The Skill To Defend You

Can I be arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia?

It is common knowledge that using or possessing recreational drugs is illegal. The state of Indiana has harsh penalties regarding illegal drug use. Anyone caught red-handed with drugs is in for some serious consequences.

But what about drug paraphernalia? You may think that merely owning the tools for drug use is perfectly legal. Don’t be so sure: In Indiana, you may still be arrested and prosecuted for owning certain types of paraphernalia. If you are concerned about facing charges for possession, read on for more important information about possessing paraphernalia in Indiana.

Indiana’s laws about paraphernalia

Under Indiana Code 35-48-4-8.3, it is illegal to knowingly possess a tool that is intended for drug use. Specifically, you may not own any devices that are intended to:

  • Introduce a controlled substance into your or someone else’s body
  • Test the power, efficacy or purity of a controlled substance
  • Enhance the results of a controlled substance

Defining paraphernalia

So, what is considered paraphernalia? Technically, any item that can be used for consuming illegal drugs can be considered paraphernalia. Common household items like spoons and scales can be classified as paraphernalia if the state can show that they were intended to facilitate drug use. The law makes an exception for rolling papers, however, as these are often used for tobacco cigarettes.

Some examples of items that law enforcement commonly considers drug paraphernalia include:

  • Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Roach clips
  • Spoons that can hold less than one-tenth of a cubic centimeter
  • Freebase cocaine kits
  • Scales
  • Hypodermic needles or syringes

Paraphernalia-related criminal charges

Generally, the possession of paraphernalia is charged as a misdemeanor. The charges could be more severe, however, if there is drug residue in the paraphernalia or if you already have a prior drug-related charge or conviction. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help people who are charged with possessing paraphernalia.