What is drug paraphernalia?
In the broadest aspect, drug paraphernalia is anything used in the making or using of drugs. While that is the general definition of drug paraphernalia, there are several factors that affect these charges. State laws and federal laws are two of those factors. Some items, such as glass pipes and roach clips, are listed as drug paraphernalia under federal law. Other items, such as needles, scales or plastic baggies, are covered under certain state's drug paraphernalia items.
Does drug reside have to be found on the paraphernalia?
Drug residue doesn't necessarily have to be on the alleged drug paraphernalia for a person to be charged with a crime. The context of intended use can lead to a drug paraphernalia charge. An example of this would be a scale located in the same home as cocaine. The scale could be used to weigh baggies of cocaine, so the scale might be classified as drug paraphernalia.
The sentences for drug paraphernalia convictions vary greatly. Those who have been charged with a drug paraphernalia charge has the right to defend themselves against the charges. Knowing how to apply various laws to your case might help you to determine how your defense should be presented.
Source: FindLaw, "Drug Paraphernalia Charges" Oct. 31, 2014