People in Philadelphia may use drugs for a variety of purposes. Many use the drugs legally with prescriptions to treat various medical conditions, but this is not always the case. There are also many people who use illegal drugs or use prescription drugs without a prescription. If these people are caught with drug possession they may face serious criminal penalties, including possible jail time.
However, in order to use many drugs, they must be created and put into the body with various devices. These devices are known as drug paraphernalia and possession of it is also a crime by itself.
There are a large number of items that are considered drug paraphernalia. These include, but are not limited to, kits for growing drug plants, testing equipment for determining potency, scales, sifters and devices designed to separate seeds, bowls and mixing devices, balloons and containers used for packaging small amounts of drugs, syringes and needles, pipes, bongs, cocaine spoons and vials and many other devices used to put drugs into the body through inhalation.
As stated above, simply possessing the paraphernalia, even if there is no actual drug possession, is a crime. These crimes can lead to serious consequences if the person is convicted. However, just because a person is charged with a crime, it does not mean they will be convicted. There may be defenses available depending on the circumstances. Many times these defenses begin with whether the police properly searched the person and seized the paraphernalia.
Charges do not necessarily mean that the person is guilty though. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and there may be defenses available for the person. Experienced attorneys understand these potential defenses and can fight to protect a person's constitutional rights.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health, "The controlled substance, drug, device and cosmetic act," accessed on November 2, 2015