What Exactly is Drug Paraphernalia, Anyways?

Definition in Maryland of Drug Paraphernalia
Drug paraphernalia is basically any material used in conjunction with the manufacturing, processing, transportation, use, or concealing of any illegal drug.

Examples of Drug Paraphernalia
In Maryland, possession of drug paraphernalia is most often charged with marijuana, but can be associated with cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or any other illegal drug. Paraphernalia most commonly is rolling papers, pipes, cigars, baggies, vials, bongs or anything else that could reasonably be used or associated with drugs.

Penalty for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Maryland

In Maryland, possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine for a first conviction. There is no jail time possible for a first time offense for only paraphernalia. For a subsequent offense, the maximum is two (2) years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Defenses for Maryland Drug Paraphernalia
An experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to identify whether there are any defenses to drug paraphernalia. Since the item that the police have alleged is paraphernalia (the baggie, cigar, vial, etc.) is in itself a legal item to possess, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the item is in fact being used in conjunction with an illegal drug. There may be a defense that the item is being used for some other reason other than drug use. A number of factors are involved in making that determination, including the proximity of the item to any drugs, any drug residue, any statements made by the owner, and any other reasonable uses for the item. Additionally, any other defenses involving possession (that the defendant did not actually possess the contraband, etc.) will be available for paraphernalia, as they would for a drug or handgun possession charge. Also, if the police conducted an illegal pat-down or search then the paraphernalia could be suppressed as evidence.

If you are facing a drug paraphernalia charge in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of Christopher L. Peretti today at 301-875-3472. We will consult with you about your case free of charge and discuss all potential defenses and options that are at your disposal. We’ll fight for your best interests and help you achieve the results you need to keep your record clean and reputation intact!

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