Drug paraphernalia is the legal term for equipment required to use, distribute or make illegal drugs. For example, a pipe for smoking crack, small resealable bags for selling pills or a set of lights for cultivating marijuana.
Prosecutors can use the paraphernalia charge when they do not have enough evidence to convict someone of the actual drug charge, be that using drugs, selling them or making them. Or they might heap it on top of an actual drug charge to push someone toward accepting a plea deal.
What are the consequences?
Oklahoma law considers possession of drug paraphernalia as a misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face up to one year in jail plus a fine with a maximum value that depends on whether you have been convicted of this offense before:
- A first offense: $1,000 fine
- A second offense: $5,000 fine
- A third offense: $10,000 fine
Sometimes alleged paraphernalia has a legitimate use
People use spoons for cooking up heroin. Yet owning a spoon does not mean you use heroin. You might have it on you for your morning Cornflakes when you get to work. It’s similar for many other items that are sometimes used for drugs. You could possess a mountain of small resealable bags because you have an Etsy shop selling buttons or earrings, for example.
It’s up to the prosecution to prove that you possessed these items for drug-related purposes. It will be up to your defense team to argue you did not.
Consider legal help if you face any kind of drug-related crime. You will need to explore all defense options to reduce the chance you end up with a criminal record and severe penalties.