Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Solano County, CA
How is drug paraphernalia defined under California law?
While most people understand that they could be charged with a crime if they are found to be in possession of drugs or illicit narcotics, others do not realize that they could also be arrested for simply carrying a mechanism that would allow them to smoke or inject a controlled substance. More specifically, California Health and Safety Code 11364 states that it is a crime to knowingly possess "an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance." If a law enforcement officer uncovers a marijuana pipe while lawfully searching your car, for example, you could be arrested for possession of paraphernalia.
In order to convict you, however, the prosecution must be able to prove that:
- You exercised control over drug paraphernalia
- You knew of the paraphernalia's presence
- You knew that the instrument was drug paraphernalia
Penalties for Possessing Drug Paraphernalia in Fairfield, CA
If you are found guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia in California, you could face serious legal consequences. Since this crime is a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to 6 months in jail and asked to pay a $1,000 fine; however, you may be eligible for alternative sentencing if you enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). Since this is a non-violent drug crime, you may be able to avoid jail time by participating in a drug diversion program. Upon your completion of this program, the judge would dismiss your charges. For this reason, it may be in your best interests to explore your options under the guidance of a Solano County criminal defense lawyer from Maas Law Offices.
What if I didn't know that the object was drug paraphernalia?
When facing charges for possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important to understand that there are a number of viable legal defenses that could be implemented on your behalf. For example, it is not a crime to possess paraphernalia if you were genuinely unaware of the fact that it was drug paraphernalia. Similarly, your Solano County drug crime defense attorney may be able to establish your innocence by proving that:
- You did not exercise control over the paraphernalia
- The object was not used as drug paraphernalia
- You did not know that the object was drug paraphernalia
- You were unaware of the paraphernalia's presence
- The paraphernalia was uncovered in an illegal search
Were you arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia in Fairfield, CA or a surrounding area? If so, you should not hesitate to find out how an experienced criminal defense lawyer from Maas Law Offices can help. All you will need to do is contact our office today at (800) 483-0992 or submit a
free case evaluation form online to get started.