Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted and punished in Maryland and throughout the U.S. Besides drug possession, trafficking and/or distribution charges, you can also be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.
Basically, drug paraphernalia refers to the possession of any equipment or ingredient that is used or can be used to consume, propagate, test, pack or manufacture a controlled substance. Drug paraphernalia may also include kits that are used for propagating plants that are classified as controlled substances or kits that are used for manufacturing and distributing controlled substances.
While possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, a conviction still carries still penalties if you are convicted.
What makes something in your possession actually drug paraphernalia?
The legal definition of what constitutes drug paraphernalia may be broad, the court will rely on a number of factors to determine whether the things in your possession are drug paraphernalia. Here are some of these factors:
- Statements you’ve made to the police
- Prior convictions on drug-related charges
- Existence of drug residues on the objects
- Expert testimony
It’s important to understand that you can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia even if you are not having any controlled substance with you at the time of the arrest. In fact, everyday items can qualify as drug paraphernalia if the prosecution has enough evidence regarding how you are using the items to produce or consume controlled substances.
Protecting your rights
If you are arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important that you explore your defense options. Learning more about Maryland drug laws can help you protect yourself and your rights if you are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.