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Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Minnesota Twin Cities Area 

Possession of drug paraphernalia is not as serious a charge as possession of illegal drugs in Minnesota, but both are prohibited by state and federal law.

Drug paraphernalia may be anything used to consume, manufacture, test, or process drugs, such as a pipe, bong, or roach clip. If any measurable amount of drugs is present, a more serious drug possession charge may be added to a drug paraphernalia charge.

Even if an item considered to be drug paraphernalia is new and unused, a person nevertheless may be arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Although the least serious charge for possession of drug paraphernalia is a petty misdemeanor with no jail time and a maximum fine of $300 upon conviction, it may have adverse implications on education or employment in the future.

Apple Valley, Minnesota, Lawyer for Drug Paraphernalia Charges

If you have been arrested on a drug paraphernalia charge in Apple Valley, Minnesota or anywhere in the Twin Cities area, including Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and Anoka County, you need an experienced attorney to explain the legal ramifications of your situation and help you learn about your options in order for you to make the right decision in your case.

James Blumberg Law is equipped with the experience and dedication to aggressively defend you against a drug paraphernalia charge. Call {$firm]] today at (952) 431-7758 to schedule your free initial consultation to begin the process of protecting your rights and your freedom.


Information about Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Apple Valley, MN and the Twin Cities Area


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What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is illegal in Minnesota under both federal and state laws. U.S. Code Title 21, § 863 states that it is "unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia, to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia, or to import or export drug paraphernalia." A federal conviction may result in imprisonment for up to three years, plus a fine.

According to Minnesota Statute 152.01(Subd. 18), the term “drug paraphernalia” means "all equipment, products, and materials of any kind … which are knowingly or intentionally used primarily in:

  • Manufacturing a controlled substance;
  • Injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance;
  • Testing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of a controlled substance, or;
  • Enhancing the effect of a controlled substance.

Examples of Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia includes items primarily intended or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, PCP, methamphetamine, or amphetamines into the human body, including:

  • Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
  • Roach clips (objects used to hold burning material, such as a marijuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand)
  • Water pipes;
  • Chamber pipes;
  • Carburetor pipes;
  • Electric pipes;
  • Air-driven pipes;
  • Chillums;
  • Bongs;
  • Ice pipes or chillers;
  • Carburetion tubes and devices;
  • Smoking and carburetion masks;
  • Wired cigarette papers;
  • Miniature spoons with level capacities of one-tenth cubic centimeter or less; or
  • Cocaine freebase kits.

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Determining Drug Paraphernalia

Determining whether an item is or is not drug paraphernalia is sometimes problematic, but U.S. Code 21 § 863 specifies that "relevant factors" should be considered in making a determination, including:

  • Instructions, oral or written, provided with the item concerning its use;
  • Descriptive materials accompanying the item which explain or depict its use;
  • National and local advertising concerning its use;
  • The manner in which the item is displayed for sale;
  • Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the item, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products;
  • Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the item(s) to the total sales of the business enterprise;
  • The existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item in the community; and
  • Expert testimony concerning use of the item.

Exemptions

Anyone authorized by local, state, or federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute items otherwise considered drug paraphernalia is exempt from arrest.

Also, "any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory" is not considered drug paraphernalia.

See 21 U.S.C. § 863(f).


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Drug Paraphernalia Crimes and Criminal Penalties in Minnesota

Minnesota has established laws related to the possession of drug paraphernalia, the manufacture or delivery of drug paraphernalia, the advertisement of drug paraphernalia, and the delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor. The severity of these charges and the punishments for conviction vary.

Petty Misdemeanor

It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to use or to possess drug paraphernalia. Any violation of this section is a petty misdemeanor (M.S. 152.092).

In Minnesota, a petty misdemeanor is a petty offense prohibited by statute, which does not constitute a crime, and for which a sentence of a fine of not more than $300 may be imposed (with no jail time). (M.S. 609.02(Subd. 4(a))).

Misdemeanor 

It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to deliver drug paraphernalia or knowingly or intentionally to possess or manufacture drug paraphernalia for delivery. Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor (M.S. 152.093).

It is also unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication any advertisement or promotion for the sale of drug paraphernalia. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor (M.S. 152.095).

A misdemeanor is a crime for which a sentence of not more than 90 days in jail or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both, may be imposed (M.S. 609.02(Subd. 3)).

Gross Misdemeanor

Any person 18 years of age or older who violates M.S. 152.093 by knowingly or intentionally delivering drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age who is at least three years younger is guilty of a gross misdemeanor (M.S. 152.094).

A gross misdemeanor is a crime that is less severe than a felony but more severe than a misdemeanor. A sentence of up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $3,000, or both, may be imposed (M.S. 609.0341).


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Additional Resources

Minnesota Statute 152 — Drugs; Controlled Substances — Read the state laws related to drug paraphernalia, including § 152.092 to § 152.095. You can also browse for other state laws, including M.S. 609, which enumerates punishments related to drug paraphernalia.


Find an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Apple Valley, MN & the Twin Cities

If you have been charged with possession or use of drug paraphernalia in Minnesota, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away about your case.

At James Blumberg Law, we have a dedicated team who will strive for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today if you are in Apple Valley, Minnesota or anywhere in the Twin Cities area, including Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and Anoka County, or throughout the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and metropolitan Twin Cities area.

James Blumberg and his legal team can help you challenge drug paraphernalia charges while fighting for a favorable outcome. We may be able to find flaws in the prosecution's case or in the legality of the arrest, which may result in a dismissal or reduction of charges. We are also prepared to take a case to trial, if necessary.

You deserve representation by a qualified criminal defense attorney in your case. Your future is important, and James Blumberg Law can help you protect it. Contact us at (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free initial consultation today.