How to Handle a Drug Paraphernalia Charge in Arizona

It is important to know your next steps if you are accused of having drug paraphernalia. While this is a broad term, it’s critical that you understand your rights and the possible penalties so that you can locate a Mesa criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later. Locating the right lawyer to help you with your case can be critical for developing the defense for your case.

Many people are under the assumption that drug paraphernalia references items strictly created and distributed for the consumption, storage, or creation of drugs. The laws in Arizona, however, actually apply a broader conception. For example, the proximity of the item to other drugs could indicate that the item falls under the definition of drug paraphernalia. Suspicion that the object is used for taking drugs can also be considered evidence that the item falls under this definition of drug paraphernalia, even if you were not using the item for this purpose.

All of the following items can be considered examples of drug paraphernalia:

  • Testing equipment
  • Scales
  • Sifters
  • Kits
  • Diluents
  • Mixers
  • Masks
  • Pipes
  • Blenders
  • Razor blades
  • Spoons
  • Plastic, glass, or wooden bowls
  • Screens
  • Baggies
  • Envelopes
  • Capsules
  • Papers
  • Water or ice pipes
  • Chamber pipes
  • Clips
  • Carburetor pipes

This list is not fully exhaustive, but you can see that there are many different items that technically could be classified as drug paraphernalia based on other evidence. You should contact a Mesa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you were in possession of any of these items and this led to a criminal charge.

What Happens If I’m Charged?

If you have been charged with drug paraphernalia possession, you will go through a legal process where a prosecutor is responsible for proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you are using the object with drugs. Although this can be difficult to prove, you should not assume that this is a minor charge. Having this charge in your criminal record could be detrimental to your future, so you should respond to it professionally and seriously by hiring a Mesa criminal defense lawyer.

Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia Charges

The penalties for this charge depend on whether it is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor charge would only include drug paraphernalia, whereas the location of other drugs in addition to the items could lead to felony charges. The penalties for these charges can include jail times from between six months and two years, drug counseling, probation, fines, drug testing, drug counseling, and community service.

 As a result of the serious consequences and the potential impact of having a drug charge on your criminal record, you should not minimize these allegations. Instead, ensure that you have legal protection for your rights and a comprehensive defense strategy developed by a Mesa criminal defense attorney.

One of the most common defenses to drug paraphernalia charges is that you are not using the item for the purposes of taking drugs. You should consult with your attorney directly to determine if this defense is applicable in your situation. Each case is different, so you should only work with an experienced Mesa criminal defense lawyer to develop your approach for fighting such charges.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to, or contact an attorney in your area.