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Getting Caught With Drug Paraphernalia in Illinois

February 25th, 2016 at 7:50 am

drug paraphernalia, Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes AttorneyIt is all too common for criminal defendants to be arrested because they are in possession of drug paraphernalia. Even if you have absolutely no drugs on you at the time the arrest is made, law enforcement can still bust you for having the tools necessary to use drugs under 720 ILCS 600, also referred to as the Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Act. When a person knowingly has the drug paraphernalia in their possession, it is difficult to refute the charges.

Drug Paraphernalia That Can Get You Arrested in Illinois

There are several types of drug paraphernalia that can get you into trouble with law enforcement. A few common examples include:

  • Marijuana bongs and pipes;
  • Crack pipes;
  • Syringes, when the person in possession of the syringes lacks a medical condition that would justify him or her having syringes;
  • Cocaine spoons or cocaine vials;
  • Lab equipment for use in manufacturing methamphetamines;
  • Drug baggies or balloons;
  • Measuring scales; and
  • Roach clips.
  • However, Illinois drug paraphernalia law also cover the equipment, chemicals and tools required to cultivate, or grow marijuana as well.

Regardless of the type of drug paraphernalia that is found in your possession, all drug paraphernalia charges are treated the same. A person who is found with a bong in his or her possession is treated just the same as a person who is found with a cocaine vial in his or her possession, or someone who is found with heroin needles.

But What About Headshops? They Sell Bongs

There are countless shops and stores that legally sell smoking apparati to customers. These establishments are permitted to sell these pipes and devices because these devices can also be used to smoke legal substances. In order to be charged under the Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Act, the drug paraphernalia must be sold or in your possession with the intent to use the paraphernalia to use illegal drugs.

What Are Some Defenses to Drug Paraphernalia Charges?

There are a number of defenses that can be raised against drug paraphernalia charges, and which ones are applicable depend on the specific circumstances a criminal defendant is facing. For instance:

  • Someone who has a medical reason to be in possession of hypodermic needles may lack the intent to use the needles to do illegal drugs;
  • Someone who does not know that the drug paraphernalia is in his or her possession might have a defense against the charges; and
  • If the drug paraphernalia was found during a search, was the search conducted by law enforcement proper? Was a warrant necessary? Did the law enforcement have one? Was there reasonable suspicion to conduct a search?

Reach Out to Us for Assistance

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a serious criminal charge, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you identify your legal options and can help prepare your strongest possible defense. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We are happy to help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1947&ChapterID=53

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