arrested for possession


Stephen Wolfe March 17, 2021

Drug paraphernalia charges usually accompany drug possession charges in most jurisdictions. However, in Ohio, you will be arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia even if no drugs were found. In 2016, the FBI estimated 1,572,579 arrests for drug law violations in the United States. In Ohio, possession of drug paraphernalia is defined as possessing equipment, products, or any kind of material designed with the purpose or intent of using illegal substances.

Items Considered to Be Drug Paraphernalia

Ohio Revised Code considers the following items to be drug paraphernalia:

  • Needles and syringes

  • Balance scales

  • Chemicals like dextrose, hydrochloride, or lactose for cutting pure drugs

  • Capsules, baggies, or balloons

  • Mixing devices, spoons, blenders for use with controlled substances

  • Storage containers for controlled substances

  • Equipment for drug testing

Penalties for Drug Possession and Paraphernalia in Ohio

In Ohio, possession of drug paraphernalia is classified as a fourth-degree misdemeanor which can be accompanied by a 30-day jail sentence and/or a $250 fine. A conviction of selling drug paraphernalia to an adult is a second-degree misdemeanor with a 90-day jail sentence and a $750 maximum fine. A conviction of paraphernalia of sale to a minor is a first-degree misdemeanor accompanied by a jail sentence of six months and a $1000 fine.

Defense Against Drug Paraphernalia Offenses

If you are arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, you need to find a good attorney to represent you. This is a serious offense that can follow you in your permanent record. An Ohio criminal attorney will do their best to get the charges dismissed. When arrested, do not talk to the police about your charges without a lawyer present. The attorney will guide you on what to say so that you do not implicate yourself. A few ways that an attorney can build your defense is by asking whether the evidence was legally obtained or if your rights were violated during the search.


The most common penalties for being arrested for drug paraphernalia include:

  • Jail or prison term: Depending on the severity of the case, a court can sentence you up to one year.

  • Fines: This will also depend on the severity of the case.

  • Probation: a court can also sentence one to probation for a specific period with orders like random drug tests, community service, and enrolling in drug treatment programs.

  • Time served: a court will consider the time you spent in jail after your arrest and before conviction as a jail sentence without additional jail time.

If you are arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, don't hesitate to seek legal guidance. Contact Wolfe & Mote Law Group for a free consultation.