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Is it a crime to have just drug paraphernalia?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Drug Crimes |

Like most other U.S. states, Indiana has stringent drug possession laws. Drug possession is a felony that carries decades of prison time and thousands of dollars in fines.

But what about owning drug paraphernalia? If you’re coming from out-of-state, and you brought just paraphernalia and no drugs, would you still be in trouble with the law?

Drug paraphernalia is illegal in Indiana

The possession, dealing and manufacturing of any drug-related paraphernalia is illegal in Indiana, with or without actual drugs. But the crime is an infraction for the first offense, compared to other drug charges that start as felonies. While you might not face jail time for your first conviction, the court will order you to pay a fine of up to $10,000.

If you’re charged once more for having drug paraphernalia, subsequent convictions will be felonies. On top of another maximum fine of $10,000, you could also face jail time between six months to two-and-a-half years.

What counts as drug paraphernalia?

Under federal law, any equipment used to conceal, produce and consume illegal drugs is considered drug paraphernalia. These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Bongs
  • Cigarette papers
  • Cocaine freebase kits
  • Hash pipes
  • Miniature spoons
  • Pipes
  • Water pipes

Some drug paraphernalia is designed to look like everyday objects or is marketed for other purposes (such as smoking tobacco). Authorities have also noted that ordinary businesses like gift shops, tobacco shops, convenience stores and gas stations sometimes sell drug paraphernalia as everyday goods. No matter how they look or where they came from, all drug paraphernalia is illegal.

The possession of drug paraphernalia may not carry the same penalties as actual drug possession, but it’s still a criminal charge that can stay on your record for years, on top of the potential jail time and fines. If you’re facing charges, consider consulting with an attorney who can help defend you in court and find ways to reduce your penalties.

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