While getting caught with drug paraphernalia is typically considered less serious than a drug possession charge, that is not always the case. It is illegal to possess drug paraphernalia in Illinois, and penalties can be severe and costly, regardless of whether it was discovered along with narcotics.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia?
Illinois’ Drug Paraphernalia Control Act defines drug paraphernalia as equipment or materials (other than those used to produce methamphetamine, which is covered in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act) intended to plant, grow, harvest, test, store, conceal, or consume a controlled substance. Related devices used to smoke marijuana, cocaine, hash products, synthetic drugs, or other substances include various forms of pipes and bongs. Also included are drug manufacturing kits, testing equipment, and cutting agents.
Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Anyone caught with drug paraphernalia with the intent to consume a controlled substance can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, with a fine between $750 to $2,500 and up to a year in jail. That is a more serious charge than getting caught with less than 10 grams of cannabis, which as a Class B misdemeanor, carries up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.
Selling drug paraphernalia is more serious than possession under Illinois law. An individual who sells or delivers it may be charged with a Class 4 felony, with a minimum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison. If the seller is over 18 years old and the recipient is a minor, that constitutes a Class 3 felony, punishable up to five years in prison and $25,000 in fines. A knowing sale to a pregnant woman is a Class 2 felony, punishable up to seven years in prison and $25,000 in fines....