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Will County Defense Attorney for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

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There are many ways for police and prosecutors to bring drug-related charges against an individual, including the possession of a controlled substance, possession of cannabis, possession with intent to deliver, and manufacturing of an illegal drug. You may be surprised to learn, however, that the possession of drug paraphernalia could result in criminal charges, even without a controlled substance being found. Unfortunately, many people only discover that such charges are possible after they have been arrested.

At the Law Office of Eric J. Blatti, P.C., we understand that drug paraphernalia charges are a serious matter, and the potential penalties are severe. If you are facing charges, we can help you understand your options for protecting your future.

Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Illinois

Under Illinois law, drug paraphernalia includes "equipment, products, and materials of any kind" that are intended to be used in producing, testing, packaging, smoking, or otherwise using a controlled substance. Using this definition, drug kits, cutting materials, scales, pipes, vials, bongs, and testing equipment may be considered drug paraphernalia.

The law creates specific exemptions for products and equipment commonly used for the use and production of tobacco. The statute, however, is often interpreted broadly by police and prosecutors, which can lead to criminal charges for seemingly innocent objects.

New Marijuana Paraphernalia Concerns

In 2016, Illinois lawmakers made low-level possession of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine rather than a criminal offense. A person found to be in illegal possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is subject to a fine of up to $200. The law that addresses drug paraphernalia was updated as well, but it remains alarmingly vague.

The Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Control Act now provides that possessing marijuana-related paraphernalia can be handled as a civil offense, but only if the person was charged with a civil offense for the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. While this may sound reasonable, it is possible for the police and prosecutors to get creative. For example, if the police legally search your car and find a marijuana pipe but no marijuana, there would be no civil offense for marijuana possession. Therefore, you could potentially be charged with the misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia Possession

In most cases, possession of drug paraphernalia is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Illinois law provides a minimum fine of $750 for conviction in addition to other penalties, which could include up to one year in jail. The charge usually accompanies other charges for drug possession, delivery, or intent to deliver.

At the Law Office of Eric J. Blatti, P.C., we understand that the strongest evidence in most drug paraphernalia cases is the alleged paraphernalia itself. If the evidence was found as the result of an improper or illegal search, it may be possible to get charges against you dismissed. Our experienced team also recognizes the importance of working with prosecutors to help find an alternative to a conviction, if possible.

Contact Our Office

If you are facing charges for the possession of drugs or paraphernalia, it is important to work with an attorney who will fight hard for you. Contact our office to speak with a member of our team about your case. Call 815-744-2500 and schedule your free, confidential consultation today. We represent clients in Joliet, Plainfield, Shorewood, Lockport, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, and throughout Will County.

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