Paraphernalia is considered any mechanism that can be used to ingest the substance of drugs. In Georgia, this is any equipment material that is used for making or concealing drugs or for using drugs. Possessing a bong that has marijuana residue can be charged with drug paraphernalia, and is generally associated with just simple possession. The two are almost always linked.
The abuse of drug paraphernalia in Georgia can lead to serious penalties, often heavily burdening the individual involved. Consult with an attorney if you are facing a charge associated with the possession or use of drug paraphernalia in Georgia.
Drug paraphernalia in Georgia can be anything that can be used as a substance to ingest drugs. For example, law enforcement is not going to charge someone who simply possesses a coke can, however, if that person is using the coke can to smoke crack cocaine, the police can charge them with paraphernalia.
When someone is found possessing drug paraphernalia in Georgia, simply possessing it is a crime. The police do not have to catch that individual in the act of using the drug paraphernalia. It is a misdemeanor offense. Generally, because it is a misdemeanor, the type of paraphernalia does not normally influence the sentencing.
Penalties for the use of drug paraphernalia in Georgia can include a fine, probation, and perhaps drug testing. Jail is possible, but not likely.
Further, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Simply not knowing the law, unfortunately, does not mean that an individual can be exempted from it.
Severity of the Crime
How a person is treated in the criminal system in Georgia for possessing paraphernalia usually depends upon the number of times the person was previously charged. When someone is charged the first time for possessing paraphernalia, the judicial system is very often sympathetic.
For a second or third charge, a person could be looking at potential jail time. Many judges take the approach that they know a person will not be using drugs if they are in prison. Jail is the last thing judges want to do in these types of cases, but it is sometimes used.
In Georgia, drug paraphernalia is usually discovered during a search, when drugs are found. Typically, after the police pull marijuana out of a car, for example, they search and oftentimes find some sort of device to smoke it out of. That is usually when they find drug paraphernalia during a search of the house or things of that nature.
Rights of an Individual
When someone is caught with paraphernalia in Georgia, they have the right to remain silent. At this point, chances are, that individual might already be arrested and charged with a drug charge.
When someone is arrested for the abuse of drug paraphernalia in Georgia, they have the right to not allow the police to search their house or vehicle. The defenses in drug cases very often limit the legality of the search. If the search was done lawfully; in many of these cases, the individual has a more difficult case.