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California Health and Safety Code 11364 | Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Posted in California Law,Drugs on June 20, 2024

If you have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it’s crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can provide you with legal advice targeted to your situation and explain the possible consequences of a conviction. The Riverside drug crimes attorneys at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC have successfully defended clients against drug-related crimes. We offer a free case review to get to know you and explain how we can help.

What Does California Health and Safety Code 11364 Cover?

California Health and Safety Code 11364 prohibits possessing equipment or materials to make, use, or conceal illegal controlled substances. Items that fall under the law’s purview include:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Pipes
  • Cocaine spoons
  • Rolling papers
  • Roach clips
  • Razor blades
  • Aluminum foil
  • Containers
  • Scales
  • Baggies

These are just a few of the most common items the law could cover. Other items could fall within the statute’s purview.

Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

If you are arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. The prosecutor determines how to charge the offense based on factors, such as the amount of illegal substances, your criminal history, whether drugs were found in your possession, or whether the items were for individual use or drug dealing purposes.

If the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, the legal penalties include up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, community service, probation, and enrollment in a drug rehabilitation program. A conviction of this offense can also result in collateral consequences, such as the loss of a professional license.

A felony conviction can result in up to 16 months in jail or up to three years in California state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Defenses to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Various defenses may apply to these types of charges. For example, there is an exception written into the law that applies until 2026 for the possession of hypodermic needles or syringes if they are solely for your personal use and you acquired them from a doctor, pharmacist, syringe exchange program, or any other source authorized by law to provide them without a prescription.

For other items, other defenses may apply. For example, many of the items covered under the statute have reasonable purposes other than to facilitate drug use, such as storage containers, razor blades, or tinfoil. It might also be possible to argue that the drug paraphernalia was not yours or you were not aware of its presence. Even if the items were yours, it is possible to have the evidence suppressed if your lawyer can show they were taken during an illegal search or seizure.

Our Riverside Drug Defense Lawyers Can Help – Call Us Today

If you are facing possession of drug paraphernalia charges, contact the experienced legal team of criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC for immediate assistance. Call us at (951) 667-5293 or contact us online to set up a free, confidential consultation.