San Diego Drug Crime Attorney
Paraphernalia is considered to be virtually any item that would enhance or enable the use, transporting, packaging, measuring, preparing, processing, concealing, storing or anything the court may find aided in an illegal use of the drug. Even simple household items, such as Ziploc bags, blenders, or bowls may be alleged as violations under Health and Safety Code §11364 provided drugs or drug residue are found as well.
Penalties for Possession of Paraphernalia
An individual arrested under HS §11364 may be facing either a misdemeanor or a felony drug charge, as will depend on the circumstances of each case. The punishment can range from probation, to a loss of your business license, to up to 3 years in state prison for the paraphernalia charge alone if accompanied by other serious drug offenses. The potential punishment will depend on whether the paraphernalia is found to be for use or for sale, if there were actual drugs found during the arrest, the type of drug, the amount of drug, and the past criminal history of the individual.
How the Prosecution Proves Drug Paraphernalia Charges
To prove that an individual is guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia, the prosecution must prove each one of the following elements:
- The individual unlawfully possessed an object that can be used to enable the unlawful use of a controlled substance; be it from packaging, measuring, injecting, smoking etc.;
- The individual knew of the object presence; and
- The individual knew that the object could be used to of the potential for the unlawful use of the object with regards to the drug.
Prior even to challenging the prosecution’s case on the merits, you may also be able to challenge the admissibility of the alleged paraphernalia or controlled substance found during an improper arrest. Officers must abide by particularly strict constitutionally protected guidelines that govern all searches of persons or property, seizures of contraband, and arrests.
Though the prosecution’s entire case may hinge on the admissibility of improperly seized evidence, it may not be used against you provided your defense meets the burden of proving that the officer’s conduct violated constitutional guidelines. It is in your best interest to hire an aggressive yet tactful attorney with the skills necessary to challenge the conduct of law enforcement, and which some courts may otherwise have an unspoken tendency to endorse unless such challenges are made.
More often than one would imagine, diseased patients requiring possession at all times of syringes or other medicinal tools are arrested under HS §11364 if they do not provide adequate documentation to law enforcement upon request. While you may be charged under this section for the failure to provide such documentation, you cannot be convicted provided you are able to prove to the court that you had proper permission at the time from a physician licensed to prescribe prescription drugs in this state.
Charged with paraphernalia possession in San Diego, CA?
If you are arrested and charged under HS §11364, it is imperative that you obtain an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to increase your chances of minimizing the penalty, or having the charged dismissed altogether provided a proper case can be made to negate the applicability of the offense to your alleged conduct.
Attorneys at The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen have years of experience aggressively and passionately fighting for individuals accused of all drug offenses, including possession of drug paraphernalia. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged under HS § 11364, call the office today for a free initial consultation.
“When I met Marc, I was immediately relieved. His calm and professional demeanor was exactly what I needed. He handled my case without a hiccup.”
Heather M. | Rosemead, CA
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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Contact The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen if you have been arrested and charged with a crime and need a skilled San Diego criminal defense lawyer. The firm represents clients throughout the community, and you can learn about their services by visiting the Areas We Serve page.Office of Marc S. Kohnen
1350 Columbia Street, #700
San Diego, CA 92101