Methamphetamine, cocaine and crack are typically recognized as illegal drugs. Most everyone knows that if you are caught with one of these substances, you will likely face charges and prosecution. What you may not realize is that drug arrests can be made for more than just possession of illicit drugs. For example, if you are arrested with a pipe or a needle, then you may face additional charges. These are known as "drug paraphernalia" or items that are commonly associated with the use, manufacture or transport of illegal drugs.
If you are arrested with illegal drugs, it is likely that drugs are not the only thing you are carrying. You may face an additional charge for each needle, pipe or plastic baggy. For example, if you are arrested in your home, you may get additional charges for possessing a scale, certain chemicals or even balloons. These are all items that can be associated with the manufacture and smuggling of drugs.
Based on how many items the authorities deem as being drug paraphernalia in an arrest, additional charges could quickly add up. So, the big problem for you is identifying what is drug paraphernalia and what is not. Generally, an item could be considered drug paraphernalia if:
- It is commonly used to ingest or consume drugs.
- It is used to sell drugs.
- It is used to manufacture or transport drugs.
Take careful stock of the additional items on your person. These items can quickly result in drug paraphernalia charges, which can exponentially increase your potential sentence. Generally, the courts will rely upon the impressions of the arresting officers. So you are at the mercy of the arresting officer's interpretations of your actions and your possessions.
If you were recently arrested for drugs you will probably also face drug paraphernalia charges. You may want to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are able. These charges can exponentially increase the penalties you may face, so it is critical to begin crafting a defense as early as possible.