A New York Defense Attorney Explains Laws on Drug Paraphernalia
Drug paraphernalia is defined by the Department of Justice to include “equipment that is used to produce, conceal, and consume illicit drugs.” Being in possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal both under federal law and within New York State. This means even if you do not currently have any drugs under your control, you can still be charged with a drug crime.
If you are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, you could be left with a criminal record that affects your future. Some offenses related to drug paraphernalia are considered serious crimes which could result in years of imprisonment. You need to ensure you understand the potential consequences of your charges and that you do everything possible to try to avoid being convicted of either a state or a federal offenses. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, PLLC can provide legal representation to all defendants who are faced with charges. Our goal is to help you avoid conviction or reduce consequences so your future isn’t affected by conviction for the crimes you’re accused of committing.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
A wide variety of different equipment can be considered drug paraphernalia including any items or products which are designed to be used in manufacturing drugs; compounding or converting narcotics; concealing drugs; processing or producing drugs for use; or injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing controlled substances into the body.
Examples of objects that could be considered drug paraphernalia include:
- Pipes, including metal pipes, acrylic or glass pipes, stone pipes, plastic pipes, ceramic pipes, water pipes, and chillums which are cone-shaped pipes used for marijuana or hash.
- Miniature spoons.
- Roach clips.
- Cigarette papers.
- its used to freebase cocaine.
Not all of these objects are illegal, in-and-of themselves. There is no law which prohibits the use of a pipe or cigarette papers to smoke tobacco. However, if there is drug residue or if there is other evidence to suggest the products were used or intended for the ingestion of controlled substances, a prosecutor may bring charges for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia can depend upon many factors including whether you were charged with a state offense by a NY prosecutor or whether you are facing federal criminal charges.
The specifics of the type(s) of items you had in your possession matter as well. For example, NY Penal Code section 220.50 makes it a Class A misdemeanor to criminally possesss drug paraphernalia in the second degree. However, New York Penal Laws sections 220.71 and 220.74 make possession of certain kinds of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine into felony offenses.
Under federal law, defendants may face consequences for several different crimes in connection with drug paraphernalia. For example, under 21 U.S. Code Section 863, it is unlawful to sell drug paraphernalia or to offer it for sale. It’s also illegal to import or export drug paraphernalia or to use interstate commerce or the mail to transport it. Penalties can include up to three years imprisonment.
Getting Legal Help from a New York Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
When you have been charged with a crime related to drug paraphernalia, the prosecutor has the legal burden of proving you have violated the law. You could defend yourself in a number of ways, from claiming the item is not used or intended for use in the consumption of controlled substances to arguing the items were not actually under your control or in your possession. It is also possible to have evidence of your possession of the drug paraphernalia suppressed if the items were found as part of an unconstitutional search.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can provide invaluable guidance in determining what your options are for responding to accusations made in connection with possession of drug paraphernalia. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.