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Drug paraphernalia possession: How severe of a crime is it?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Firm News |

Imagine this scenario: You’re on your way home from a friend’s house, when the police pull you over. As the officer approaches, you panic and remember that there’s a pipe for marijuana on the floor of your car. What happens next?

While Ohio has slightly relaxed its laws against the possession of marijuana, the state is still very strict when it comes to possessing drug paraphernalia. While possessing drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor offense, the consequences can be major and long-lasting.

The law on possessing paraphernalia

Ohio takes a very tough stance against drug paraphernalia through its laws. According to state rules, it’s illegal to possess, manufacture, sell or advertise any equipment that’s used to grow, process, pack, store, analyze or consume illegal drugs and controlled substances.

Common examples of prohibited paraphernalia include bongs, pipes, roach clips, miniature spoons, scales, balances, blenders, and bowls intended for drug use. Even everyday items like plastic baggies or bottle caps can be considered illegal paraphernalia if there is evidence they were used with drugs.

The penalties for possession

A first offense for possession of paraphernalia is typically a minor misdemeanor. On conviction, a person faces up to $250 in fines and 30 days of jail time. These may not sound severe, but a conviction also leads to a criminal record for the offender. A criminal record may negatively impact a person’s ability to secure loans, land jobs or apply for professional licenses.

In addition to these penalties, the court may also suspend the offender’s driver’s license for up to five years.

Drug paraphernalia charges may lead to minor criminal sentences, but they can have major consequences. If you face charges, it important to face your charges head-on – but not without proper legal knowledge. An attorney may be able to discuss with you your defense approach and represent you in court if the thought of a hearing sounds intimidating to you.

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