drug paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia are items that produce, conceal, or use drugs. In the state of New Jersey, you can get a disorderly person’s offense for being in possession of drug paraphernalia. According to N.J.S.A 2C:36-2, “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…”

Most people think that to get in trouble with the law, they actually must possess a physical drug. This is not the case; the simple act of possessing drug paraphernalia is sufficient for charges. If you or a loved one are charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, contact a New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin today. Drug paraphernalia possession can be difficult to prove. Most of the items can also be possessed and used for completely legal purposes. An attorney can present the facts of the case in court to have your charges dropped or at least downgraded. Check out these 6 items that are drug paraphernalia. 

Prescription Pads

If you are a doctor, then naturally it is legal for you to carry around prescription pads. Unfortunately, some people get hold of prescription pads and forge a doctor’s prescription in order to get drugs like opioids. If you are have prescription pads and are not a medical doctor, you can face charges of possessing drug paraphernalia.  


Syringes are also drug paraphernalia. They can inject illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Possessing a syringe isn’t always a crime. In fact, many people have syringes at home for diseases like diabetes and Crohn’s. If you cannot prove your syringes are for medical purposes and an officer thinks they are for injecting illegal drugs, you can face possession charges. 

Drug Manufacturing Equipment

It is illegal to manufacture drugs. If an officer finds equipment in your home, car, or in your physical possession that can manufacture illicit drugs, you can face charges. Examples of items associated with illegal drug manufacturing include certain chemicals, tableting machines, hydrogenators, and encapsulating machines. Keep in mind that it is all about intent. Often, common over-the-counter drugs combine with other chemicals to produce illegal drugs. One cannot face charges just for possessing a common cold medicine. But if that same person also has a tableting machine, then the cold medicine can be classified as drug paraphernalia. 

Drug Storage Equipment

Equipment used to store illegal drugs is drug paraphernalia. Illegal drug storage equipment also includes items like plastic baggies, hollowed-out cosmetic cases, and plastic containers. 

Cocaine Pipes

A cocaine pipe is one of the more obvious drug paraphernalia items. Many other drug paraphernalia objects, like plastic baggies or certain chemicals, often have other legal purposes. However, a cocaine pipe is an obvious indicator that illegal drug use is happening or going to happen.  

Items Used for Snorting 

Certain drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin are ingested through snorting. Some paraphernalia is associated with snorting, including rolled-up bills, hollowed-out pens, straws, or thin metal pipes. If you have any of these items and the officer also suspects drug use, you can face charges. 

Potential Defenses

Leon Matchin is an experienced New Jersey attorney who has handled many cases involving possession of drug paraphernalia. He has practiced law in the state for almost two decades and has helped many clients have their drug paraphernalia charges dropped in court. 

Your attorney can use multiple defenses to fight drug paraphernalia charges. One common defense is that the item simply is not yours! This defense is common when the defendant shares a home or car with a roommate, friend, or family member. If your lawyer can prove the item was not yours and was, in fact, someone else’s, charges may be dropped. Another common defense is that the item you are possessing is not drug paraphernalia. For example, you might have a syringe because you have to inject your medicine due to a medical condition. Or maybe you have a specific chemical in the house for a cleaning project, not because you are mixing it to produce illegal drugs. 

The key to creating a solid defense is having open, honest, and upfront conversations with your attorney about the situation. Because of this, share all details surrounding your case and listen to any advice your attorney gives you. 

How A New Jersey Attorney Can Defend You

Possessing drug paraphernalia can lead to a disorderly person’s offense; this also comes with several consequences, including jail time, a fine, and the potential for driver’s license suspension. Drug paraphernalia includes items intended for illegal drug use, drug storage, or drug production. Examples of drug paraphernalia include items like prescription pads, syringes, certain chemicals, baggies, hollowed-out cosmetic cases, straws, rolled-up bills, and more. 

If you or a loved one are facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, don’t feel overwhelmed. An experienced attorney like Leon Matchin can help you fight the charges in court. Leon is a Certified Municipal Court Trial New Jersey Attorney with years of experience defending clients on drug-related charges. For more information, contact Leon by phone at (833) 732-7320, or email him at [email protected]. After that, he will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.