Mr. Matthew David Keenan's Criminal Law Legal Blogs

Licensed for 28 years

Attorney in Skokie, IL

            The police
stopped you for a routine traffic offense. 
When giving you the ticket, they noticed a marijuana bong on the seat of
your car.  Or maybe they frisked you and
found a couple syringes in your pocket, and you don’t have a medical condition.  Now you are under arrest.

Illinois law, a person who knowingly possesses drug paraphernalia with the
intent of using or preparing drugs is guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor,
punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum $750 fine.  (720 Illinois Compiled Statutes 600/3.5.) The
law does not apply to hypodermic syringes if you are authorized to have them
under the Hypodermic Syringes and Needles Act. (720 ILCS 635.)    Drug
paraphernalia is defined as all equipment, products and materials to be used in
planting, growing, manufacturing, converting, testing, injecting, ingesting, packaging
or using drugs, except for methamphetamines which is a separate offense. 

            If you sell
your paraphernalia, you can be charged with a Class 4 Misdemeanor, punishable
by 1 to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. 
Sell to a minor and it’s a Class 3 Misdemeanor punishable by 2 to 5 years.  If the buyer is pregnant, you can face 3 to 7
years on a Class 2 misdemeanor.

            Since the
state must prove that you intended to use the paraphernalia to take or
make  drugs, simply owning a collection
of bong pipes may not be enough to convict you. 
However, any drugs found near or residue on the paraphernalia can be
used to show that you had the necessary illegal intent.

            If you are
charged with possessing paraphernalia, contact an experienced criminal law
attorney immediately.  Do not discuss
your case with third parties or the police. 
Any statements you make can restrict your options in presenting a

            As with
other criminal offenses, the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt.  An attorney can examine the
evidence for holes in the state’s case.  Was
the search that revealed the paraphernalia legal?  Can the state show that the paraphernalia was
yours or that you meant to use it?  Even
if the state has more than enough evidence to convict you, an attorney can help
negotiate a better plea agreement than you might do on your own.

            If you have
questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please
contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

 (Besides Skokie, Matt
Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield,
Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles,
Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)



Possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to make or take a controlled substance is a Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois.

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