Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(32)

The phrase "drug paraphernalia" for the Pennsylvania charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is very broad and includes almost any item related to drugs.

The term actually is defined at 35 P.S. § 780-102 and includes "all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing,marijuana bongs preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of the Pennsylvania Drug Act."

Police Have Discretion to File Multiple Charges

Paraphernalia and marijuana or other drugs go together like peanut butter and jelly. For example, how can a person store or transport drugs without putting them into a container or baggy, and how can a person smoke marijuana without a pipe, bong, rolling papers, or vaporizer?

Officers have discretion in determining how to file Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges. For example:

  • When officers find a small amount of marijuana in a baggie, some will file just the Small Amount of Marijuana charge, but others will file the marijuana charge along with a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge.
  • Police may search a room or State College apartment and find numerous items of paraphernalia, including pipes, bongs, lighters, scales, etc., and some officers will file one charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia that covers all items, but other officers will file a separate charge for every item.

While filing numerous charges of possession of drug paraphernalia may not be fair, it is legal, and some officers do engage in such a practice.

What is the Severity of Pennsylvania Paraphernalia Charges?

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(32), is an ungraded misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. While possession of baggies drug paraphernaliadrug offenses results in a suspension of a Pennsylvania drivers' license or privileges, a conviction of possession of drug paraphernalia does not result in a license suspension. A conviction of the misdemeanor charge could reduce a person's ability to obtain employment in the future.

Call JD Law Today for Your Free Consultation

For a free consultation regarding pending Penn State drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges, contact an experienced State College criminal defense lawyer by calling 814-954-1094 or by emailing us.