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What do I need to know about drug paraphernalia?

Facing drug charges of any type can instantly ruin your college path. Some of these charges can lead to your losing financial aid. Colleges may opt to withdraw your admission because of drug crimes.

One possible drug charge that you might face, even if you aren't caught with actual drugs on your person, is for drug paraphernalia. This is an interesting charge that might not seem very serious, but is actually quite so.

What is drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is anything that is used in connection with drugs. This can be wrappers for joints, digital scales for weighing drugs, baggies to separate drugs for distribution, and any device intended for the use of drugs. Roach clips, freebase kits and syringes can also be classified as drug paraphernalia. Item that are used to grow or manufacture drugs or to transport them are also considered drug paraphernalia.

How is it determined if an item is considered drug paraphernalia?

Some items that are considered drug paraphernalia are also used for other purposes. The context in which the items are found has a significant impact on whether they are considered drug paraphernalia. This can make it difficult for some police officers to classify items, but, often, the evidence about whether an item should fall under this classification takes the guesswork out.

For example, a digital scale is useful for people on a diet. If it is used in that context, the scale isn't considered drug paraphernalia. If the scale is found in the living room near a razor blade and baggies, it might be considered drug paraphernalia since the razor would be used to separate drugs to get a specific weight and then the drugs would be placed in a baggie for sale.

What factors might come into the picture when I'm charged with a drug paraphernalia charge?

Some investigators will have drug paraphernalia tested for the presence of drugs, but this might not occur in all cases. The circumstances where the paraphernalia was found, other items that are present and similar factors can all come into the picture.

When you are facing drug paraphernalia charges, you might be looking at a felony or misdemeanor.

If you are facing a drug paraphernalia charge, make sure that you learn about your defense options. This is especially true if the charge is a felony.

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