In addition to controlled substances being illegal in Nevada, state law also prohibits the use, delivery, sale, possession, manufacture, and advertising of drug paraphernalia. While paraphernalia is generally viewed as objects or materials that can be used to make, use, or carry illegal drugs, the definition is broad enough to include several items that have perfectly legal primary uses.
Criminal charges relating to drug paraphernalia are often filed in conjunction with possession charges, but police officers can sometimes arrest people for these offenses even when the person did not have any controlled substance. Convictions for these offenses can result in incarceration and fines.
Were you recently arrested in Nevada for any kind of drug paraphernalia offense? The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger can fight help achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Jeffrey Jaeger is a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas who represents clients in communities throughout Clark County, including North Las Vegas, Henderson, and many more. You can take advantage of a free consultation so that Jeffrey can review your case as soon as you call (702) 816-3888 or complete an online contact form today.
Nevada Revised Statute 453.554 defines drug paraphernalia as “all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.” The term includes, but is not limited to:
Objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish or hashish oil into the human body are also considered drug paraphernalia. Examples include, but are not limited to:
The factors that police officers, prosecutors, and courts use to identify objects as drug paraphernalia are established under Nevada Revised Statute 453.556. An acquittal to drug possession or other controlled substance violations does not prevent a finding that an object is intended for use or designed for use as an item of drug paraphernalia.
Some of the factors that will be considered include:
State law establishes multiple crimes relating to drug paraphernalia. Possible offenses include:
Buckles v. First Judicial Dist. Court of State — On July 7, 2012, a Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy saw James Daniel Buckles stop at an apartment building known for drug activity and stopped his convertible after Buckles rolled through a stop sign. The deputy asked Buckles if he could search his car and Buckles consented to the search. After summoning for backup, a canine alerted the deputy to an area under the driver’s seat, where the backup deputy pulled out a plastic baggie that appeared to contain remnants of a white crystalline or powdery substance. Buckles testified that the baggie was the corner piece of a sandwich bag, but a NIK test performed on the baggie showed it presumptive for methamphetamine. Buckles was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia but argued that Carson City Municipal Code 8.04.126—in conjunction with Nevada Revised Statute 453.554—is unconstitutionally vague. The First Judicial District Court and the Supreme Court of Nevada both denied the appeal, with the Supreme Court of Nevada citing the United States Supreme Court’s 1994 decision in Posters 'N' Things, Ltd. v. United States that the scienter requirement that it inferred in 21 U.S. Code § 857 “assists in avoiding any vagueness problem” and the Carson City Municipal Code contained such a scienter requirement prohibiting the use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia.
Drug Paraphernalia Fast Facts | United States Department of Justice (DOJ) — The DOJ’s National Drug Intelligence Center produced this document discussing drug paraphernalia. It covers what is considered drug paraphernalia, what paraphernalia looks like, and where paraphernalia is sold. The document also covers types of paraphernalia and what drugs paraphernalia is commonly used for.
People mistakenly assume that criminal charges relating to paraphernalia are not as serious as other illegal drug crimes. If you were arrested for any kind of paraphernalia offense in Nevada—even if you were not charged with possession of a controlled substance—it is in your best interest to contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger as soon as possible.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Jaeger is the former Director of Litigation Support for the Clark County Public Defender's Office who has helped defense lawyers effectively present evidence in criminal cases. You can have him provide a thorough evaluation of your own case by calling (702) 816-3888 or submitting an online contact form for a free, confidential consultation.
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