In addition to a drug possession charge, a person may also face a paraphernalia charge if the prosecutor can prove that the objects in question are drug-related.

The Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Control Act defines the objects and evidence that may lead to a conviction.

What is drug paraphernalia?

The definition the law provides for paraphernalia is broad, encompassing almost any object a person has used or intends to use in a drug-related way. A baggie or balloon containing drugs, a spoon with residue, a hypodermic syringe or a bong are obvious examples. Other evidence may be necessary to prove that testing or measuring equipment and other objects with common uses are paraphernalia.

The prosecutor does not have to show that the defendant already used the object for drug-related purposes if there is evidence of intent. For example, law enforcement may find the objects in close proximity to controlled substances, or there may be instructions that show how to use the object in an illegal way.

What are the penalties for drug paraphernalia possession?

Possessing drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor. The court adds a $750 fine to whatever other penalties the defendant receives. The law does not apply to someone who lawfully possesses a hypodermic syringe.

Selling or delivering drug paraphernalia can result in a Class 4 felony. If a seller is a legal adult and knows the buyer is under 18 years old, the act is a Class 3 felony. If the buyer is a pregnant woman and the seller is aware of this fact, it is a Class 2 felony. The minimum fine for selling paraphernalia is $1,000.