What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Dec 01, 2023 Drug Crimes
What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is any equipment, product, or material used to produce, conceal, or consume illegal drugs. This could include items such as rolling papers, pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, and other items used in drug use, concealment, or production. Drug paraphernalia does not always indicate that a person is using drugs.

It should be noted that certain items may be linked to illegal activity involving controlled substances, but they may not necessarily be classified as "drug paraphernalia." For example, many states have laws that prohibit the possession of items specifically intended for use with controlled substances such as bongs and pipes. However, other common household items such as spoons and bowls can also be used for smoking marijuana but are not typically considered “drug paraphernalia” under the law. To determine whether or not an item fits the definition of drug paraphernalia, the court often has to rely on the specific factors of your drug-related charge.

If you are facing charges for drug possession, drug distribution, or a drug paraphernalia conviction, call Touma Law Group today for a free consultation. Our experienced Greenville drug crime lawyers are able to assist you in building a strong defense, ensuring that your rights are protected, and working towards minimizing the potential consequences.

Criminal Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia

If you are found in possession of drug paraphernalia, your criminal charge may be upgraded from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute. The presence of paraphernalia gives law enforcement reason to suspect an intent to distribute, resulting in more severe consequences than mere possession of illegal substances or drugs.

Adam Touma, Greenville drug crime lawyer

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Under South Carolina law, SC Code Section 44-53-110 part (33), it is prohibited to possess any equipment, product, or material utilized in drug production. However, the court must establish whether or not the items found in your possession were actually used for the production, concealment, or consumption of illegal drugs. There are various methods by which the court may justify that the items in your possession are classified as illegal drug paraphernalia.

  • The court will perform toxicology tests on the objects to determine the presence of drugs. If a spoon, for example, returns with evidence of heroin on it, it will be classified as illegal paraphernalia.
  • Law enforcement will claim that you had possession of the equipment based on your physical proximity to the illegal paraphernalia at the time of your arrest.
  • The court will interview eyewitnesses about the use of specific items that were in possession.

Penalties for Possession

If you are found in the possession of paraphernalia and illegal drugs, you will likely face jail time. However, if you are not found in possession of illegal drugs, but you are found in possession of illegal paraphernalia, you may not face a jail sentence.

FAQ: How do you get drug trafficking charges dismissed in South Carolina?

Possessing drug paraphernalia without illegal drugs is not a criminal charge in South Carolina. Instead, it is treated as a civil matter. If found in this situation, you may face a fine of up to $500. However, if a business or corporation possesses illegal paraphernalia in South Carolina, it could be charged up to $50,000.

It is important to note that being charged with 'possession of paraphernalia' alone is classified as a civil charge, rather than a criminal charge, and will be documented on your official criminal record. To prevent further consequences, exercise caution in the future to avoid potential drug charges, considering your previous charges.

If you are accused of possessing paraphernalia in South Carolina, it is advisable to consult a drug crime attorney. Call Touma Law Group today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.

Types of Drug Paraphernalia

There are various types of drug paraphernalia, including rolled papers, water pipes, bongs, syringes, and scales. There are also charges related to marijuana drug paraphernalia, which include equipment used for growing the plant. Lastly, you can be charged for drug paraphernalia if you are in possession of the equipment used to transport or traffic drugs.

an assortment of drug paraphernalia

Rolled Papers, Water Pipes, and Other Items

Rolled papers, water pipes, and other items are all considered drug paraphernalia. This type of paraphernalia is used to consume illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Rolled papers are used to create joints or cigarettes with the use of cannabis or other drugs.

Marijuana Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Marijuana drug paraphernalia charges are offenses that occur when an individual is found to possess items that can be used to grow marijuana illegally. Even the presence of seeds or residue may be enough to trigger a charge for drug paraphernalia possession.

Trafficking Illegal Drugs or Dangerous Substances

If you are caught with equipment to traffic or move drugs to other places, you may be charged with illegal drug paraphernalia. Even if you are not consuming the drugs, if this equipment is in your possession, you will likely face charges.

If you are facing drug trafficking accusations and disagree with your possession of a paraphernalia charge, it is crucial to promptly seek the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. The drug crime defense lawyers at Touma Law Group are skilled in defending your case and ensuring you are aware of your legal rights. Our legal representation will ensure that you are protected and receive the proper assistance to fight your charge.

Defenses to Drug Paraphernalia Charges

There are various types of defenses that our lawyers can create for you, such as challenging the prosecution's ability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of the drug paraphernalia.

Reasonable Doubt

Reasonable doubt is a legal concept often used in criminal trials, which requires that the prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. In addition to this, reasonable doubt can be used as an argument in some cases involving drug paraphernalia.

two bowls used for drugs

Challenging Seizure and Search of Property

According to the court of law, it is prohibited for the government to conduct unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement officers must have probable cause to search an individual or their property. If the police conducted a search without a warrant or probable cause, these errors can potentially serve as a defense for you. If this is your situation, our lawyers can defend your case if there is no reasonable suspicion for the police to search you, even if you are in possession of paraphernalia illegally.

Speak to a Skilled Drug Defense Attorney at TLG Today!

If you are facing criminal charges related to drug paraphernalia, it is important to speak with a skilled and experienced drug defense attorney. At Touma Law Group, we provide professional legal assistance for individuals facing such charges. We understand the complexities of drug paraphernalia laws and can help you build a strong defense for your case. Call us today for a free consultation and case evaluation with one of our drug crime defense attorneys.

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