How does intent factor into paraphernalia charges?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Drug Charges | 0 comments

Items that count as drug paraphernalia include a variety of objects like water pipes, small spoons, roach clips and syringes. Some of these items have legitimate uses, so law enforcement should not suspect you of having illegal paraphernalia if you are doing nothing wrong. One way the law determines paraphernalia possession is through the intention of the owner.

It matters a lot what you intend to do with suspected paraphernalia. In fact, if you become involved in paraphernalia charges, your intentions and knowledge may be the crucial factor in your legal defense.

Intentions as a factor

According to FindLaw, having drug paraphernalia crosses over into illegality if you intend to use it for the making of drugs or if you plan on delivering it to someone who will engage in illegal drug activity. You may also have created the paraphernalia yourself with the desire to deliver it to someone for drug production.

In some of these situations, you have not delivered the paraphernalia to a drug producer. Still, the police can arrest you and charge you with a crime because you had the intention of passing paraphernalia to someone who could use it to make dangerous substances.

Defending against paraphernalia charges

FindLaw explains that law enforcement can charge someone who knew that another party would use the paraphernalia for illegal purposes or if the person should have reasonably known that the other party was going to use the paraphernalia unlawfully.

There are possible defenses against these kinds of charges. The police may fail to find evidence that you possessed suspected paraphernalia near any kind of illegal drugs. Another defense is a mistake of fact. You may have taken illegal actions but you did so by mistake with no intention to do anything wrong. The defenses open to you will depend on the particulars of your case.

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