term effects of a conviction. Some of the options you have may have time limits, so be sure to review them quickly after finding out you’ve been charged.