A local citizen recently contacted the Sierra Vista Police Department to inquire about what is considered drug paraphernalia and how parents or grandparents may be able to recognize it when they see it.
The citizen had seen several recent arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia noted in an SVPD incident report and wanted to learn more.
“While the state’s legal definition of drug paraphernalia goes into great detail, it’s basically anything used in connection with the use of illegal drugs,” SVPD Public Information Officer Scott Borgstadt says. “The most common items police come across are pipes, baggies, containers used to keep illegal drugs, spoons, and needles.”
Each item of drug paraphernalia can result in a charge for possession of drug paraphernalia. For example, during the course of making an arrest an officer may search the arrestee and find a cosmetic case. Inside that case is a spoon, a syringe, a small baggie, and a piece of cotton, all of which appear to have drug residue on them. That officer would then charge the suspect with five counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. In this example, even the case could be considered paraphernalia.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a class 6 felony but may be reduced to or charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty upon conviction is $677 per count.