California Drug Paraphernalia Charges and Legal Defense OptionsSan Diego Legal News
In modern society, it can often feel like there are millions upon millions of ways to find yourself wrapped up in criminal charges in California, just like anywhere else in the country. While many charges are much more serious than others, there is no doubt that otherwise good people are arrested for relatively harmless crimes every day. One such crime is the possession of drug paraphernalia, which is strictly prohibited under California Health & Safety Code 11364. In the event that you have found yourself dealing with such a crime, it is immediately important to thoroughly understand criminal paraphernalia charges and your legal defense options moving forward.
The ins and outs of the Law
The law itself is pretty straightforward when dealing with drug paraphernalia in the state of California. Any device or instrument used to inject, smoke, or otherwise ingest an illegal substance is officially classified as drug paraphernalia. Due to the extensive history of drug use and addiction, there are now countless ways to ingest the enormous multitude of various controlled substances available. The law is broadened to include any pipes, spoons, straws, and hypodermic needles, particularly any which include drug residue.
The penalties for possession of paraphernalia in California can be minor as the charge itself is generally a misdemeanor. However, for many people, even the penalty of six months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000 can be tremendously stressful and unreasonable. Furthermore, additional consequences are often put in place for those who hold a professional license such as teachers, lawyers, real estate agents, and contractors. Such professionals face the potential punishment of having their license suspended on top of fines and possible jail time. Finding the right California criminal defense attorney is the first step toward building a quality defense.
Criminal Defense Strategies
Typically, there are at least four commonly used defenses to explore once facing a California drug paraphernalia charge. The first is in the case where what the police found was not actually paraphernalia. Obviously, all evidence against you will be safeguarded, so if the object you were in possession of is simply not paraphernalia, then this would be the best, most straightforward strategy to utilize. Another defense that is just as commonly used but perhaps more difficult to prove is that the paraphernalia is not yours. This defense may take additional resources to prove your case.
In some cases, blatant ignorance can be successful. This is only true, however, in the event that you seriously did not know that you were in possession of paraphernalia. The fourth defense, which is often the most effective yet likely the least used, is saved for instances where the police discovered the paraphernalia following an illegal search and seizure. If you can prove the existence of an illegal search, then this is the best strategy. Nevertheless, contacting a proficient attorney is always the first step to building a California criminal defense of any kind.
California Criminal Defense Attorney
At Coastal Legal Center, we are dedicated to the citizens of California and we believe that every individual warrants the right to the presumption of innocence. We work on behalf of our clients to ensure the most effective outcome and prevent otherwise good people from traveling down the dark path through a complicated criminal justice system. If you have found yourself charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in California, please don’t hesitate to begin protecting yourself today by calling 619-231-0724 to schedule a free consultation.