In New Jersey, as in other states, police and prosecutors take drug crimes seriously. The penalties for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), trafficking, cultivation, and conspiracy can be severe. But you don’t even have to be caught with illegal drugs. Like most other jurisdictions, New Jersey has laws that make it a crime to possess certain “drug paraphernalia.” Possession of DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, though not as serious as other drug crimes, can lead to a jail term of six months and $1,000 in fines.
WHAT CONSTITUTES DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
New Jersey has a fairly broad definition of the term “drug paraphernalia.” It can include almost anything involved in the use, cultivation, manufacture, testing or storage of controlled dangerous substances. That includes some of the items you’d expect, such as rolling papers, special pipes or bongs and roach clips. It can also include certain household items, such as baggies or jars, or scales. It’s also pretty common, if police find drug residue on a pipe or other device, to have a charge of possession tacked on.
WHEN AN ITEM MAY BE USED FOR OTHER PURPOSES
If you are found to be in possession of items that are known to be used in connection with illegal drugs, but which also have non-drug-related uses, the court will typically apply a five-part test to determine if the materials are drug paraphernalia:
- What have you told others about the purpose or use of the item?
- What other possible uses are there for the item?
- How would the item be used in connection with a CDS?
- Is there any drug residue on the item?
- Is there any other evidence indicating the actual usage of the item?
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