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What You Need to Know about a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charge

Posted on in Drugs and Narcotics

Illinois defense lawyerA person does not need to have physical drugs on their person to be charged with a drug-related crime. If an individual is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, they may face a fine of up to $2,500 and a misdemeanor charge for a conviction in the state of Illinois. In order to avoid this outcome, a person must know what drug paraphernalia is and what the laws are surrounding it.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia can include any item that can be used to inhale or ingest an illegal substance such as pipes, bongs, or cocaine spoons or vials. It also includes kits that can be used in the production of drugs, devices, and equipment that can be used to increase the strength of a controlled substance, adulterants, and diluents, or substances that can alter the potency of a drug.

Suspected drug paraphernalia may be seized by law enforcement without standard procedures, so long as there is probable cause that the item poses a threat to the safety or health of an individual or the public, and there is not adequate time to go through the typical legal process.

Intent and Exceptions

Courts will take various factors into consideration when determining whether an individual should be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. The prosecutor will seek to prove that the person knowingly possessed an illegal item, and they intended to use the item in question for illegal purposes. One relevant factor in proving intent is the proximity of a drug. If a controlled substance is found on the paraphernalia, or if the item is located near a controlled substance, there is a stronger case that the item was intended for drug-related use.

There are some allowances under Illinois law for drug-related items. The Hypodermic Syringes and Needles Act allows for authorized individuals to possess needles and syringes. Items that are being used strictly for research purposes can also be legally used. Decorative items may also be allowed. However, they must be made entirely unusable for illegal drug-related activities. Items that are related to tobacco use and production, such as cigarette papers and tobacco pipes are not considered illegal drug paraphernalia.

Contact Our Drug Paraphernalia Crime Attorneys

When contesting a drug paraphernalia charge, extensive knowledge of the law is crucial to building a strong defense. The Chicago drug paraphernalia crime attorneys at Luisi have years of experience defending clients against drug and paraphernalia charges. Call 773-276-5541 today to set up a free consultation and begin moving forward with your defense.

Sources

http://norml.org/laws/item/illinois-penalties

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1947&ChapterID=53

Illinois State Bar Association American Bar Association Hispanic Lawyer Association of Illinois Super Lawyers
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