Any equipment used in conjunction with illegal drugs and other controlled substances is referred to as drug paraphernalia in Illinois. Under state law, it is illegal to deliver or possess drug paraphernalia. Any person who violates these laws can face criminal liability in the form of prison time and fines.
Definition of Drug Paraphernalia
Under 720 ILCS 600/2, the term drug paraphernalia refers to equipment, materials, and other products used with illegal drugs. Within this term, Illinois law specifically includes equipment that is intended to:
- Grow illegal drugs;
- Consume illegal drugs;
- Cultivate illegal drugs;
- Manufacture illegal drugs;
- Test illegal drugs; or
- Ingest illegal drugs.
On the other hand, the term drug paraphernalia does not include equipment, materials, and other products used to manufacture methamphetamine. That type of equipment is governed by the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Under 720 ILCS 600/3.5, Illinois prohibits any person from possessing drug paraphernalia with the intent to consume or prepare illegal drugs.
Any person who possesses drug paraphernalia in violation of 720 ILCS 600/3.5 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Upon conviction, the offender is potentially subject to 364 days in jail and two years of court supervision as well as criminal fines between $750 and $2,500.
That being said, there is an important exception to 720 ILCS 600/3.5. This section does not apply to any person who lawfully possesses syringes or needles under the Hypodermic Syringes and Needles Act.
Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia
Under 720 ILCS 600/3, Illinois makes it illegal to deliver, sell, or otherwise transfer possession of drug paraphernalia. It is also unlawful to attempt to transfer possession of drug paraphernalia, with or without monetary consideration.
Any person who delivers or attempts to deliver drug paraphernalia in violation of 720 ILCS 600/3 is guilty of a Class 4 felony in Illinois. Upon conviction, the offender is potentially subject to a prison term between one and three years and up to 30 months of court supervision. Additionally, the offender may face a $1,000 fine for each item they delivered or attempted to deliver.
There is also a more severe penalty for the delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor child under the age of 18. In those cases, it qualifies as a Class 3 felony in Illinois. Upon conviction, the offender is potentially subject to a prison term between two and five years, $25,000 in criminal fines, and up to 30 months of court supervision.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by completing an online form.
(image courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon)