When Iowans think of drug charges, they often conjure images of people who engage in drug possession and distribution. Charges related to these criminal offenses do make up a significant portion of drug crime prosecutions, but they are not the only drug offenses that prosecutors pursue. In fact, there are a plethora of drug charges that can be directed at every part of the drug consumption process, from manufacturing to transportation and use.
One criminal charge that can be levied against an individual is possession of drug paraphernalia. What is drug paraphernalia? Under Iowa law, this phrase has a broad meaning. It encompasses materials, products and equipment that are intentionally used to manufacture, use, test or enhance the effects of narcotics. Under this definition, scales, pill capsules, syringes, pipes and even plastic baggies can be considered drug paraphernalia if it can be shown that an individual was using those items in some sort of drug-related activity.
Although the penalties related to a drug paraphernalia conviction are much less than those involved in drug possession and drug trafficking, they are still penalties that can affect an individual's reputation. Possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a simple misdemeanor, which means a convicted individual could face a fine and up to 30 days in jail. Since possession of drug paraphernalia is often accompanied by other drug charges, though, it can sometimes be used as a bargaining chip when negotiating lesser penalties.
All drug charges are serious and should be treated as such. Failing to do so could result in severe negative consequences. Appropriately defending one's self requires a firm grasp of the law and aggressive legal arguments, though, which is why Iowans who find themselves facing criminal allegations should consider seeking help from a criminal defense attorney.