Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Orange County Drug Crimes Attorney

Possessing drug paraphernalia is a felony in California and can be punishable by up to three years in state prison. Drug paraphernalia is any object that can be used to inject or consume a controlled substance. Common examples include syringes and pipes, but it can be any object.

This drug crime is eligible for diversion programs like PC 1000 and Prop 36. Eligibility will depend on the individual’s record.

Elements

The defendant is charged with possessing an object that can be used to unlawfully inject or consume a controlled substance in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11364.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant [unlawfully] possessed an object that can be used to unlawfully inject or consume a controlled substance;
  2. The defendant knew of the object’s presence; AND
  3. The defendant knew that the object could be used to unlawfully inject or consume a controlled substance.

[Two or more people may possess something at the same time.]

[A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to possess it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to control it), either personally or through another person.]

<Defense: Authorized Possession for Personal Use>

The defendant did not unlawfully possess [a] hypodermic (needle[s]/ [or] syringe[s]) if (he/she) was legally authorized to possess (it/them).

The defendant was legally authorized to possess (it/them) if:

  1. (He/She) possessed the (needle[s]/ [or] syringe[s]) for personal use; AND
  2. (He/She) obtained (it/them) from an authorized source(;/.) AND
  3. (He/She) possessed no more than 10 (needles/ [or] syringes).]

The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not legally authorized to possess the hypodermic (needle[s]/ [or] syringe[s]). If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of this crime.

If you’re charged with possession of a drug paraphernalia, consult with an experienced Orange County Drug Crimes Attorney. Call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense today at (714) 248-DOAN (3626) and I can defend your rights in court.