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When is a pipe just a pipe and when is it drug paraphernalia?

| Mar 1, 2021 | drug crimes |

Some household objects and chemicals may seem innocuous but if a person in Ocean City is facing drug charges, these objects could be considered drug paraphernalia. This means the possession of these items could lead to further penalties if the accused is convicted of a drug crime.

Factors courts will consider when deciding what constitutes drug paraphernalia

Courts in Maryland will consider several factors when deciding whether an object or chemical will be considered drug paraphernalia. One factor is whether the owner or person using the object made any statements about its use as it relates to drug crimes. Another factor is whether the owner or person using the object had committed a drug crime in the past. A third is the proximity of the object, both in time and spatially, to actions alleged to be a drug crime. Another factor is whether there is drug residue on the object. Courts will also consider whether there is evidence of intent of the owner of the object to give it to someone else to use to commit a drug crime.

In addition, courts will consider any instructions and descriptive materials provided with the object regarding how it is to be used. How the object is advertised and displayed for sale will also be considered. When it comes to tobacco products, whether the accused is a licensed distributor of such products will be considered. Evidence related to the ratio of sales of the object to a business’s total sales may be considered. Whether the product has a legitimate use may be considered. Finally, courts will consider expert testimony regarding how the object is used.

Some examples of drug paraphernalia

The following are examples of some everyday objects that could, in certain circumstances, be considered drug paraphernalia. They include: pipes; roach clips; miniature spoons; chillums; bongs; cigarette papers; and cocaine freebase kits. This list is not all-exhaustive; many common objects and substances can be considered drug paraphernalia in the right circumstances.

Learn more about drug crimes in Maryland

Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those accused of drug crimes in Maryland who want to learn more about their rights and options are invited to explore our firm’s website for further information.

 

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