If you have been charged with drug possession, you may also be facing drug paraphernalia charges. Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-3415 defines what drug paraphernalia is. It also outlines the consequences you may face if the court convicts you of possession. Paraphernalia charges are a class 6 felony and usually accompany other related drug charges. Understanding what laws apply to your specific case is essential.
Arizona law defines various types of drugs. In the context of ARS 13-3415, “drug” can mean marijuana, peyote, narcotics, or dangerous drugs. In the most basic terms, paraphernalia is an object that a person uses or intends to use in connection with one of these drugs. For example, this can include actions related to growing, making, testing, storing, or using these drugs.
The full list of verbs that indicate what qualifies an object as paraphernalia is: plant, cultivate, propagate, grow, harvest, compound, convert, manufacture, produce, process, prepare, analyze, test, pack, repack, contain, conceal, store, inject, ingest, and inhale. If you use an object to do any of these things with/to a drug, then it may be considered paraphernalia.
There are many objects that could potentially be classified as paraphernalia as defined in ARS 13-3415. Most of these are not illegal to possess on their own. For example, aluminum foil can be drug paraphernalia if it has drug residue on it or is in proximity to illegal drugs. However, this does not mean that owning aluminum foil is a crime. The law outlines what factors the court will need to consider to determine if an object is or is not paraphernalia.
One indication that an item could be paraphernalia is the proximity of the object to illegal drugs or a violation of an Arizona drug law. This can also include whether or not there was any residue of drugs on the object.
If the owner or someone in control of the item in question has prior convictions for any state or federal drug law, it can be evidence that they were using the object as paraphernalia.
Whether or not the use of an item was intended to facilitate a drug crime is a major factor in whether that object is drug paraphernalia. The court can use direct or circumstantial evidence of this intent to make its determination. Additionally, if the owner or someone else in control of the item makes a statement that indicates they were going to use the item in a prohibited manner, this can also be evidence of intent.
A variety of factors outside of the direct situation where the object was used may influence its classification as paraphernalia. This can include any instructions provided with the item, advertising for it, how it was displayed for sale, and whether or not potential legitimate uses exist. Expert testimony may play a role in determining how these apply.
If you are facing drug charges, including those for possession of drug paraphernalia, our attorneys can help. We will consider every detail and work to achieve the best possible outcome.