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Did you get charged with a federal drug paraphernalia crime?

It's hard to imagine, but even the most seemingly innocuous items could lead to a federal drug paraphernalia charge if police find you in possession of them at the time of a drug-related arrest. For example, a box of small plastic baggies would be perfectly innocent in any other context, but if police find you in possession of a large bag of cocaine, they may assume that you're going to use the baggies to traffic and sell the drug.

Let's take a look at what constitutes a federal drug paraphernalia crime under the law:

-- Offering to sell or selling any kind of drug paraphernalia.

-- Mailing or transporting drug paraphernalia through any kind of interstate postal or transportation system.

-- Exporting or importing drug paraphernalia to and from outside the country.

The determination, however, of whether something is "drug paraphernalia" is often a decision based on context. Let's consider a pipe or a bong, which could be used to smoke marijuana or another illegal substance but could also be used to smoke tobacco. For the drug paraphernalia conviction to occur, police will need to connect the pipe to drugs -- for example, by detecting a drug-caused residue on the pipe. If the only residue is related to tobacco, or if the otherwise innocent item was not found where drugs were present, then a paraphernalia charge may not stick.

Wisconsin residents accused of drug paraphernalia charges may want to hire a lawyer to assist in their criminal defenses. Every person accused of a crime will have the right to representation by a lawyer, and he or she will have a right to defend him or herself against the charges. Furthermore, every person will be considered innocent by the court until -- and only if -- he or she is convicted of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Paraphernalia Charges," accessed May 03, 2017

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