Did you know that you can face drug-related charges without having to have actual drugs on you? This is possible if you are accused of having drug paraphernalia in your possession or control. Drug paraphernalia charges can be based on federal laws or state laws, depending on the circumstances.
Drug paraphernalia is considered any item that can be used in the manufacturing, selling, distribution, trafficking or using of drugs. Some of the items that are considered drug paraphernalia are commonly used household items, such as digital scales. That isn't to say that you can't have those items in your possession, but they could be considered drug paraphernalia in some circumstances.
The classification of drug paraphernalia is made based on several factors, including items that are near the suspected drug paraphernalia. For example, a digital scale in the kitchen isn't a big deal unless that digital scale has other drug-related items like small baggies, small pipes, syringes, freebase kits, miniature spoons, razor blades or other similar items.
When it comes to federal laws, there are some very specific examples of items that are considered drug paraphernalia. These include roach clips, miniature spoons that hold less than one-tenth of a cubic centimeter, water pipes, freebase cocaine kits, bongs and pipes made of specific materials.
While the penalties for drug paraphernalia charges aren't likely going to be as harsh as the penalties for drug possession, distribution, manufacturing or trafficking, a conviction could still have an impact on your life. Learning about the defense options that you can use for your case is a good action to take as soon as you learn of the charges.
Source: FindLaw, "Drug Paraphernalia," accessed June 03, 2016