What is considered “drug paraphernalia” in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, it is against the law to possess paraphernalia used to manufacture, sell, or inhale any illegal narcotic. The exact language of the criminal statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2, states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical…” Anyone who violates this law can be charged with a disorderly persons offense, which carries a potential penalty of up to six months the local county jail. In many NJ drug crime cases, a marijuana possession charge is accompanied by a drug paraphernalia possession charge.
So, what exactly constitutes “drug paraphernalia” under the New Jersey criminal code? The statute is typically interpreted broadly by NJ law enforcement and prosecutors, which means that all kinds of items and devices may qualify: bongs, pipes, roach clips, rolling papers, spoons, bowls, blenders, grinders, vials, syringes, baggies, envelopes, capsules, balloons, cutting agents, and prescription pads. The determining factors may include whether the item was found near illegal narcotics and whether the item had traces of illegal drugs. (E.g., a bowl can obviously be used to eat cereal out of, but that same bowl might be considered “drug paraphernalia” when it is placed next to a bag of marijuana and has pot residue on its surface.)
Contact an Experienced Hammonton Drug Paraphernalia Possession Lawyer Who Will Fight on Your Behalf and Keep You Out of Jail
Marijuana possession charges are often accompanied by charges for possession of drug paraphernalia. That’s because police may find a suspect with equipment used to smoke marijuana, like a bong, a pipe, or rolling papers. A conviction on either charge – for simple possession of marijuana or for drug paraphernalia possession – could lead to jail time, fines, and other penalties. Right now, you need a knowledgeable criminal attorney on your side and doing everything possible to resolve your case so that you stay out of jail and avoid a permanent criminal record.
John W. Tumelty is a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in South Jersey courtrooms, including Atlantic County Superior Court, Cape May County Superior Court, and municipal courts across NJ. Every day, Mr. Tumelty stands up for the rights of clients who have been accused of drug distribution and drug possession offenses and helps them avoid getting a drug crime conviction on their permanent records. Mr. Tumelty offers a free, confidential consultation about your drug offense case.