While many Illinois residents know that buying, selling and possessing illegal substances is against the law, not many are aware that it can also be illegal to possess items that are related to those drugs, even if someone does not have drugs on their person. These charges are known as drug paraphernalia and are also considered drug crimes that one can be charged with. There are both federal and state laws that cover these charges.
Under federal law, it is illegal to sell or offer to sell drug paraphernalia, import or export it, or mail or transport it through interstate commerce, The possession of certain items are illegal in some states and violation of those laws mean that someone could be facing drug paraphernalia charges, whether or not the person intended to use those items for drug use or manufacture.
Defining drug paraphernalia can be tricky. It can encompass any items that can be used in connection with drugs, either to manufacture or to ingest. While the distinction may not seem important, it could be important for someone who is facing charges-items such as scales or spoons could even be considered drug paraphernalia. This is why law enforcement officers are supposed to consider the context in which they have discovered the items in question.
Understanding the law and how it applies to one’s situation is important. Someone facing charges relating to drug crimes may benefit from speaking to an experienced attorney about their legal options and how to exercise them.