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What Can I Do if I Have Been Charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?

Posted on in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerAlthough marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Illinois, other controlled substances continue to be illegal without a prescription. Possession of an illegal drug carries charges and penalties that can vary according to substance; for example, having even .05 grams of heroin, which is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, allows for felony charges, including prison time.

In addition to the illegality of using or selling controlled substances, drug paraphernalia - such as pipes, bongs, or hypodermic needles - is illegal to possess or sell as well. Charges of possession of drug paraphernalia are serious and Illinois is notoriously hard on drug crimes. In this blog post, we will answer some general questions about drug paraphernalia charges, but each case is unique and a qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney is the best person to answer your questions.

What Counts as Drug Paraphernalia?

Certain materials are clearly drug paraphernalia, but there may be some question about others. For example, if heroin is found in a backpack, is that backpack paraphernalia? It depends. Illinois law defines drug paraphernalia as materials used for the following purposes:

  • Making drugs, such as laboratory equipment
  • Packaging drugs, including standard packing materials
  • Handling drugs
  • Processing drugs, including items that dilute drugs
  • Hiding drugs, including storage units
  • Using drugs, including everyday items like spoons or lighters
  • Selling drugs

This is not an exhaustive list, and items that have many different uses besides drug-related activities can be considered paraphernalia if they are used in conjunction with drugs. Individuals can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia even if no drugs are found, but charges of paraphernalia are often much more serious when brought with charges of drug possession or trafficking.

What Are the Consequences of Drug Paraphernalia Possession?

The consequences for drug paraphernalia can depend on an individual’s criminal history, as well as any other convictions handed down at the same time. Prosecutors often add charges of paraphernalia possession to incentivize people to plead guilty to other related charges, such as selling or possessing drugs, in exchange for dropping the paraphernalia charge.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, and conviction can result in a mandatory minimum fine of $750. It can also carry a maximum fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail. Selling drug paraphernalia is a much more serious Class 4 felony, which can be enhanced if the paraphernalia was sold to someone younger than 18 or to a pregnant woman.

Meet with a Plainfield, IL Drug Paraphernalia Attorney

If you are facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, the law firm of Reeder & Brown, P.C. may be able to help you. We have worked with many individuals to get reduced charges, record expungement, and have even had charges dropped altogether. Our team of Will County criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf to develop a strategy that gets results. Put your trust in the many years of experience at our law firm and call us today at 815-768-4800 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

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

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