Louisiana residents may be surprised to hear that certain items, marketed as though they are designed for legitimate purposes, can be considered illegal. At times, possession of them can result in drug charges. As per U.S. Code Title 21, it is unlawful for someone sell or offer to sell drug paraphernalia. It is pertinent to point out that the person accused doesn’t actually have to have any drugs on them to face drug paraphernalia charges. So the question is-what is drug paraphernalia?
Simply put, it is any equipment that can be used to conceal, produce or consume illicit drugs. It can be any item that can be used in connection with illegal drugs. They can be divided into two categories-for the purpose of ingesting and for the purpose of distributing. Items such as kitchen scales and spoons can even be used for the purposes of distribution of drugs, which is why the distinction is important.
Since the appearance of drug paraphernalia varies and they resemble household items so much, the whole situation is often taken into consideration to charge someone. Factors such as the manner in which the item was displayed for sale, the business selling the items or instructions accompanying the item are considered to determine whether something is drug paraphernalia or not. Though there are some items listed as being paraphernalia, if they were used for legitimate purposes, it is possible that charges do not follow.
Though the penalties associated with it are less severe than those for other drug crimes, in conjunction with other crimes they can add up. In addition to this, state law and federal law vary and someone facing federal charges may find themselves facing steeper penalties. It may be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney for guidance on what one’s options are.
Post Type: Q&A