Possession Of Paraphernalia – California Health & Safety Code Section 11364
This is a very common drug charge that is charged all the time in LA County and is a very easy charge for the prosecutors to prove if they can show that a person is somehow possessing some sort of drug paraphernalia that violates California Health & Safety Code Section 11364.
Probably the easiest thing to prove is where the paraphernalia – whether it be some sort of a glass pipe or other smoking device – if that device as residue of an illegal substance on it, then that’s a pretty strong argument that the person is using it and it is possession of paraphernalia in an illegal manner.
Once the police find paraphernalia in a car that usually gives them the green light to be able to search the entire vehicle.
So, on the one hand, having drug paraphernalia in your possession is a huge disadvantage and gets you sent into custody and having a criminal mark on your record.
On the other hand, in some drug possession cases, the prosecutors and police want to charge the person with possession for sale, which is a much more serious crime than just straight possession of paraphernalia. But that paraphernalia possession really is indicative of somebody who is a user and not a seller, and therefore sometimes the possession of paraphernalia charge can be used to assist the person.
What Results Can Be Expected?
A lot of times if that’s all the charge is, we can get a diversionary sentence. Sometimes we can get the charges dismissed if they cannot prove that the paraphernalia is actually possessed for an illegal purpose.
But the possession of paraphernalia – especially in today’s society – is much easier to deal with as a criminal defense attorney than it was a number of years ago. There are a lot of different programs designed to help people who are addicted to drugs instead of just warehousing them or throw them in jail or prison.
So, based on that rationale and that theory of logic, we’ve had a lot of success in keeping people out of jail who are charged with possession of paraphernalia pursuant to Health & Safety Code Section 11364. We’ve been able to get people in programs.
We’ve been able to get diversionary sentencing. We’ve been able to get records wiped clean. There are all sorts of things that can be done if the case is handled the right way – you don’t have a bad criminal record and you have the right attorney on your side.
Legal Defenses for Possession of Paraphernalia
One big defense that I have had a lot of success in using over the course of the last twenty-five years of defending drug cases – specifically possession of paraphernalia cases – is that the police had no business being in the location and searching the location that they were searching.
If we can show that the police are illegally searching a car, the home or the individual’s person, then we can get whatever they found thrown out and they can’t be used against them and they can’t charge them with it. So, filing search and seizure motions – arguing that the person’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the police – is a huge weapon that can be used to defend these possession of paraphernalia cases.
Another thing that I utilize all the time is a lot of time the police are stopping people illegally – either on foot or in their vehicle. If they are illegally stopped and then they are illegally searched, then that can be the grounds to say, no – you shouldn’t have been able to stop or bother this person in the first place.
This is not a police state. You’re not just going to be able to stop anybody that you want to. You didn’t have probable cause or reasonable cause that criminal activity was afoot, and therefore the stop was illegal and anything you found after that cannot be used against the person, must be suppressed, and therefore if that’s all the evidence that the police have the case must be dismissed.
Strategies To Use A Possession of Paraphernalia Case
If you have a defense, obviously that’s the best strategy that can be used and having a good criminal defense attorney who can execute that defense is crucial. When I sit down with people and we talk about what happened, obviously I encourage them to be honest and give me all the facts and details so that I am in a position to then talk to them about what is realistic in their case. What can we hope to achieve? What motions can we file? What arguments can we make?
One of the biggest things the prosecutors are looking at is whether they can even prove that the paraphernalia that the person has is illegal. Maybe it has some legal or innocent purpose – and that’s where a great defense attorney comes in to make the arguments for you.
If you have no criminal record that would obviously be something that would be in your favor. If no drugs were found in conjunction with the possession of the paraphernalia, then you have a strong argument that no harm/no foul. You really shouldn’t be charged with a crime. So, what I have you do is you come in. You lay out all the details.
I tell you exactly what you could do to help me best defend you. I give you an idea of kind of what you’re looking at once I hear all the facts and details related to your case, and then we set about the plan to get you the best resolution, get you out of the criminal justice system as fast of possible and get your possession of paraphernalia dealt with in the right way so it doesn’t haunt you the rest of your life.
For more information on Possession Of Paraphernalia In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 374-3952 today.
Call For A Free Strategy Session