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  • When Can I Be Charged with Drug Paraphernalia in New Mexico?

    Posted on by JACK MKHITARIAN


    Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Defending Drug Paraphernalia and Drug Charges across  New Mexico

    Along with being charged with drug possession, you could be charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia. This is a commonly paired group of criminal charges brought against defendants for all types of drugs. Also, it is important to note that almost anything could be considered “paraphernalia” as long as it is associated with the use of a drug. For example, carrying a roach clip or glass pipe could be considered enough for this charge.

    It is illegal in the state of New Mexico to sell, use, or possess any type of drug paraphernalia. The laws are broadly applied and can be interpreted as a police officer sees fit. Therefore, if you have been arrested for drug possession and paraphernalia, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

    What is Drug Paraphernalia?

    Any equipment that qualifies as drug paraphernalia. This can include things like vials, hypodermic needles, spoons, water pipes, etc. Paraphernalia is not just limited to products that help someone consume an illegal drug. It can also include items that are used to manufacture or sell the drug, such as plastic bags or scales.

    Also, if the item is used with an intent to use the drug, it can be considered paraphernalia. There are even some items that aren’t specifically designed for drug use that can lead this charge. All it takes is a prosecutor showing that you had the drug in your position and that the drug was there for your use, and the prosecutor can tag along the paraphernalia charge with whatever items are found on you.

    The Courts Consider Circumstance

    While it is easy to tack on a drug paraphernalia charge, you must note that the court will look at factors about your case to determine if the charge is legitimate. Courts will consider if the alleged items were located near the drugs or if the items contained any drug residue. Also, an expert may testify as to how the object could be used to consume an illegal substance.

    Constructive vs. Actual Possession

    Another factor that the courts will consider is the actual versus construction possession. If you were holding the drug paraphernalia at the time of your arrest, then you were actually in possession of it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, is when you have control over the item, but you are not carrying it with you. For example, it was in your home or locked in your glove compartment of your vehicle.

    Possession with the Intent to Sell or Distribute

    Simple possession is when the prosecution feels that you possessed the drugs and paraphernalia for personal use. However, if they have adequate evidence, they may attempt to charge you with the intent to sell or distribute, which carries a much harsher penalty and could result in a longer prison sentence.

    Contact a New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away

    If you have been arrested for drug possession or the possession of paraphernalia, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The defense team at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices is standing by and ready to help. Schedule a free case evaluation now at 505-375-4671 or request more information online.