In Arizona, not only is it illegal to possess drugs, but it is even unlawful to simply possess drug paraphernalia. However, just what falls under the realm of “drug paraphernalia?”
The state does not provide a specific list of what counts as drug paraphernalia. Therefore, even seemingly ordinary items might be considered drug paraphernalia. For example, if police find something like an empty paper towel tube, a spoon, plastic sandwich bags or razor blades, it is possible, depending on the circumstances, that they may charge a person with possession of drug paraphernalia. What counts as drug paraphernalia hinges on intent.
Under Arizona law, an item can fall under the realm of drug paraphernalia depending on how it is used. Per A.R.S section 13-3415, it is against the law for someone to use or intend to use drug paraphernalia in the growth, cultivation, manufacturing, preparing, packaging or storing of drugs that would be injected, ingested or inhaled into an individual’s body. Prosecutors will attempt to prove the accused’s intention to unlawfully use drug paraphernalia through testimony, by showing how close the alleged paraphernalia was found to illegal drugs and whether the accused has been convicted of drug crimes in the past.
As this shows, prosecutors will try to identify objects that could count as drug paraphernalia if they discover illegal drugs in a person’s premises. However, it may be possible to fight drug paraphernalia charges with the help of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help the accused develop an argument that these objects were not used in conjunction with drugs. In the end, preparing a strong case in the accused’s favor could lead to the drug charges being reduced or even dropped altogether.