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Can I Get Arrested for Having Drug Paraphernalia, but No Drugs?

The possession, sale, and use of drug paraphernalia are against Alabama law. As such, if you are caught with drug paraphernalia, you may be arrested and face criminal charges. If you are facing drug paraphernalia charges in Alabama, take action immediately to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

Alabama Code Section 13A-12-260 defines drug paraphernalia as: “All equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance…”

Based on this definition, common items that may be classified as drug paraphernalia include:

  • Needles;
  • Bongs;
  • Pipes;
  • Capsules or balloons; and
  • Syringes.

Any object or item that could be used in relation to illicit substances may be considered paraphernalia.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia Possession?

The same section of code cited above reads that use (of drug paraphernalia) or possession with intent to use is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. The delivery or sale of drug paraphernalia, or possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to sale, is also classified as a Class A misdemeanor. However, if a person is convicted of a subsequent offense, the classification increases to a Class C felony. Further, if the delivery or sale of drug paraphernalia is committed by a person over 18 years of age, and is sold to an individual under 18 years of age who is at least three years younger than the defendant, the crime is classified as a Class B felony.

The following penalties are associated with each of the classifications mentioned above:

  • Class A misdemeanor: In Alabama, a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year incarceration, a fine of $2,000, or both.
  • Class C felony: A class C felony is punishable in Alabama by a prison sentence of not more than 10 years, and not less than one year and one day, as well as a fine.
  • Class B felony. Of the charges stated above, a class B felony is the most serious. This type of crime carries a prison sentence of not less than two years, and not more than 20 years, as well as a fine.

What If I Do Not Have Any Drugs on Me at the Time of Arrest?

Whether or not you will be convicted on drug paraphernalia possession charges will depend upon myriad factors, but know that you may be convicted even if you do not have drugs on you at the time of your arrest. However, the fact that you are drug-free may help to have charges against you dropped or reduced.

Regardless of the charges against you or the evidence, your chances of a successful criminal case outcome are improved when you work with an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney. Contact our law offices today for a free case consultation. 

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