Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law sets different criminal offenses for many different actions related to controlled substances 1, including possession, possession with the intent to deliver, manufacture, conspiracy, trafficking, and more. One drug-related charge that numerous individuals face is the possession of drug paraphernalia. Though many people may consider paraphernalia charges to be relatively minor, convictions still come with potentially serious consequences. For this reason, if you are facing charges for possession of drug paraphernalia, you should contact an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney who understands drug and narcotic related offenses and laws.

What is considered to be illegal paraphernalia?

Pennsylvania law defines drug paraphernalia as any device that is intended for use or actually used for a number of drug-related activities, including growing, manufacturing, converting, processing, packing, storing, concealing, ingesting, injecting, or inhaling a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and many more. This vague definition leaves it wide open for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to classify a large number of items as unlawful “paraphernalia.” For example, some items that could be considered to be paraphernalia include the following:

  • Scales or Balances
  • Baggies
  • Syringes
  • Balloons
  • Spoons
  • Diluents
  • Bongs
  • Rolling Papers
  • Grinders
  • Pipes
  • Needles
  • Capsules
  • Bowls
  • Blenders
  • Envelopes
  • Razor Blades
  • Mirrors
  • Cutting Instruments

In addition to the above items that are traditionally associated with drug packaging, distribution, and use, many other completely pedestrian items may be considered paraphernalia if they were suspected to be used for drug-related purposes. For example, young people have been known to use apples or soda cans to smoke marijuana, which can then be deemed paraphernalia. The problem is that too many times, prosecutors issue charges for paraphernalia when an item was completely legally possessed and not necessarily associated with drugs.

An item may induce a paraphernalia charge even if it has never been used for drugs. For example, if you are caught with what police believe to be marijuana and you also have unused rolling papers, you may face both possession and paraphernalia charges. Paraphernalia convictions in Pennsylvania actually carry a potentially more severe sentence than some marijuana possession charges. If you are convicted of possessing paraphernalia, you may face a fine up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. You may also be placed on probation, which can be costly and time-consuming. Contact an experienced Pennsylvania drug and narcotic defense attorney today At The Zeiger Firm, our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling all types of drug-related cases, including paraphernalia charges. If you have been arrested or charged, it is imperative that you contact our office as soon as possible so that we may begin working on your defense. There are many ways to limit or even eliminate the penalties associated with drug charges, so call today at (215) 546-0340 for a free consultation.