Have you been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in southern California? You can avoid significant criminal penalties by having a qualified attorney with the Law Offices of David A. Stein represent you. With ample experience and knowledge in criminal law, our attorneys have helped many clients attain a positive outcome in their criminal drug case. If we’re not able to get your charges dropped, then we will work to negotiate reduced penalties that will leave your life intact. Take the first step in protecting your rights and preserving your future and contact our office today. You can call us toll-free at 949) 445-0040.
According to the California Health and Safety Code Section 11364, “it is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance.”
The following three elements are necessary to be convicted of this offense by the prosecutor:
This may take an actual or constructive form. Actual control is simply when you physically carry the paraphernalia on your person. Constructive control is when you exercise individual or joint control over the item (e.g. it can be found in your domicile which you share with your spouse).
You knew of the paraphernalia’s presence.
You knew of the paraphernalia’s illicit purpose for drug use.
Common types of drug paraphernalia include syringes, pipes, and miniature spoons used for cocaine intake. Hypodermic needles and syringes may be exempt from this category if one has received legal approval to possess them for personal use, has gotten them from an authorized source, and does not possess more than 10 at a time.
Containers, mixing devices, and measuring apparatuses associated with illicit substances fall under different, more severe laws.
What Is the Penalty for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in California?
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000, although a conviction does not always result in these penalties. In some cases, the convicted individual is presented with the option to participate in a drug diversion program in lieu of serving jail time. Completion of the program results in dismissed charges.
However, not all those convicted qualify for the alternative sentencing option. A convicted person is disqualified if they have also committed a serious misdemeanor or felony offense. A violation of either California’s “drug possession for sale” or “transporting or selling a controlled substance” laws also constitutes disqualification.
Possible Legal Defense
A defense attorney may employ the following legal defenses to fight your possession of drug paraphernalia charges:
- You did not have control over the paraphernalia.
- The paraphernalia was not used for the consumption of illicit substances.
- You were ignorant of the paraphernalia’s purpose.
- You were not aware of the paraphernalia’s presence.
- The paraphernalia was discovered during an illegal search and seizure.
It is highly advised that you consult with an attorney who has ample experience in the field of drug crime defense to get the best possible chance at a positive case outcome.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Orange County
At the Law Offices of David A. Stein we invest our fullest capabilities into each and every case that we handle. Our stellar client approval ratings reflect our dedication and hard work. If you are in need of high quality legal representation for your criminal case, please contact our office today.