Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of drug paraphernalia can be a confusing crime. You legally bought something from a store or online, and now you are being charged with a crime for having it in your possession.

Context is key in drug paraphernalia cases. Rolling papers purchased at a head shop or gas station are perfectly legal to possess since they can be used to smoke tobacco. But when the papers are used to smoke marijuana, the paraphernalia becomes illegal.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a crime commonly charged alongside possession of a controlled substance. If you have been arrested for or charged with either crime, contact the attorneys at the Coolidge Law Firm.  We vow to always keep your best interest in mind and never leave you in the dark.

The sooner you contact the Coolidge Law Firm, the sooner we can begin formulating your defense plan. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free consultation, or submit your information in the online contact form. We proudly defend those accused of drug crimes in Wake County areas such as Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner and Apex.

What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Any object used in a particular activity can be considered paraphernalia. A ladle used to cook is cooking paraphernalia while paint used by an artist is art paraphernalia. But when the underlying use of the object involves violating the Controlled Substance Act, the paraphernalia becomes illegal.

Drug paraphernalia is any equipment, product, or material used for the growing, producing, packaging, or consumption of an illegal drug.  Common examples of drug paraphernalia include the following:

  • Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Syringes
  • Rolling paper
  • Small Ziploc bags used for distribution
  • Planting or cultivating kits
  • Scales
  • Separation gins or sifters
  • Roach clips
  • Grinders

As mentioned earlier, the context of the paraphernalia helps law enforcement determine if the object is associated with an illegal drug. Law enforcement will consider various types of evidence when deciding if an object is associated with drug use or cultivation. Some of this evidence can include how close the object is to the illegal drug, drug residue on the object, and statements made by the person in control of the object. 

Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia

Marijuana use has been on the rise in the past decade. In fact, the drug is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. With widespread use comes widespread incarcerations of its users since it is still illegal to possess the drug. Thankfully, North Carolina has taken steps to lessen the penalties for marijuana crimes, and this includes possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Having marijuana paraphernalia such as bong, pipes and rolling papers are not charged as harshly as possessing paraphernalia used for other drugs. The crime is charged as a class 3 misdemeanor and is usually punishable by a fine, especially for first-time offenders. The crime does have the potential, though, to be punishable by one to 20 days in jail depending on criminal history.

Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in NC

North Carolina is not as kind to those found in possession of paraphernalia associated with a controlled substances such as cocaine, meth or heroin. You will be looking at harsher jail terms than marijuana paraphernalia, and there is less of a likelihood for leniency by the prosecution.

A conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia, unrelated to marijuana, is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by one to 120 days in jail depending on criminal history.

It doesn’t matter if you were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia or possession of marijuana paraphernalia, you will need the experience of the defense attorneys at the Coolidge Law Firm. 

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of drug paraphernalia is commonly charged alongside charges for possession of a controlled substance. A controlled substance can include drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and anabolic steroids.

How you are charged for the crime will depend on the drug found in your possession and the weight. Possession of marijuana, for example, is a class 3 misdemeanor if the amount is less than half an ounce while possessing any amount of heroin is a class I felony.

Visit our page over possession of a controlled substance to learn more about the crime.

Additional Resources for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

North Carolina Drug Paraphernalia Act – Follow this link to read the complete text of the act that governs possession of drug paraphernalia in the state. You can find a complete list of objects that can be considered drug paraphernalia and evidence law enforcement uses to determine if an object is associated with an illegal drug. You can also gain access to statutes over the advertisement of drug paraphernalia and the manufacture or delivery of drug paraphernalia. 

Raleigh, NC Drugs Crimes Defense Attorney

Were you recently arrested for or charged with possession of drug paraphernalia? Are you also facing charges for possession of a controlled substance? If so, contact the Coolidge Law Firm.  The North Carolina criminal justice system can be intimidating to tackle on your own.  That is why the Coolidge Law Firm wants to help.

Every case that comes through our door is treated with zeal, and yours will be no different. Our defense attorneys will take the time to listen to your story and formulate a defense plan that is in your best interest.  Take the first step in building your defense and contact the Coolidge Law Firm.

Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free consultation, or submit your information in the online contact form. We defend clients accused of drug crimes in Wake County areas that include Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner, Apex and many others.


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