Many Ohio residents do not know that being charged with possession of illegal drug paraphernalia does not require the presence of actual drugs. It is true that drug paraphernalia charges often occur when a person is already facing drug charges, however, the two offenses can occur separately.

The Ohio Revised Code defines drug paraphernalia possession as being in possession of products, equipment or other material designed with the intent of using illegal drugs. Paraphernalia typically includes any material involved in cultivating, growing, harvesting or manufacturing as well as items or material involved in inhaling, ingesting or injecting illegal substances.

Examples can include:

— Pipes and bongs– Growing lights and other cultivation equipment– Plastic bags, storage containers and measuring scales– Syringes or needles– Adulterants or dilution substances like quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, lactose or dextrose

Because some of the items that could be considered drug paraphernalia could also be used for ordinary purposes, it is up to law enforcement to assess the scene carefully. For example, police officers consider where the alleged paraphernalia was found in relation to other evidence like controlled substances. The police also look for drug residue on or near the possible paraphernalia.

Drug paraphernalia possession can result in harsh penalties, if convicted. However, it is possible to create a successful defense for such charges. A skilled attorney can investigate the arrest to make sure police officers remained within the confines of the law throughout the incident.

If you are facing charges of using or possessing drug paraphernalia, it is worth the effort to seek advice from a criminal defense attorney serving the Cleveland, Ohio, area.

Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, “Illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia,” accessed Sep. 08, 2015