If police find marijuana in your car, you might wonder if they will stop searching. But, it’s important to understand that they will not. Officers who find illegal substances in your car typically will find paraphernalia as well. Think about it: If you have marijuana on you, who’s to say that you don’t also have something with you to smoke it with? They will wonder if you planned on smoking the weed, or they think that you may have intended to sell the weed. So, if they consider this, and continue their search, you will likely face a paraphernalia charge as well. But what are the rules concerning smoking tools, and what makes the cut when it comes to getting a charge?
Paraphernalia Laws for South Carolina
The paraphernalia rules in South Carolina make the charge hard to avoid. South Carolina’s definition is extremely broad and covers a lot of materials and instruments. Basically, the law states that paraphernalia is any kind of instrument, device, or article used for creating, selling, or using drugs. So, even if you have a water bottle with a hole melted into it, foil, and dirty water… that charge is still pretty likely.
Now, not all devices used for smoking will make the cut…
Some devices have clear labels or receipts. Often, these state the ‘intended use’. But, ultimately, when it comes to deciding what’s what— a police officer has a good bit of discretion. The officer will inspect the device’s location and ask questions. Typically, drug users will have both the substance, and something to smoke it with in the same location. So, these two charges will typically go hand in hand.
What does the charge look like?
A second charge for possessing paraphernalia will be added on if a controlled drug is found in, or near, any devices that are designed for its use, sale, or making of the drug. The penalty is a simple $500 fine. However, this charge can add up when stacked with possessing marijuana itself.
Ultimately, the risk is up to you to take. Facing a marijuana charge is typically a one-two punch because keeping that piece handy is pretty likely. We do not advise driving with any type of illegal substance or pieces in your car. When it comes down to it, there is always the potential, when pulled over, for a smell, a suspicion, or a visible item to become your downfall. So, drive safe, drive smart, and drive clean. And in the event that you fail to do so, we offer our services.