Personal Attention.
Aggressive Defense.

Photo of Thomas C. Mooney

What is drug paraphernalia?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Drug Charges

When some people think of drug charges, they think of those for possession, seeking or trafficking. But, many don’t realize that it’s possible to get into legal trouble for having items commonly associated with drug use. 

Drug paraphernalia is anything that can be used to manufacture, sell or use drugs. Certain items may be automatically classified as paraphernalia. It’s also possible that something will be considered paraphernalia depending on the circumstances. 

What items are specially considered drug paraphernalia?

Federal and state law have specific items that are considered drug paraphernalia. Under federal law, roach clips, freebase cocaine kits and spoons that hold less than one-tenth of a cubic centimeter are specifically outlawed. Because of the ever-changing landscape regarding marijuana, it’s important to consider the jurisdiction when trying to determine if federal or state laws apply. Some states have removed items commonly used with marijuana as they decriminalize the drug.

What factors are considered?

The presence of drugs or other items that provide reasonable suspicion that the items are being used for drugs are factors that are considered. For example, a digital scale on the kitchen counter likely wouldn’t make anyone think about drugs. But, if that same scale was on the coffee table in the living room with tiny baggies, the scale and baggies might be construed as drug paraphernalia. 

Anyone who’s facing drug paraphernalia charges should ensure they understand their defense options and the penalties they’re facing. Even though some may not consider these charges very serious, it’s still important to plan a suitable defense. Working with someone familiar with these matters may make it easier to decide how to proceed.