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Drug Paraphernalia Laws Drug Possession Lawyer – HS 11364 FAQs

Are you or a loved one facing charges in California for possession of drug paraphernalia? The experienced team of drug possession lawyers answer the most commonly asked questions pertaining to violations of California’s drug paraphernalia laws under Health and Safety Code 11364 HS. If you need immediate assistance, you can speak to one of our attorneys now.

Can household items be considered drug paraphernalia?

Yes. Under California’s drug paraphernalia laws, you can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, even if the items are simple household objects, if you used them or intended to use them to unlawfully inject, inhale, or consume a controlled substance. This intent can be inferred if the household items are assembled in a fashion common to drug use or there are traces of a controlled substance found therein. However simple possession of household objects that could possibly be used for consuming a control substance, without more, will likely not give rise to possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

Is possession of a hypodermic needle considered a crime under the drug paraphernalia laws in California?

In some circumstances, possession of a hypodermic needle can be considered a crime. Under California Penal Code section 11364 it is illegal to possess a hypodermic needle for the purpose of unlawfully injecting a controlled substance. However, it is lawful to possess up to 10 hypodermic needles or syringes so long as they were obtained from an authorized source, such as a physician or doctor, and they are used for you own personal medical needs. In order to convict you of possession of drug paraphernalia, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your possession of these items was unlawful.

Can I be charged with possession if I did not know the item was considered illegal drug paraphernalia?

Yes. The prosecution does not need to prove that you knew the item was considered illegal drug paraphernalia in order to convict you under California Health and Safety Code section 11364. However, the prosecution does need to prove that you knew the item was used for inhaling, injecting, or consuming a controlled substance and that you were aware of the presence of the object on your person or in an area over which you exercise control. The jury will determine whether or not the prosecution has proved this element beyond a reasonable doubt.

Are there any alternative punishments to a possession of drug paraphernalia conviction?

Yes. Diversion programs under California Penal Code section 1000 and Proposition 36 allow the court to grant you rehabilitative treatment for substance abuse rather than facing incarceration. If you successfully finish the diversion program and are found to be on good behavior, your case will likely be dismissed. The court can also impose formal probation for up to three years rather than jail time. However, a violation of your probation terms can result in incarceration for the maximum term allowed by law.

Can a possession of drug paraphernalia conviction adversely affect my business?

Yes. Under California Health and Safety Code section 11364.5, it is illegal to operate a business in which drug paraphernalia is kept, displayed, or offered unless such items are kept or displayed in a separate room in which minors (under 18) are excluded unless accompanied by an adult. If your business deals in such items and you are found to be in violation of this provision, your business license can be revoked and a conviction can serve as grounds for non-renewal of your license. Since the repercussions of a possession of drug paraphernalia conviction can be devastating for your business, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in such cases.

If I have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, who should I call?

With office locations in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience in successfully representing Southern California residents who have been charged with violation of California’s drug paraphernalia laws. Drawing from our extensive years of experience, we are available to answer any questions you have and are willing to go the extra mile in your defense.

If you are facing prosecution for possession of drug paraphernalia, call our talented and professional defense attorneys today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.


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