North Carolina has strict laws and harsh punishments for drug crimes and this extends to the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia. Having a ,grinder pen, one-hitter, or pipe in your possession, even if you don’t have marijuana or another controlled substance in your possession, can still lead to drug charges that are difficult to beat. If you’ve been arrested or are being investigated for possessing or selling drug paraphernalia, you need to protect yourself. This means not speaking to any police officers until you have legal representation from one of our criminal defense attorneys in Raleigh. You have legal rights, and we will advocate on your behalf to protect those rights and get the most favorable outcome for your case.
At Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, we bring over 60 years of combined experience both as defense attorneys and as prosecutors, which gives us unique insight and knowledge to better serve our clients. When your freedom and future are on the line, your choice in legal representation matters.
Put our award-winning legal defense on your side. Call (919) 845-6688 today.
Drug Paraphernalia Laws in North Carolina
Paraphernalia is defined by the North Carolina State Legislature as, “equipment, products or materials used to facilitate, or intended or designed to facilitate, violations of the Controlled Substances Act.” This means any object or item you would need to ingest, sell, or manufacture a controlled subject. This could include, but isn’t limited to:
- Bongs or pipes
- Snuff bullet
- Rolling papers
- Roach clips
- Scales used to weigh drugs
- Small baggies
Even the presence of rolled up bills, razor blades, and foil have been used as evidence to arrest someone with possession of drug paraphernalia.
There are two main statutes related to the possession of drug paraphernalia in North Carolina:
- Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia
In 2014, North Carolina chose to reduce the penalties associated with possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Rather than making possession of items like a pipe or rolling papers a Class 1 misdemeanor, it was recategorized as a Class 3 misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine, probation and/or up to 20 days in jail.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
While marijuana laws have grown more lax, laws related to other drugs have not. Possession of an item listed above or another type of paraphernalia used for cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and other controlled substances aside from marijuana is a Class 1 misdemeanor which has a maximum jail penalty of 120 days.
Federal Drug Paraphernalia Laws
While most drug investigations and cases are tried by the state, the federal government can also prosecute using the US Legal Code, specifically Section 863. Federal law states that it is illegal to sell or offer to sell, import, or export any equipment, product, or material that is intended or designed to be used while ”manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing” a controlled substance, like marijuana, cocaine, meth, or heroin. A maximum sentence of this charge is three years in prison.
Why You Need a Drug Paraphernalia Attorney
If you have been arrested or are being investigated for possessing paraphernalia, it’s important to know that any item can be considered paraphernalia given the context in which it is displayed, advertised, supplied, or if there is direct or even circumstantial evidence that it is used for using, selling, or manufacturing drugs. Having an experienced lawyer who will fight against circumstantial evidence and advocate on your behalf is essential to improving the likelihood of a positive or favorable outcome of your case.
At Sandman, Finn, & Fitzhugh, we not only represent clients in Wake County court against state and local prosecutors, we are also federal attorneys who represent clients in the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Western District of North Carolina
Schedule a Consultation with Our Drug Paraphernalia Defense Attorneys
If you’ve been arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, you shouldn’t go through this difficult time alone. You deserve experienced legal counsel and need an ally who will provide you with personalized legal counsel and an aggressive defense strategy, and we’re here to be that ally. Schedule a consultation with us today at (919) 845-6688 or fill out our contact form. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.